Bachelors In

Petroleum Engineering Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.

Why We Love It

  • $149,590
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 17-2171 Petroleum engineers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

Though wrought with environmental concerns, the field of oil and gas extraction is expected to continue to be in high demand in the coming decades. Oil and gas are used to power our everyday lives—from the lights we turn on in our houses to our transportation to and from work. With a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering, you’ll learn how to extract the materials used to provide energy to the world.

What is a Degree in Petroleum Engineering?

The field of petroleum engineering is concerned with the extraction of natural resources like oil and gas. Petroleum engineers spend their days developing new machines for extracting these resources, analyzing potential drilling spots to determine if resources are available, selecting the right tools and machines to use for extraction, and ensuring that extraction methods are safe and environmentally friendly. In a petroleum engineering program, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to succeed in this role.

Petroleum engineering students take coursework in a variety of fields, learning about differential equations, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, physics, and materials properties. You’ll also study career specific topics like well systems design, drilling procedures, geological analysis, and removal systems design and mechanics. With this knowledge and an engineering license, you should be able to enjoy a career as a petroleum engineer in onshore and offshore drilling sites in locations all over the world.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Petroleum Engineering?

  • Formulation and Solution of Geosystems Engineering Problems
  • Properties of Petroleum Fluids
  • Transport Phenomena in Geosystems
  • Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior
  • Reservoir Engineering: Primary Recovery
  • Fundamentals of Well Logging
  • Drilling and Well Completions
  • Petrophysics

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Petroleum Engineering?

Demand for petroleum engineers is expected to grow faster than the average for other jobs in the coming decade due to two major reasons. First, many existing petroleum engineers are reaching retirement age, and new engineers will be needed to replace the retiring experts. Second, it’s expected that oil and gas will be needed for many decades into the future, and more engineers will be needed to assist with setup, analysis, and maintenance of new and complicated drilling sites all over the world.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Petroleum Engineering will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

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Best Jobs for Petroleum Engineering Degrees

Petroleum engineers work to analyze, setup, maintain, and improve wells, drilling equipment, and drilling sites used in oil and gas extraction all over the world. Petroleum engineers and petroleum technologists may work at drilling sites within the U.S., may live on offshore drilling sites for some months of the year, or may take positions on drilling sites at many different locations across the world.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Petroleum Engineering degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

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Get a Certificate in Petroleum Technology First

Few petroleum engineers work alone. In fact, most rely on petroleum technicians to assist with their work and help maintain drilling sites and equipment. For this reason, it can be helpful to pursue a petroleum technology certificate before a bachelor’s degree. With a certificate, you may be able to find work as a petroleum technologist, earning an income and experience sooner. Your certificate credits may also transfer to your bachelor’s degree program when you continue your education.

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