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Engineering Career Resources


Petroleum Engineer Salary

Petroleum Engineer Salary

The average salary range for experienced petroleum engineers is from £52,000 to £95,000 a year according to Prospects.ac.uk, while the range for all petroleum engineers is between £24,782 and £83,941 a year without bonuses according to Payscale. The average salary in the UK is £55,431 according to MySalary.co.uk.

Petroleum engineers' salaries vary depending on assignments, location and performance, and engineers may get bonuses for offshore work. Newly recruited petroleum engineers typically spend most of the first two to three years at the rig site, and their work becomes office-based later, when they move to senior roles.

Years of experience are an important factor for determining salary. Petroleum engineers with 1 to 4 years of experience earn between £27,514 and £50,050 a year, those with 5 to 9 years make from £29,087 to £61,825 a year, and engineers with 10 to 19 years of experience earn between £20,273 and £101,864 a year according to Payscale.

Field of specialty can also influence salary. Reservoir engineers, for instance, typically earn between £28,729 and £48,834 a year, while well production engineers make from £18,689 to £48,000 a year.

Starting salary

Starting salaries for petroleum engineers typically range from £29,000 to £36,500 a year according to Prospects.ac.uk. The wages at the higher end of the scale are usually reserved for candidates with relevant PhDs.

Hourly wage

The average hourly rate for petroleum engineers is £27,72 per hour according to MySalary.co.uk.

General salary information

Big companies have graduate recruitment programs and hire graduates every year onto graduate training programs. They also usually have recruitment programs for recent graduates who have more than five years of relevant work experience under their belt.

Training programs typically last for three years and, on completion, graduates move from technical jobs to senior technical jobs, which are very well paid. The senior positions can include operations supervising, asset team leadership, asset management, project management, and manager roles in health and safety.

Competition for jobs in petroleum engineering is very high as there have been fewer oilfield discoveries in recent years and the cost of extracting oil from the existing oil fields has risen. In spite of this, opportunities for career advancement are good, mainly because there is a shortage of experienced petroleum engineers with the proper qualifications. Self-employment opportunities exist sometimes for engineers with at least five years of relevant work experience. Freelance petroleum engineers can earn more than £1,000 per day when there is the demand for their particular set of skills. Mobility is crucial for career advancement: petroleum engineers must be willing to go anywhere in the world and stay on the site until the project is completed.

Postgraduate degrees are not crucial for employment in the petroleum engineering field, but they can give job candidates an advantage, especially since major companies in the sector often recruit internationally and hire candidates from countries where a postgraduate degree is the standard qualification for entry to a career in petroleum engineering.

Petroleum engineers' salaries significantly rise once they have obtained chartered status and membership of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) or the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).