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Drilling Engineer Careers

A drilling engineer is responsible for planning and executing operations that drill for gas and oil. They are involved in the entire drilling life cycle, from initial well design to testing to supervising a drilling crew. Drilling engineers often work on teams of geologists, drilling contractors, and other construction managers.

The duties that they perform in this capacity include designing drilling plans, evaluating drilling sites, calculating overhead drilling costs, maintaining stakeholder communication, and monitoring drilling processes. Skills required for the position include data analysis, budgeting, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership. Educational requirements include a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a similar field. Prior experience may be given preference.

The average hourly salary for the position is $52.56, which amounts to $109,326 annually. The job requires flexibility at times; however, it compensates graciously. The career is expected to see growth in the near future and create new opportunities all across the United States.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a drilling engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $52.93 an hour? That's $110,085 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Drilling Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many drilling engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, creativity and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a drilling engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.4% of drilling engineers included safety meetings, while 9.4% of resumes included procedures, and 7.6% of resumes included cost estimates. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the drilling engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most drilling engineers actually find jobs in the energy and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Drilling Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a drilling engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 75.8% of drilling engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.1% of drilling engineers have master's degrees. Even though most drilling engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a drilling engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a drilling engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on drilling engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a drilling engineer. In fact, many drilling engineer jobs require experience in a role such as engineering internship. Meanwhile, many drilling engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as field engineer or internship.

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Average Salary
$110,085
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
6,689
Job Openings

Drilling Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Drilling Engineer

Top Careers After Drilling Engineer

Drilling Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Drilling Engineer

Drilling Engineers in America make an average salary of $110,085 per year or $53 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $165,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $73,000 per year.
Average Salary
$110,085
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Reno, NV
Salary Range101k - 180k$135k$135,298
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range92k - 151k$118k$118,267
Midland, TX
Salary Range81k - 144k$109k$108,527
San Jose, CA
Salary Range81k - 143k$108k$108,020
Farmington, NM
Salary Range77k - 138k$104k$103,518
Grand Junction, CO
Salary Range75k - 137k$101k$101,467
$56k
$180k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Drilling Engineer II
Drilling Engineer II
EOG Resources, Inc.
EOG Resources, Inc.
03/09/2021
03/09/2021
$135,00003/09/2021
$135,000
Drill and Blast Engineer
Drill and Blast Engineer
Northern Star (Pogo) LLC
Northern Star (Pogo) LLC
02/19/2021
02/19/2021
$94,84802/19/2021
$94,848
Geomechanical Drilling Engineer
Geomechanical Drilling Engineer
Schlumberger Technology Corporation
Schlumberger Technology Corporation
01/14/2021
01/14/2021
$134,51401/14/2021
$134,514
Drilling Engineer
Drilling Engineer
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
12/15/2020
12/15/2020
$96,00012/15/2020
$96,000
Drilling Engineer
Drilling Engineer
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
12/15/2020
12/15/2020
$96,00012/15/2020
$96,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Drilling Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

84.1 %

female

10.7 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

68.6 %

Asian

14.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.2 %

Arabic

18.4 %

French

10.5 %
See More Demographics

Drilling Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

75.8 %

Masters

11.1 %

Certificate

6.2 %

Top Colleges for Drilling Engineers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Drilling Engineer That You May Like

Introduction to Oil and Gas Drilling
udemy
4.3
(1,131)

Insight into the dynamic and exciting process of drilling an oil and gas well...

Unit Operations in Chemical Engineering
udemy
4.1
(460)

Learn the most important Unit Operations in Chemical Plants...

Road Traffic Safety in Automotive Engineering
edX (Global)

Engineers in the automotive industry are required to understand basic safety concepts. With increasing worldwide efforts to develop connected and self-driving vehicles, traffic safety is facing huge new challenges. This course is for students or professionals who have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or similar and who are interested in a future in the vehicle industry or in road design and traffic engineering. It's also of value for people already working in these areas who...

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Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Drilling Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.4% of drilling engineers listed safety meetings on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and creativity are important as well.

Best States For a Drilling Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a drilling engineer. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Delaware. Drilling engineers make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $131,064. Whereas in Oregon and New Hampshire, they would average $129,648 and $129,305, respectively. While drilling engineers would only make an average of $125,779 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Drilling Engineer Jobs:
337
Highest 10% Earn:
$206,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Drilling Engineer Jobs:
79
Highest 10% Earn:
$209,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Drilling Engineer Jobs:
90
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Drilling Engineer Employers

1. Schlumberger
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$101,136
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
111+
2. Chevron
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$131,260
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
78+
3. Occidental Petroleum
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$127,921
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
59+
4. ConocoPhillips
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$128,046
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
57+
5. Baker Hughes, a GE company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$108,962
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
41+
6. Halliburton
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$113,221
Drilling Engineers Hired: 
41+

Drilling Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020