Petroleum Engineers plan and direct the engineering aspects of locating and extracting petroleum or natural gas from the earth.

Specialisations: Mud Engineer, Petrophysical Engineer.

A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in petroleum engineering is needed to work as a Petroleum Engineer. Many Petroleum Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Conducts preliminary surveys of petroleum and natural gas deposits with prospectors, geologists, geophysicists, other scientists and engineers to determine the resources present, the feasibility of extracting the reserves, and the design and development of the extraction process.
  • Prepares operation and project cost estimates and production schedules, and reports the progress, production and costs compared to budget.
  • Assesses the natural, technical, financial and safety risks associated with the phases of the project development, construction and operations.
  • Co-ordinates the utilisation of labour and equipment consistent with efficiency targets, statutes, safety guidelines and environmental conditions.
  • Conducts research and provides advice on engineering operations for the exploration, location and extraction of petroleum and natural gas.
  • Determines location for drilling.
  • Decides on types of derrick and equipment including seabed platforms.
  • Devises methods of controlling the flow of oil and gas from wells.

More about Mining Engineers

All Mining Engineers

  • $3,118 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Petroleum Engineers

  • 2,600 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 93% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 48 hours Average full-time
  • 36 years Average age
  • 17% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Petroleum Engineers (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 3,200 in 2011 to 2,600 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Many Petroleum Engineers work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Manufacturing.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (93%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 36 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 17% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Mining53.6
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services15.1
Manufacturing9.8
Construction5.0
Other Industries16.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePetroleum EngineersAll Jobs Average
NSW5.231.6
VIC8.725.6
QLD20.920.0
SA7.17.0
WA56.110.8
TAS0.12.0
NT1.91.0
ACT0.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPetroleum EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-244.0-9.39.3
25-3439.8-22.922.9
35-4431.2-22.022.0
45-5415.4-21.621.6
55-594.7-9.09.0
60-642.9-6.06.0
65 and Over2.0-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPetroleum EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate27.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree59.7-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV4.2-21.121.1
Year 123.4-18.118.1
Year 110.2-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.7-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in petroleum engineering is needed to work as a Petroleum Engineer. Many Petroleum Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

Registration may be compulsory in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register. Membership with the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Mining Engineers who can communicate clearly, have strong interpersonal skills and work well in a team.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Engineering and technology

    86% Skill level

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  2. Mathematics

    74% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Physics

    69% Skill level

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  4. Computers and electronics

    65% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Administration and management

    62% Skill level

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2171.00 - Petroleum Engineers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic mail

    100% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  2. Telephone

    96% Important

    Talk on the telephone.

  3. Unstructured work

    94% Important

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  4. Face-to-face discussions

    93% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  5. Indoors, heat controlled

    92% Important

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2171.00 - Petroleum Engineers.

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