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Become A Lead Field Engineer

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Working As A Lead Field Engineer

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Field Engineer Do

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

Duties

Petroleum engineers typically do the following:

  • Design equipment to extract oil and gas in the most profitable way
  • Develop ways to inject water, chemicals, gases, or steam into an oil reserve to force out more oil
  • Develop plans to drill in oil and gas fields, and then to recover the oil and gas
  • Evaluate the production of wells through testing and surveys
  • Use computer-controlled drilling or fracturing to connect a larger area of an oil and gas deposit to a single well
  • Make sure that oil field equipment is installed, operated, and maintained properly

Oil and gas deposits, or reservoirs, are located deep in rock formations underground. These reservoirs can only be accessed by drilling wells, either on land or at sea from offshore oil rigs.

Once oil and gas are discovered, petroleum engineers work with geoscientists and other specialists to understand the geologic formation of the rock containing the reservoir. They then determine the drilling methods, design the drilling equipment, implement the drilling plan, and monitor operations.

The best techniques currently being used recover only a portion of the oil and gas in a reservoir, so petroleum engineers also research and develop new ways to recover more of the oil and gas. This helps to lower the cost of drilling and production.

The following are examples of types of petroleum engineers:

Completions engineers decide the best way to finish building wells so that oil or gas will flow up from underground. They oversee work to complete the building of wells, which might involve the use of tubing, hydraulic fracturing, or pressure-control techniques.

Drilling engineers determine the best way to drill oil or gas wells, taking into account a number of factors, including cost. They also ensure that the drilling process is safe, efficient, and minimally disruptive to the environment.

Production engineers take over wells after drilling is completed. They typically monitor wells’ oil and gas production. If wells are not producing as much as expected, production engineers figure out ways to increase the amount being extracted.

Reservoir engineers estimate how much oil or gas can be recovered from underground deposits, known as reservoirs. They study reservoirs’ characteristics and determine which methods will get the most oil or gas out of them. They also monitor operations to ensure that the optimal levels of these resources are being recovered.

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How To Become A Lead Field Engineer

Petroleum engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in petroleum engineering. However, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or chemical engineering may also meet employer requirements. Employers also value work experience, so college cooperative-education programs, in which students earn academic credit and job experience, are valuable as well.

Education

Students interested in studying petroleum engineering will benefit from taking high school courses in math, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; and in science, such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Entry-level petroleum engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree programs include classes, laboratory work, and field studies in areas such as engineering principles, geology, and thermodynamics. Most colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs in chemical or mechanical engineering that lead to both a bachelor’s degree and a master's degree. Some employers may prefer applicants who have earned a graduate degree. A graduate degree also allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities or in research and development.

ABET accredits programs in petroleum engineering.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Petroleum engineers must be able to assess complex plans for drilling and anticipate possible flaws or complications before the company commits money and people to a project.

Creativity. Petroleum engineers must come up with new ways to extract oil and gas because each new drill site presents challenges. They must know how to ask the necessary questions to find possible deposits of oil and gas.

Interpersonal skills. Petroleum engineers must work with others on projects that require highly expensive machinery, equipment, and infrastructure. Communicating and working well with others is crucial to protecting and preserving firms’ huge capital investments.

Math skills. Petroleum engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Identifying problems in drilling plans is critical for petroleum engineers because drilling operations can be costly. They must be careful not to overlook any potential issues and quickly address problems that do occur.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a petroleum engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers offers certification. To be certified, petroleum engineers must be members of the Society, pass an exam, and meet other qualifications.

