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Engineering Career Resources


Drilling Engineer Salary

Drilling Engineer Salary

Drilling engineers in the UK typically have salaries in the range between £30,769 and £81,696 a year without bonuses according to Payscale. Salaries ranging from £50,000 to £100,000 a year are to be expected after 15 to 20 years of relevant work experience according to Prospects.ac.uk.

Drilling engineers with 1 to 4 years of relevant work experience earn between £29,696 and £61,118 a year, those with 5 to 9 years of experience make from £24,600 to £68,250 a year, and engineers with 10 to 19 years of experience earn between £73,698 and £91,563 a year. Drilling engineers with a bachelor's degree usually have salaries in the range between £42,500 and £80,000 a year according to Payscale.

Salaries in the oil and gas industry range from £18,013 to £83,000 a year, while engineers employed in the oil and gas exploration sector earn between £30,000 and £85,000 a year.

Starting salary

Starting salaries for drilling engineers range from £30,000 to £35,000 a year according to Prospects.ac.uk.

Hourly wage

The average hourly rate for drilling engineers in the UK is around £30.42 per hour according to MySalary.co.uk.

General salary information

Drilling engineers who start their careers in major oil companies usually oversee a single well and work under supervision. Career advancement opportunities arise pretty quickly and they soon get assigned to overseeing projects with budgets ranging from £5-10 million. With enough experience, drilling engineers start getting assignments that include overall supervision of drilling operatons on more than a single well. These assignments come with significant salary increases.

Training programs usually last up to five years, and drilling engineers typically change projects every 18 months to 2 years. Willingness to relocate is essential for career advancement as most of the early projects are offshore. Drilling engineers typically spend 2 to 4 years working offshore or on onshore wells and then move to design jobs and work out of an office.

Large oil companies have graduate training programs that are accredited by professional engineering bodies and lead to obtaining chartered engineer (CEng) status. The relevant industry bodies for the drilling engineering profession are the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Drlling engineers employed at companies usually progress to management roles. Contract work and independent consultancy are also common with experienced engineers.

Drilling engineers' salaries are generally based on performance, and influenced by factors such as location and nature of the assignment. Overseas allowances are not unusual in the profession, as drilling engineers can spend a lot of time working offshore or abroad over the course of their careers.

Working hours are always a factor in determining salary. Offshore working hours on assignments in the North Sea are 12 hours on and 12 hours off for two weeks, followed by two or three weeks off. Drilling engineers who work abroad can spend up to two months drilling onsite and then have a month off.

Most popular benefits among drilling engineers are life or disability insurance, private medical insurance (PMI), paid vacation, company pension plans, and paid sick leave.