Petroleum, mining and geological engineers
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Petroleum Engineers
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Overview
Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for petroleum engineers are expected to grow by 15%, and should have about 2,900 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Petroleum engineers are less likely to be automated than 72% of other careers.
Workforce size
Petroleum engineers, with 33,700 workers, form a smaller workforce than 61% of careers.
Education
About 83% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by petroleum, mining and geological engineers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More petroleum, mining and geological engineers have bachelor's degrees than 88% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for petroleum engineers is higher than 98% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most petroleum engineers.
This job's median $137KAll jobs' median $39K$139K$38K20142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Note: The salaries for petroleum engineers have been top-coded by the BLS; in 2018, all annual salaries larger than $208,000 are recorded as $208,000.
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 12% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers -- that's a smaller percentage than 75% of other jobs.
Gender of petroleum, mining and geological engineers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women petroleum, mining and geological engineers actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
Race/Origin
About 19% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers are minority, and 23% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of petroleum, mining and geological engineers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (23%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Petroleum Engineers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 54% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers, and 85% have company-sponsored health insurance (7% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for petroleum, mining and geological engineers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 84% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of petroleum engineers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (65%)
  • Consequence of Error (53%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (33%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (32%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do petroleum, mining and geological engineers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group petroleum, mining and geological engineers, which combines the data for 2 careers, including petroleum engineers. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for petroleum engineers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for petroleum engineers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for petroleum engineers (BLS Salary Data)
$137K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$137K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Note: The salaries for petroleum engineers have been top-coded by the BLS; in 2018, all annual salaries larger than $208,000 are recorded as $208,000.
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all petroleum, mining and geological engineers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for petroleum, mining and geological engineers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for petroleum, mining and geological engineers (ACS Salary Data)
$102K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$102K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where petroleum engineers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Petroleum, mining and geological engineers (ACS)
Private for-profit (96.0%)
Private not-for-profit (0.2%)
Local government (0.1%)
State government (0.2%)
Federal government (0.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.5%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.1%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of petroleum, mining and geological engineers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of petroleum, mining and geological engineers, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$102K$102K$88K$64K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Federal governmentState governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Note: The salaries for petroleum engineers have been top-coded by the BLS; in 2018, all annual salaries larger than $208,000 are recorded as $208,000.
Distribution: Salaries of petroleum engineers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty petroleum engineers, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$137K$109K$139K$94K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000$250,000Federal governmentState governmentPrivateAll
Note: The salaries for petroleum engineers have been top-coded by the BLS; in 2018, all annual salaries larger than $208,000 are recorded as $208,000.
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for petroleum, mining and geological engineers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$101K$95K$113K$124K$107K$103K$101K$112K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
02K4K6K8KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Petroleum, mining and geological engineers and gender

With 12% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 75% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Petroleum, mining and geological engineers
Men (88%)
Women (12%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

Although nationally the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, in petroleum, mining and geological engineers, the median salary for women is 1% higher than the median salary for men. There are only 19 other jobs in which the median women's salary exceeds the median men's salary. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$103K$102K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KWomenMen

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of petroleum, mining and geological engineers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority petroleum, mining and geological engineers falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of petroleum, mining and geological engineers
White (79% )
Asian (11% )
Black (5% )
Other (2% )
Multiracial (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for petroleum, mining and geological engineers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$95K$101K$112K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for petroleum, mining and geological engineers by nativity
$99K$110K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by petroleum engineers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), petroleum engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as petroleum, mining and geological engineers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for petroleum, mining and geological engineers.

Education attained by petroleum, mining and geological engineers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for petroleum engineers

Students interested in studying petroleum engineering will benefit from taking high school courses in math, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; and in science, such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Entry-level petroleum engineering jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs include classes, laboratory work, and field studies in areas such as engineering principles, geology, and thermodynamics. Most colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs in chemical or mechanical engineering that lead to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Some employers prefer applicants who have earned a graduate degree. A graduate degree also allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities or in research and development.

ABET accredits programs in petroleum engineering.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for petroleum engineers

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a petroleum engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE).

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. The Society of Petroleum Engineers offers certification. To be certified, petroleum engineers must be members of the Society, pass an exam, and meet other qualifications.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for petroleum, mining and geological engineers? Below we see the distribution of petroleum, mining and geological engineers salaries based on the education attained. You may have noticed in the dashboard and elsewhere that BLS top-codes salaries. ACS also engages in a form of top-coding, but by looking at the broader field of petroleum, mining and geological engineers and using the ACS, we are able to see some of the higher salaries and can give a better idea of the range of salaries for this field. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as petroleum, mining and geological engineers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$73K$81K$83K$102K$113K$144K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KHigh School (6%)Some College (7%)Associate's Degree (3%)Bachelor's Degree (56%)Master's Degree (23%)Doctorate (3%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by petroleum, mining and geological engineers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as petroleum, mining and geological engineers. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Petroleum, mining and geological engineers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as petroleum, mining and geological engineers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by petroleum, mining and geological engineers given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Petroleum, mining and geological engineersManagers (specialized areas)Engineers (specialized areas)Chief executives and legislatorsCivil engineersManagement analystsFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersArchitectural and engineering managersGeneral and operations managersPostsecondary teachersMechanical engineersApplications and systems software developersIndustrial engineersAerospace engineersElectrical and electronics engineersChemical engineersPhysicians and surgeonsPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Computer and information systems managersComputer programmersConstruction managersDesignersEnvironmental scientists and geoscientistsElementary and middle school teachersLawyers, judges, and magistratesSecondary school teachersAccountants and auditorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersChemists and materials scientistsEpidemiologists and Medical/Life ScientistsPharmacistsDentistsPetroleum EngineeringMechanical EngineeringGeneral EngineeringChemical EngineeringElectrical EngineeringCivil EngineeringMining and MineralEngineeringGeology and Earth ScienceBusiness Management andAdministrationChemistryAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for petroleum, mining and geological engineers

What jobs will most petroleum, mining and geological engineers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Petroleum, mining and geological engineersChemical engineersEngineers (specialized areas)Civil engineersMechanical engineersNursing, psychiatric, and home health aidesPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Accountants and auditorsSales engineersStationary engineers and boiler operatorsJanitors and building cleanersGeneral and operations managersAgricultural ManagersMining machine operatorsOil, gas, and mining laborersProduction workers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for petroleum, mining and geological engineers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as petroleum, mining and geological engineers as well as 1% of respondents after working as petroleum, mining and geological engineers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for petroleum, mining and geological engineers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
General and operations managers
210,700
$0$200K$67K
Civil engineers
25,900
$0$200K$81K
Mechanical engineers
21,200
$0$200K$83K
Oil, gas, and mining laborers
19,200
$0$200K$58K
Engineers (specialized areas)
10,900
$0$200K$90K
Chemical engineers
2,400
$0$200K$96K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for petroleum, mining and geological engineers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as petroleum, mining and geological engineers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of petroleum, mining and geological engineers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for petroleum, mining and geological engineers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
1.8%
Cooks
358,700
$0$200K$21K
2.0%
General and operations managers
210,700
$0$200K$67K
1.6%
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
2.2%
Management analysts
87,200
$0$200K$76K
1.7%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
2.4%
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
1.4%
Designers
61,700
$0$200K$51K
1.5%
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
52,700
$0$200K$39K
2.1%
Engineering technicians
40,100
$0$200K$54K
1.0%
Personal appearance workers
29,500
$0$200K$22K
2.9%
Physicians and surgeons
28,600
$0$200K$76K
2.2%
Personal financial advisors
26,100
$0$200K$72K
1.8%
Civil engineers
25,900
$0$200K$81K
1.7%
Industrial engineers
21,600
$0$200K$77K
4.2%
Mechanical engineers
21,200
$0$200K$83K
7.0%
Oil, gas, and mining laborers
19,200
$0$200K$58K
1.3%
Architectural and engineering managers
13,600
$0$200K$121K
6.0%
Health Technologists and Technicians
12,400
$0$200K$41K
1.3%
Engineers (specialized areas)
10,900
$0$200K$90K
4.2%
Read about petroleum engineers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Petroleum engineers typically do the following:

  • Design equipment to extract oil and gas from onshore and offshore reserves deep underground
  • Develop plans to drill in oil and gas fields, and then to recover the oil and gas
  • Develop ways to inject water, chemicals, gases, or steam into an oil reserve to force out more oil or gas
  • Make sure that oilfield equipment is installed, operated, and maintained properly
  • Evaluate the production of wells through surveys, testing, and analysis

Oil and gas deposits, or reservoirs, are located deep in rock formations underground. These reservoirs can be accessed only by drilling wells, either on land, or at sea from offshore oil rigs.

Once oil and gas are discovered, petroleum engineers work with geoscientists and other specialists to understand the geologic formation of the rock containing the reservoir. They then determine the drilling methods, design the drilling equipment, implement the drilling plan, and monitor operations.

The best techniques currently being used recover only a portion of the oil and gas in a reservoir, so petroleum engineers also research and develop new ways to recover more of the oil and gas. This additional recovery helps to lower the cost of drilling and production.

The following are examples of types of petroleum engineers:

Completions engineers decide the best way to finish building wells so that oil or gas will flow up from underground. They oversee work to complete the building of wells—a project that might involve the use of tubing, hydraulic fracturing, or pressure-control techniques.

Drilling engineers determine the best way to drill oil or gas wells, taking into account a number of factors, including cost. They also ensure that the drilling process is safe, efficient, and minimally disruptive to the environment.

Production engineers take over wells after drilling is completed. They typically monitor wells’ oil and gas production. If wells are not producing as much as expected, production engineers figure out ways to increase the amount being extracted.

Reservoir engineers estimate how much oil or gas can be recovered from underground deposits, known as reservoirs. They study reservoirs’ characteristics and determine which methods will get the most oil or gas out of the reservoirs. They also monitor operations to ensure that optimal levels of these resources are being recovered.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of petroleum engineers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Analytical skills
Petroleum engineers must be able to compile and make sense of large amounts of technical information and data in order to ensure that facilities operate safely and effectively.
Creativity
Because each new drill site is unique and therefore presents new challenges, petroleum engineers must be able to come up with creative designs to extract oil and gas.
Interpersonal skills
Petroleum engineers must work with others on projects that require highly complex machinery, equipment, and infrastructure. Communicating and working well with other engineers and oil and gas workers is crucial to ensuring that projects meet customer needs and run safely and efficiently.
Math skills
Petroleum engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Problem-solving skills
Identifying problems in drilling plans is critical for petroleum engineers because these problems can be costly. Petroleum engineers must be careful not to overlook any potential issues and must quickly address those which do occur.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for petroleum engineers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for petroleum engineers was higher than 98% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $137KAll jobs' median $39K$117K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250K

Note: The salaries for petroleum engineers have been top-coded by the BLS; in 2018, all annual salaries larger than $208,000 are recorded as $208,000.

Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for petroleum engineers are anticipated to grow by 15% over the next decade; only 11% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for petroleum engineers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030010,00020,00030,00040,00050,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most petroleum engineers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as petroleum engineers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all petroleum, mining and geological engineers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Petroleum Engineers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where petroleum engineers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for petroleum, mining and geological engineers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for petroleum, mining and geological engineers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all petroleum, mining and geological engineers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Petroleum Engineers to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which petroleum engineers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
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Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Petroleum, mining and geological engineers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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