How To Get a Petroleum Engineering Degree: Your Course Selecting Guide

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You've finally decided on a career worth your time and investment. You want to become a petroleum engineer and work in the oil and gas industry. Still, you know you need to follow a proper education and training path to get there. 

Well, the good news is that you've come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed below are all of the academic courses you need to pursue in order to earn that petroleum engineering degree. 

It's understandable to feel overwhelmed regarding the educational path to this ideal career of yours. Remember, though, it's going to be worth it in the long run. 

Consider this fact reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. It indicates that as of 2018, the average medium pay for petroleum engineers throughout the country was over $137,000 a year. To enjoy a similar salary, keep reading to start your petroleum engineering journey. 

All University Degrees Have Some General Education Requirements

A Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering in most places needs around four years. The first year for students (of all majors) consists of general education courses. 

College students should expect at least somewhat of a well-rounded educational experience. That's why you'll likely take some courses unrelated to petroleum engineering at all. 

General education expectations at most American universities are similar. For example, many include a political science class and a communications class. Get these classes out of the way your first or second year if you're not looking forward to them.

As a petroleum engineering major, you might want to get some of those basic science and math classes. You can fit one or two in that first year. That way, you can start focusing on more classes that will add to your technical skillset.  

Petroleum Engineering Is a Science Field

Your second and third year at the university might not have any social sciences or art classes. Instead, you will likely be moving on to more science and math-based courses. 

It's no secret that petroleum engineering will rely on a lot of physics and math. That's why you can expect to take the introductory courses for most of the basic science and math options. 

Your petroleum engineering degree will include classes in chemistry, physics, and calculus. You'll likely be responsible for two to three each of those classes.

Computer science courses can be of significant advantage for engineers, too. In other words, get ready to crunch some numbers on a regular basis!

It's true that these classes are not specific to petroleum engineering majors. Still, they're still crucial for your academic foundation. Later on, you'll start to take the more advanced petroleum engineering classes. 

Take Specific Petroleum Engineering Classes as an Upperclassman

In your last year and a half or so at college, you'll take classes specific to petroleum engineering. It's your responsibility to ensure that you check with your university's degree requirements.

Plan well ahead of your senior year when it comes to your class schedule. The thing is, some upper-level classes like these are often only offered once per year. Checking them out in advance will help you to ensure you graduate on time with all the courses you need.

Students in the upper-level petroleum engineering classes study a variety of industry-specific topics. Examples include an introduction to petroleum engineering, computer applications, and natural gas engineering. Remember, that's why you needed some of those basic science and computer classes. 

Also, petroleum engineering students learn a lot about rock properties and well construction. For that reason, you should take a couple of basic geology courses. These are also courses you should try to take in your first couple of years in the program. 

Don't Forget About Soft Skills for Your Petroleum Engineering Career

It's important to note that not all of your skills as a petroleum engineer can be learned through college classes. In particular, you need to learn how to develop your soft skills or communication skills. Doing so will give you a significant advantage as you navigate this competitive industry. 

That's why many general education programs require you to complete some sort of art-based course. Courses in the humanities or social sciences are great for developing well-rounded students.

Even if your course emphasis lies in science and math, don't forget about those soft skills. No matter what industry you work in, the ability to communicate well is going to be essential. That will be of particular importance if you ever expect to hold some sort of leadership role in the world of petroleum engineering. 

Keep Furthering Your Education to Stay Competitive in your Field

Remember, even once you have a petroleum engineering job, there's still more for you to learn. In fact, continuing your professional education can help you stand out ahead of potential competing applicants. 

For a specific example, check out these oil engineering courses that can help optimize your industry expertise. Even additional courses that help fine-tune your leadership skills can be of benefit. Your résumé, then, will reflect the number of certifications and training programs you complete. 

Continue Investing in Your Future After Your Petroleum Engineering Degree

At this point in the article, you have a detailed understanding of the courses you need for your petroleum engineering degree. There's no need to cut corners when it comes to making the most of your professional career.

That's why you'll take the above guidelines seriously. It's essential that you're prepared and qualified to take on this challenging and competitive career field.

In addition, it's in your best interest to continue to keep yourself well-informed of industry trends. Doing so is your best chance to stand out ahead of potential competitors for petroleum engineering positions. In fact, that's where this website can come into play. 

We're dedicated to bringing readers like you the most reliable business and industry trends on the market. For that reason, we encourage you to browse through the rest of our website today. To start, comment below this article about how it inspired you to continue pursuing your petroleum engineering career. 


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