Advancement

Entry-level engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training. As engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move to more difficult projects where they have greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, petroleum engineers may advance to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some become engineering managers or move into other managerial positions. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

Petroleum engineers also may go into sales and use their engineering background to inform the discussion of a product's technical aspects with potential buyers and help in product planning, installation, and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Lead Field Engineer Career Paths

Lead Field Engineer
Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Principal Superintendent
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Owner Project Superintendent
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Operations Project Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Site Manager Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Production Manager Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Superintendent Production Manager Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Lead
Supply Chain Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manager Owner/Operator Construction Superintendent
Construction Area Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Supervisor Assistant Store Manager Assistant Branch Manager
Branch Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Supervisor Project Superintendent Project Engineering Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Project Engineering Manager Engineering/Maintenance Manager
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Supervisor Assistant Superintendent Operations Superintendent
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Piping Designer Lead Mechanic Mechanical Superintendent
Area Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Field Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Telecom Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Field Engineer 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Lead Field Engineer
Technician 3.6%
Engineer 3.5%
Internship 2.5%
Manager 2.1%
Top Careers After Lead Field Engineer
Engineer 4.4%
Consultant 3.3%
Manager 2.4%

Do you work as a Lead Field Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$85,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$59,000
Min 10%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$122,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Wanzek Construction
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Massachusetts
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Lead Field Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Field Engineer in the United States is $85,341 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $122,000.

Real Lead Field Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Group Leader, Field Service Engineering Osisoft, LLC San Leandro, CA Feb 28, 2016 $112,785 -
$133,501
Lead Piping Field Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Gregory, TX Jun 20, 2016 $111,768
Lead Civil Field Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Cameron, LA Dec 30, 2013 $104,700 -
$144,000
Lead Field Engineer Air Motions Systems, Inc. Littleton, CO Sep 24, 2014 $104,000 -
$119,000
Lead Field Engineer Air Motion Systems, Inc. Littleton, CO Sep 24, 2011 $93,000 -
$110,000
Lead Machinery Diagnostics Field Engineer General Electric Company-Infrastructure Sugar Land, TX Sep 17, 2010 $90,000
Lead Field Engineer Baker Concrete Construction, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 24, 2015 $87,568
Lead Field Engineer Tmeic International Corporation Roanoke, VA May 06, 2013 $81,795
Lead Field Engineer GE Energy Power Conversion USA Inc. Panama City, FL Jan 15, 2015 $81,078

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Top Skills for A Lead Field Engineer

  1. Customer Service
  2. Trouble Shooting
  3. Fiber Optic
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Increased revenue by assuring error-free new service installations and improving customer service perception.
  • Implemented and maintained a Microsoft SharePoint site on customer information, site data and trouble shooting for the Field Engineering team.
  • Validated new fiber optic cables and new installations using certification test equipment and technical manuals.
  • Conduct vibration surveys and analysis and provides technical support and additional training as needed to company's field service representative.
  • Oversee the installation of automation equipment, routers, laser etching, conveyor systems, other customized production equipment.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Field Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. New Mexico
  4. Texas
  5. Delaware
  6. Maryland
  7. New Hampshire
  8. California
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Virginia
  • (298 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (2,082 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (706 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)
  • (5,185 jobs)
  • (1,035 jobs)
  • (1,471 jobs)

Lead Field Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

87.7%

Unknown

7.0%

Female

5.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

Carrier

15.6%

French

8.9%

Portuguese

4.4%

German

4.4%

Russian

4.4%

Dakota

4.4%

Arabic

4.4%

Kurdish

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

Turkish

2.2%

Occidental

2.2%

Persian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Lead Field Engineer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

14.1%

University of Phoenix

11.4%

Community College of the Air Force

7.4%

University of Texas at Austin

6.0%

University of Houston

6.0%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.7%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

4.0%

Auburn University

4.0%

University of Alabama

3.4%

George Washington University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

West Virginia University

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Clemson University

3.4%

A-Technical College

3.4%

North Carolina State University

3.4%

Purdue University

3.4%

More Tech Institute

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

19.2%

Business

11.0%

Mechanical Engineering

10.9%

Civil Engineering

7.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.6%

Computer Science

6.2%

Construction Management

4.7%

Information Technology

4.4%

Computer Information Systems

4.1%

Project Management

3.9%

Management

3.0%

Engineering

2.9%

Drafting And Design

2.4%

Computer Networking

2.4%

Aviation

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.1%

Petroleum Engineering

1.8%

Engineering Technology

1.7%

Communication

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Other

23.4%

Associate

15.2%

Masters

12.8%

Certificate

5.4%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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