Potential Avg. Salary

$149,590 Based on the latest government data.* See the Best Ways to get there →

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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.

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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.

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

How hard is it to get a Job 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 to Get

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 OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Petroleum Engineer

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What Will a bachelors Cost?

The cost of a bachelors degree in Petroleum Engineering will vary depending on what school you decide to attend, whether you live in-state or out of state, if the program is online, and what scholarships are available.

University Online? In-State Out-of-State Requirements Tuition
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Things That Can Affect Cost

  • If You Live In-State or Out-of-State from the University
  • The University You Choose
  • Online Courses vs. Traditional Classroom
  • Taking Courses That Could Earn Credit Towards Your University to Save Money
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How to save time and money

Would you pay 50k a year in tuition and assume student debt to your eyeballs if you didn't need to? Of course not. Do you need to take off work for 4 to 5 years to get the degree you need? Probably not. Huge amounts of student debt can be a heavy burden many years after graduating. Below are some things you can do to speed up the time frame and save money, while maintaining your current job or lifestyle.

Take Free Courses At OnlineDegree.com

This could save you a bundle on tuition and time…all from home on your computer! When you take free courses at OnlineDegree.com, you could complete your entire freshman year of college tuition free and be that much closer towards your degree. No applications, no entrance exams, no interviews. Register in 60 seconds, and start taking classes today! Learn How →

Opt For Online Courses

By choosing an online university program you can potentially save a ton of money. The schedules are usually more flexible so you can keep your current job and lifestyle. Plus, you don't have to move to a new place and assume the additional student housing and living expenses.

Get Scholarships and Discounts

We’ve organized discounts and scholarships at accredited universities across the country. These could make you instantly eligible to save thousands of dollars by registering for free at OnlineDegree.com, and get you the best tuition possible for a major in Petroleum Engineering or related Engineering degree.

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.

Best Careers 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.

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Can I get accepted for a Degree in Petroleum Engineering?

Yes! There’s A Right Fit For Everyone. We’ll Help You Find It.

Every university has different requirements for admittance, but there are certain things that can help determine your chances to get that Bachelors. No matter what though, there is a right fit for everyone!

  • Universities will have different acceptance rates based on various factors. Try our acceptance calculator to estimate where you might get accepted
  • At many universities, transfer students have higher rates of acceptance vs freshman enrolling out of high school. That means earning units at a community college or through OnlineDegree.com can potentially increase your odds of getting into the school you want.


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Can Help, But Not Required

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