How to become a Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers plan and manage the recovery of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs. The petroleum engineering profession offers a number of specialisations, with the major areas including drilling engineering, formation evaluation, production engineering and reservoir engineering.

Personal requirements of a Petroleum Engineer

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • Willing to contribute and adhere to the safety requirements of an operation
  • Able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for computing and design
  • Practical and creative
  • Able to work without supervision
  • Able to accept responsibility

Education & Training for a Petroleum Engineer

To become a petroleum engineer you usually have to study engineering at university with a major in petroleum engineering. You may also consider related specialisations such as chemical, civil, mechanical or mining engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit

Additional Information
Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia. Visit their website for more details. Registration or licensing may be required. Contact the Society of Petroleum Engineers for further information.
Related careers