Inside Petroleum Engineer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises


"I was surprised that an engineer not only has to be technically strong but requires excellent management skills. Managing is not just supervising others, it is supervising ourselves. Planning, scheduling the day-to-day activities is also part of management and approaching right person in right time, getting right resources is also required. Also, in this professional career, not everything is straightforward and there will be politics. Everyone tries to save themselves and their job and sometimes they are selfish to the extent that they may play blame games and we should be smart enough to defend ourselves and make sure relationships are not spoiled in the process. I was expecting that having good technical skills would be enough for my job but was surprised to see that this is just 40% of the job and there is 60% hidden and will face it in our day-to-day working life." (Engineer; 2012)

Career: , currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University in Texas; completed Master degree in 2010


Best & Worst Things About This Career


Petroleum Engineer: "The best part of the job is training people. As a mentor they keep you up to speed with technology and you meet a lot different people. I also teach short courses for the industry (not in-house) and that's a good way of networking. The worst part of the job is documenting reserves. We have to review, evaluate and write a little summary for every single well we are responsible for and, since there are roughly 600 of these per engineer, the process is tedious and long." (2010)


Reservoir Engineer: "The best part of my job is that reservoir engineers are the brains of the oil and gas industry. Everything has to be referred to them so they determine how large the reserves are for each project, and they are basically responsible for deciding what to do and where. They see the project globally and determine its potential. The worst part of my job? I can't really complain. This is a position that most petroleum engineers would like to have." (2010)

Career Background


Petroleum Engineer

  Salaries
  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips


"Learn From Mistakes...
Persevere. Nothing happens overnight but practice definitely makes perfect. Give yourself a chance to fail. Many of my best learning experiences came from mistakes. Keep studying or reading a topic that you really like. Years later you will see how your colleagues and friends have come to consider you an "expert" in something very specific, and it's a great feeling." (Petroleum Engineer; 2010)


"Tips For Success In Petroleum Engineering...
1. Always be honest and faithful to everybody and to your self. 2. Build a strong network of friends and allies in the oil and gas industry. 3. Learn how to be a good team player." (Reservoir Engineer; 2010)