Petroleum Engineers

(NOC 2145)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Petroleum engineers carry out studies for the exploration, development and extraction of oil and gas deposits. They plan, design, develop and supervise projects for the drilling, completion, testing and re-working of oil and gas wells. Petroleum engineers work for petroleum producing companies, consulting companies, well logging or testing companies, government, and research and educational institutions. Petroleum engineers may specialize in drilling, production, reservoir analysis, or subsea operations.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Petroleum Engineers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 45% of Petroleum Engineers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $149,688. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$149,522

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Petroleum engineers carry out studies for the exploration, development and extraction of oil and gas deposits. They plan, design, develop and supervise projects for the drilling, completion, testing and re-working of oil and gas wells. Petroleum engineers work for petroleum producing companies, consulting companies, well logging or testing companies, government, and research and educational institutions. Petroleum engineers may specialize in drilling, production, reservoir analysis, or subsea operations.

Job duties

Petroleum engineers:

  • Study and assess feasibility of developing new oil and gas fields.
  • Direct and monitor oil and gas drilling operations.
  • Develop drilling programs, select sites, and specify drilling fluids, bit selection, drill stem testing procedures and equipment.
  • Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing and well surveys.
  • Design and select artificial lift machinery, and well and surface production equipment and systems, and specify programs for corrosion control and oil or gas treatment.
  • Develop specifications for and monitor and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery.
  • Analyze reservoir rock and fluid data to design optimum recovery methods and to predict reservoir performance and reserves.
  • Monitor and forecast oil and gas reservoir performance and recommend oil recovery techniques which extend the economic life of wells.
  • Design, develop and coordinate the installation, maintenance and operation of subsea well-head and production equipment.

Sample job titles

  • drilling and recovery petroleum engineer
  • natural gas engineer
  • offshore drilling engineer
  • oil and gas drilling engineer
  • oil and gas production engineer
  • petroleum engineer
  • petroleum production engineer
  • subsea engineer

Skills

You need persistence and good judgement. The ability to think analytically and logically is important. You must be able to communicate and cooperate with others, as engineers often work in teams. Leadership and problem-solving skills are also necessary. Computer experience is an important asset.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering or in a related engineering discipline.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Other considerations

There is movement between petroleum engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience. Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and gain knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing, or management.

By the numbers

Quick look

95

employed in 2016

90.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

10.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
90%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.6

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

75.0%

Halifax

15.0%

Cape Breton

10.0%

North Shore

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

60.0%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

26.7%

Professional, scientific and technical services

13.3%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

39.0%

25-34

22.0%

45-54

22.0%

55-64

17.0%

35-44

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

42.1%

Bachelor

$67,545 median annual income
21.1%

Master

N/A
15.8%

High school

N/A
15.8%

College Diploma

N/A
10.5%

Trade Certification

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Trade Certification

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Chemical Engineering

University Program

These programs prepare students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems employing chemical processes like chemical reactors, kinetic systems, electrochemical systems, energy conservation processes, heat and mass transfer systems, and separation processes, and the applied analysis of chemical problems such as corrosion, particle abrasion, energy loss, pollution, and fluid mechanics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Mathematics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. They include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Mining and Mineral Engineering

University Program

These programs prepare students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of mineral extraction, processing and refining systems, including open pit and shaft mines, prospecting and site analysis equipment and instruments, environmental and safety systems, mine equipment and facilities, mineral processing and refining methods and systems, and logistics and communications systems.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Physical Sciences

College or University Program

These programs focus on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
Ottawa, ON
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Westmount, QC

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.