Studies & Degrees in Petroleum Engineering
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Petroleum Engineering Study Programs
Petroleum is a fundamental energy source for modern society, and petroleum engineers aid companies and corporations in extracting and studying petroleum products. A main course of study in petroleum engineering addresses the processes of extracting petroleum products though mining or drilling, as well as refining and delivering those products to the masses.
Typically, a student seeking to become a petroleum engineer will pursue a course of study at a college, university or technical institution. A petroleum engineer can then achieve an associate, bachelor or master’s degree in their field of study, and many companies will require at least a bachelor’s before considering a candidate for hire. The most successful petroleum engineering programs will be based near relevant places of work, such as large mining operations or offshore oil drilling.
Other programs include apprenticeships with oil or petroleum companies. These companies will usually offer a course of study that include one to two years at a college or technical institution, followed by several years of job-training.
Skills, Qualifications and Prerequisites for Studies in Petroleum Engineering
In nearly all programs, there is some form of college-level training required for a career path in petroleum engineering. This means interested candidates must apply for a higher education program. Admissions to a college, technical institution or university require, either some form of secondary school completion certification or a passing grade on a standardized test or entrance exam. Some online courses may not require these prerequisites.
Since petroleum engineers often work in testing, maintaining and designing equipment, it helps to work well with your hands. An aptitude for math, physics and sciences, is agreeable in petroleum engineers due to the mechanical or scientific nature of their work. They should also have highly developed problem-solving skills and be able to understand, interpret and record a variety of data.
Other preferred characteristics of petroleum engineers include:
- Ability to work well on a team.
- Managerial skills.
- Excellent writing and record-keeping skills.
Petroleum engineering is a unique area of study in engineering, and will at least provide basic comprehension in:
- Geologica l studies.
- Rock and soil properties.
- Reservoir uses and characteristics.
- Fundamental mechanics.
- Production engineering, processing and refining.
- Drilling, tunneling, mining and other extraction methods.
- Well testing and surveying
- Chemical testing and instrument reading.
- Advanced engineering technology.
- Transportation and storage of materials.
- Laws and policies regarding petroleum products.
Those who complete their field of study in petroleum engineering can hope to land jobs with oil, gas and energy companies in multiple countries. Graduates can take on a variety of projects regarding petroleum reservoirs, wells, mining or drilling. They may lay pipeline, repair or maintain machinery, research petroleum-related topics and develop new machines or technology. At the highest level, they can work as supervising engineers, senior project managers or project coordinators. At all other levels, they can work in numerous jobs, including mechanical engineers, drilling specialists, surveyors, drillers or product testers. Engineers in this field can also work as consultants, physicists and college professors.