Petroleum engineers (NOC 2145)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Petroleum engineers:

  • carry out studies for the exploration, development and extraction of oil and gas deposits
  • plan, design, develop and oversee projects for the drilling, completion, testing and reworking of oil and gas wells
  • work for petroleum producing companies, consulting companies, well logging or testing companies, government, and research and educational institutions
Common job titles
  • engineer, exploitation - oil and gas
  • engineer, logging - oil wells
  • engineer, mud - petroleum drilling
  • engineer, offshore drilling rig
  • engineer, production - oil and gas
  • engineer, subsea equipment


Petroleum engineers:

  • carry out feasibility studies for developing new oil and gas fields
  • direct and monitor oil and gas drilling operations
  • develop drilling programs, select sites and specify drilling fluids, bit selection, drill stem testing procedures and equipment
  • direct and oversee the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing and well surveys
  • design and select artificial lift machinery and well and surface production equipment and systems, and specify programs for corrosion control and oil or gas treatment
  • develop specifications for and oversee well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery
  • analyze reservoir rock and fluid data to design the best recovery methods and to predict reservoir performance and reserves
  • monitor and forecast oil and gas reservoir performance and recommend oil recovery techniques which extend the economic life of wells
  • design, develop and co-ordinate the installation, maintenance and operation of subsea well-head and production equipment

Special duties

Petroleum engineers may specialize in drilling, production, reservoir analysis or subsea operations.

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in a structured environment, such as an office or school, or an outdoor work environment where the worker is exposed to various weather conditions. Also, work locations in this field are inherently treacherous and are potential sources of injury. Such work locations include construction sites, underground sites, erected support structures and marine environments.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

There is mobility between petroleum engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Engineers also often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practise in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

Additional resources