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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 $45.15 an hour? That's $93,909 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.

Learn more about what a Drilling Engineer does

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 80.3% of drilling engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.8% of drilling engineers have master's degrees. Even though most drilling engineers have a college degree, it's impossible 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.

Drilling Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Drilling Engineer

Drilling Engineers in America make an average salary of $93,909 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $163,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.
Average Drilling Engineer Salary
$93,909 Yearly
$45.15 hourly
$53,000
10 %
$93,000
Median
$163,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Drilling Engineer Education

Drilling Engineer Majors

5.6 %

Drilling Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

80.3 %

Masters

11.8 %

Associate

3.3 %

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 • Private

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

3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

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 • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

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.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Drilling Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Drilling Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Drilling Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Drilling Engineer Demographics

Drilling Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
90%
Female
Female
10%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among drilling engineers, 9.8% of them are women, while 90.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among drilling engineers is White, which makes up 68.6% of all drilling engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among drilling engineers is Spanish at 34.2%.

Online Courses For Drilling Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Introduction to Oil and Gas Drilling
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Insight into the dynamic and exciting process of drilling an oil and gas well...

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

Certified Key Performance Indicators Professional (CKPIP)
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Be a "Certified KPI Professional" by learning from "KPI Mega Library" best-selling author (All about Metrics & Measures)...

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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 Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. Drilling engineers make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $127,931. Whereas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, they would average $125,761 and $124,423, respectively. While drilling engineers would only make an average of $121,255 in Rhode Island, 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:
$196,000
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. Massachusetts

Total Drilling Engineer Jobs:
476
Highest 10% Earn:
$192,000
Location Quotient:
1.12 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. New Hampshire

Total Drilling Engineer Jobs:
79
Highest 10% Earn:
$191,000
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
Full List Of Best States For Drilling Engineers

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Top Drilling Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Drilling Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Apache$158,261$76.0913
2Devon Energy$154,923$74.4831
3Marathon Oil$148,510$71.4025
4Chesapeake Energy$145,239$69.839
5Exxon Mobil$144,085$69.2735
6Hunt Oil$141,598$68.0811
7Occidental Petroleum$139,497$67.0732
8ConocoPhillips$139,098$66.8758
9Chevron$131,240$63.1076
10Baker Hughes, a GE$126,722$60.9211

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