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Petroleum Engineers Pay Salary

The median annual wage for petroleum engineers was $114,080 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $63,480, and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400.

Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of petroleum engineers in May 2010 were as follows:

Oil and gas extraction$123,410
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing113,930
Support activities for mining94,080

The Society of Petroleum Engineers reports that the median base pay in 2010 was $130,800, which was an increase of about 5 percent from their reported median in 2009.

Petroleum engineers typically work full time. Many work as many as 50 or 60 hours per week when traveling to and from drilling sites to help in their operation or respond to problems as they arise. When they are at a drilling site, it is common for these engineers to work in a rotation: on duty for 84 hours and then off duty for 84 hours.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition