Petroleum engineers are specialized engineers who are responsible for the design and development of methods for oil extraction. In addition to identifying which method to use in a particular setting, these engineers are also expected to adopt innovative approaches to obtain oil and gas from difficult locations. The field of petroleum engineering is one of the highest-paid occupations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wage in this field for the year 2010 was $114,080. Also, this occupation is expected to grow at a rate of 17% between 2010 and 2012, which is faster than the national average.
How Do I Become A Petroleum Engineer?
The entry level requirement for this profession is a Bachelors of Science in engineering. Some universities offer a specialized degree in petroleum engineering; whereas, others offer a mechanical engineering degree with a focus on petroleum engineering. Typically, a bachelor's degree program lasts four years, but the duration may vary. This is because some schools offer cooperative degree programs which require students to gain academic credit for job experience. This program may take longer to complete if the job-based credits are not fulfilled in a regular semester.
Some universities offer a five year joint program which leads to a bachelor and master's degree at the end of the program. This type of program is generally chosen by students who wish to enter into research and development academia, but the graduate training could be used in the professional field.
Petroleum Engineering Schools Online
While there may be a large number of students interested in petroleum engineering, there are very few schools which offer the degree. In order to secure a position in these schools, you will have to ensure that your academic record is top notch. Some students may also be discouraged by the competition, which is not a good thing.
Petroleum engineering schools online have started to become established to offer students a convenient and flexible framework in which to complete their education. These schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees that are focused on petroleum engineering, which help train students in the relevant skills. Applicants for these programs are expected to have a solid background in mathematics and sciences like biology and chemistry.
Over the course of the program, students will not only understand the principles of engineering, but will also be taught how to understand and interpret geological information. Using these skills, a petroleum engineer could be confidently expected to identify potential areas for oil exploration.
Selecting a School
Before decide on an online school, a good idea is to research the school and program thoroughly. There are only a handful of credible institutions which offer degrees in petroleum engineering. Read through the course syllabus and check to see if they have accreditation from a regional or national panel. You should review their faculty's credentials and the facilities before signing up. Petroleum engineering is an expensive degree, so you want to make sure your investment is worth it.