Chief Petroleum Engineer

Plan and direct activities to develop oil fields and produce oil and gas.
picture of Chief Petroleum Engineer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$95,000 – $147,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Chief Petroleum Engineers do?

Plans and directs engineering activities of a petroleum company to develop oil fields and produce oil and gas: Formulates programs for developing oil fields, planning schedules for drilling wells and for constructing pumping units, crude-oil treating units, and other production facilities. Coordinates projected activities with civil, electrical, and other engineering departments. Directs, through subordinate workers, selection, installation, use, and repair of oil field equipment. Directs PETROLEUM ENGINEERS in engineering work concerned with drilling new wells and producing flow of oil or gas from wells, in maintaining well logs, and in other engineering activities. Directs laboratory and field research to develop new or to improve old methods and equipment for recovery of oil and gas. Keeps abreast of new developments in petroleum engineering. Selects, trains, and promotes engineering personnel. May direct mechanical, civil, electrical, and other engineering activities. May direct engineering and drilling activities in developing geothermal field and be designated Director, Geothermal Operations.


Should I be a Chief Petroleum Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Engineer, Chief

    How to become a Chief Petroleum Engineer

    Most Chief Petroleum Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9rg&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2872%25%29|master%27s+%2820%25%29|doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,72
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