Selecting a career is one of the challenges that students face, especially when they are joining higher learning institutions. The choice of a career usually poses a challenge to the learners. Students are always looking for the careers that will satisfy their professional needs as well as offer them jobs that pay them well. According to parents, one of the reasons for taking their children to school is ensuring that these children give back to the society. Some of the factors to consider when choosing a career include passion for the career, the capacity or ability to cope with the chosen career, creativity in order to offer good services, the dedication and perseverance to handle the challenges of the career, the health considerations related to the career, and the financial aspect of the job. This paper discusses the reasons behind how Petroleum Engineering is one of the highest paying and most promising fields to choose.
While I was growing up, I have always loved to be an engineer. I spent most of my time with my father in the engineering firm. He worked as a civil engineer in the company and always took me with him to different engineering forums and exhibitions. I have been always fascinated with the success of different engineers and engineering firms. However, choosing the career to pursue when I was about to join college became very challenging for me. I could choose to be a civil engineer as my dad is, or decide to choose another field. Nevertheless, I conducted several researches on different engineering fields. After different considerations, I decided to pursue Petroleum Engineering since I consider the profession as one of the highest paying and promising fields, and one that coincides with my aspirations as well as interests.
Petroleum engineers are charged with the responsibilities of designing and developing the methods for extracting gas and oil form their deposits below the surface of the earth. Additionally, they come up with new ways of extracting gas and oil from older wells. The working environments of petroleum engineers include research laboratories and offices. While outside the offices, petroleum engineers spend most of their time at the oil and gas drilling sites surveying or performing several operations related to the extraction of the oils. These responsibilities, however, vary with different engineering firms according to the variations in the policies and operations of the firms. Other responsibilities include evaluation of potential gas and oil reservoirs, overseeing the drilling activities at the drilling sites, selecting and implementing recovery schemes, and designing the surface treatment and collection facilities. In addition to these educational requirements, the growing computerized technological advancements have led to the need for computerization and automation of the drilling operations and oilfield productions. Therefore, the petroleum engineers are also required to possess good computer skills to handle this challenge.
Becoming a petroleum engineer is one of the career options, which require proper knowledge and passion due to the technicalities involved in it. Petroleum engineers need a minimum of a university bachelor’s degree in engineering. The preferable field of study is petroleum engineering. Nevertheless, other engineering degrees such as a bachelor’s degree in chemical and mechanical engineering may also be sufficient. It is necessary for an interested student to find the best petroleum engineering school in order to start a very lucrative engineering career. According to career developers, the environmental friendly and economic safe production of petroleum resources requires the application of a variety of knowledge, which includes mathematics, geology, physics, and chemistry among several others. However, petroleum engineering overlaps with several other engineering disciplines, which include civil, chemical, and mechanical engineering.
Different learning institutions have different methods of teaching their engineering students. However, during the first year of study, most institutions offer petroleum engineering students to complete the Engineering Foundation Year (EFY), which builds the foundation for the basic concepts commonly used in different engineering areas. Most universities have partnered with the industry suppliers to ensure that the Engineering Foundation Year creates a curriculum that reflects the general engineering practice. After this year, the students are allowed to choose their preferred engineering course, which also includes petroleum engineering. Some of the major issues learned in the petroleum engineering major include evaluating, developing, and exploiting gas and oil reserves as well as other issues which include petroleum geology, wire-line logging, and hydrocarbon phase behavior, fluid flow through reservoirs, thermodynamics and reservoir engineering, drilling, offshore platforms and transport, and simulation and intervention operations (William, & Gary, p. 55). The students are also taught about reservoir simulation, economics, advanced drilling practices, project management topics, risks, and global economic trends, which introduce the learners to the global perspective of working with companies’ profit margins. There are very few universities, which offer online petroleum engineering programs. However, students can choose to pursue these online petroleum engineering programs if they would wish to complete their education while pursuing their full-time jobs, unable to relocate for specific reasons such as family, or are uninterested in living in the area of the school.
The use of energy is constantly increasing all over the world in different industries. Energy has become a very important part of human lives today. Researchers and engineers are striving towards finding a secure balance between the environmental impacts and affordable supply of energy. The careers related to the storage, creation, and transmission of energy in the world today is equally increasing as their use does increase. Due to their ability to solve and address significant issues, which lead to energy security, the geo-system and petroleum engineers have become of high demand in the current international job markets (Petroleum and Geo-systems Engineering). Petroleum engineering is one of the highest sought after professions, which has led to the increased costs of education and high pays for the already employed petroleum engineers. Industry suppliers have collaborated with educators to ensure that the graduates from the universities with petroleum engineering degrees have the capacities to handle the challenges in the field through participating in curriculum development.
The salaries for petroleum engineers as well as the job outlook are appealing. According to the research surveys conducted in 2012, most of the engineering firms paid petroleum engineers an annual wage of $130,280 as at May 2012 (Crude Oil and Natural Gas Resource Development, p. 75). According to these surveys and projections, the employment of the petroleum engineers is estimated to increase by about 26 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is the highest growth rate of all the other professions in the world today. However, this employment growth will be dependent on the oil prices, which has shown an increasing trend in the previous years. The pay for these petroleum engineers will also depend on the oil prices.
Work experience is equally important in petroleum engineering as in other professions. Petroleum engineering internship provides the learners with on-job training and skills. Getting such skills in reputable firms is equally important for the students. Such experiences in these firms lay an important foundation for the learners to develop a successful career. Apart from attending a reputable petroleum engineering college, some of the reputable firms for internship include Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Marathon Oil, and Southwestern Energy Company.
Petroleum engineering is one of the largest employing as well as highest paying professions in the world today. Most students are shifting their focus due to the increasing use of energy coupled with the abilities of the civil engineers to provide solutions to the environmental concerns as well as improvise new methods of exploiting and drilling oil and gas. As a student, the salaries of the petroleum engineers, the abundant availability of employment opportunities as well as the speculations about future increase of demand for personnel, and my personal interests and person, would make me consider pursuing the petroleum engineering profession. I have also wished to study in reputable institutions, which offer petroleum engineering courses as well as associate with firms such as Shell and BP among other reputable firms. Additionally, as a dedicated and talented student in academics, I find the subjects required for this profession as concurrent with my skills and capabilities. I also believe that since this profession would cost my parents a lot of money to ensure that I successfully complete it, it will provide an opportunity for me to give back to them from my huge salary.
William C. Lyons, & Gary J Plisga. “Standard Handbook of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.” Houston, Texas: Gulf Professional Publishing, 2011, Print
“Petroleum and Geo-systems Engineering.” What is petroleum engineering? The University of Texas at Austin. Web https://www.pge.utexas.edu/about/petroleum
Crude Oil and Natural Gas Resource Development. (2014). Monthly Energy Review, 75.