To become a Petroleum Engineer, you need to have some important personality traits, in addition to meeting certain requirements. These include good analytical and problem solving skills, creativity and design capabilities, good communication skills, and the ability to adapt to a changing environment rapidly. You need to be focused and determined as well, since this job requires you to work in a very demanding environment both in the office and onsite in difficult conditions.
Finally, you must be willing to travel extensively and potentially live away from your home for extended periods, as well as be able to operate independently with minimal support. These are just some of the minimum petroleum engineering requirements.
Petroleum Engineering Degree Requirements
The next step is to ensure you have a good background in mathematics and science as this is a prerequisite to embark on this career. The minimum petroleum engineering degree requirements is a Bachelor’s degree which takes four years to complete and generally includes an industry internship placement.
Some engineering programs also offer five year programs that lead to a Master degree as well. Additionally, degrees in chemical, civil and mechanical engineering are also accepted together with earth sciences and mathematics. It is necessary, though, to ensure that the degree is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in order for it to be accepted.
While not required, a certification option is available through the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). You will need to ensure you have an ABET certified Bachelor’s engineering degree and have completed at least four years of experience in the field. Additionally you will need to join the SPE and pass an exam which covers engineering fundamentals as well as practical engineering problems. This will provide you with an SPE Certified Petroleum Engineer (CPE) certificate for which you will need to ensure at least 16 hours of professional education or training in the field each year. By having the CPE, you have access to greater professional opportunities as well as higher salaries.
Overview of Petroleum Engineering Requirements
If after a period of working for an Oil & Gas company you wish to work as a self-employed engineer offering your services on a contract basis, then you need to ensure you are licensed by the state you are based in. The requirements for this licensing are similar to the SPE certification and include the requirement for an ABET accredited engineering degree.
The next step would be to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam which can be taken any time after your degree completion. At this level, you would be termed as Engineer in Training (EIT). After you complete a minimum of four years of experience, you can then take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. On successful completion of this exam you can obtain your license as a Professional Engineer (PE). Most states recognize the professional licenses issued by other states as long as those state requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.
These are the minimum petroleum engineering requirements that need to be met in order to pursue this career. Of course, the more experience and course work you have under your belt, the better off you will be.