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Entry-Level Petroleum 


Basic statistics every petroleum engineer needs.

Statistics for Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering

There is a lot of information petroleum engineers need when they start looking for entry-level petroleum engineering jobs. The following are important statistics to understand when you start searching for your first entry-level petroleum engineering job.

What do Petroleum Engineers Do?

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.

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 other engineers and 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.

How many Petroleum Engineers are there?

Currently there are 33,400 petroleum engineers working in the United States of America. This represents 2% of the total engineers working in the United States.

Number of Petroleum Engineers in the United States

Petroleum engineering is one of the smaller engineering disciplines. Having a small discipline means that finding jobs in that career field might be limited to only specific locations in the United States.

Are Advanced Degrees Required?

Most engineers struggle with the decision on pursuing an advanced degree. For entry-level engineering jobs, the more technical the job is, the higher the chance it will require an advanced degree.

To understand how many petroleum engineers go on to get advanced degrees, reference the table below.

Petroleum Engineering - Advanced Degrees

Based on the data, 36% (524/1,465) of petroleum engineering students go on to get a master’s degree and approximately 6% (93/1,465) pursue a doctoral degree in a given year. For a master’s degree and doctoral degree, this is below the engineering average.

Inside an engineering discipline, some jobs can require an advanced degree while others do not. The only true way to know if you will need an advanced degree for the entry-level petroleum engineering job you want, is to look at job postings.


If all of the jobs you are interested in require an advanced degree, it means you need to go and get one.

Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering Jobs Created

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the future job growth for each field of engineering.  Based on the data, there will be 1,200 jobs created in Petroleum Engineering over the next 10-years. 

It can be assumed that the job growth is in entry-level jobs. This is due to the actual creation of entry-level jobs, or creation of higher-level jobs that are filled with the existing workforce opening up entry-level positions.

Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering Job Growth

Based on the new job growth as a percentage of the existing job market, the projected yearly growth is 3.3% for entry-level petroleum engineering jobs. The average growth rate for all entry-level engineering jobs is 4.1% per year.

Job growth for petroleum engineering is below the job growth for engineering as a whole. Higher job growth in an industry is attractive because it equates to more opportunities in that field in the future.

Competition Index For Entry-Level
Petroleum Engineering Jobs

At the Job Formula, we like to calculate the competition index for different types of engineering jobs. To do this, we divide the total number of graduates in a discipline by the total number of jobs available in that discipline. This calculation shows how many graduates there are for each available job.

The lower the competition index the better. A competition index of one (1) means that there is one graduate for every one job.

The competition index for entry-level petroleum engineering jobs is 1.3. This is below the competition index for the average engineering discipline of 1.5. This means there is a little over one petroleum engineering graduates for every one entry level job.

Competition for Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering Jobs

We calculate the competition index to give graduate engineers an idea of the type of competition they will face when they start looking for their first job.

Please note that competition will vary inside an engineering field based on the type of industry, the location and how attractive a job is.

Industries for Entry-Level Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum Engineering is a semi-diverse degree which means you can work in many different industries. The follow are the top five industries that hire petroleum engineers.

Petroleum Engineering Industries

The percent of total employment means out of all petroleum engineers, how many are working in that one industry.

If you are looking for an entry-level petroleum engineering job, these are the best industries to start with.

Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering Job Salary

The average entry-level petroleum engineering salary is shown below. Additionally, the average petroleum engineering salary, the bottom 10% and top 10% salaries are shown.

Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering Salary

Entry-level petroleum engineering salaries are above the industry average for entry-level salaries.

At Job Formula, we preach enjoying your job over seeking out a high salary. If you enjoy your job, you are more likely to move up in the position. The Top 10% of any engineering degree field is higher than the mean annual salary of the highest paying degree field. Find a job you like and try to move toward that top 10%.

Resources for Entry-Level Petroleum Engineers

The formula we have been taught since we were small children is just not true. Getting a college degree does not guarantee you a great job. If the formula worked, over 49% of college graduates would not report that they found it hard or extremely hard to find their first job.

Universities are failing engineering students because they are not training them on how to go from getting a degree to getting an entry-level engineering job.

The Job Formula will help you learn what you need to learn to get hired! See our free resources below to get started.

The Winning Entry-Level Engineering Resume

Job Formula's in-depth free guide to help engineers put together a winning engineering resume that gets results. Don’t let your resume be what holds you back from getting your dream job. Click on the link to download now.

Entry Level Engineering Resume Cover R1.

Entry-Level Engineering Blog

Job Formula’s engineering blog is dedicated to helping entry-level engineers get hired. On the blog, you will find articles on internships, cover letters, resumes, interviews and more, all geared toward engineers!

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Entry-Level Engineering

You just viewed the site dedicated to Entry-Level Petroleum Engineering. Check out this link to see information on all entry-level engineering jobs.

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We Need Your Help!

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To make sure we do not forget anything, we put together a survey related to entry-level engineers. Please help us, we value your opinion.

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Now go get started on your amazing petroleum engineering career and change the world!

*The information on this page was pulled together from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other various resources. The information is intended for education purposes only.