Best Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Programs in the US

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Get Your Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering in the US

Many students go through their undergraduate studies with a clear career path already in mind. Others may choose to pursue general degrees while developing skills that can be applied in almost any profession. Whatever the case may be with you, simply earning your Bachelor’s degree may not be enough to land the career that you covet. Going on to get a Master’s degree may make you infinitely more hirable within whatever profession you choose. The United States offers plenty of graduate degree opportunities for both domestic and international students.  

Do you ever marvel at man’s ability to keep major cities lit, traffic moving, and both residential and commercial structures suitable for habitation? All of that comes from the use of oil and natural gas. As you read this, there are tens of thousands of workers extracting gas or crude oil from locations around the world, while others analyze the globe searching for new deposits that can help keep the modern world moving. Still others are specifically tasked with coming up with ways to deliver these products from extraction sites to processing plants, and eventually, consumers. All of this work is supported by professionals with Master’s degrees in petroleum engineering.

What is a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering?

Petroleum engineers help to design and develop the technologies used to both dig into the ground to locate natural gas and oil, and to extract those to deposits to the surface. They also plan and supervise drilling and extraction operations on the ground. Given these many responsibilities, they need to be well –versed in fields such as geology, morphology and hydrology, and should possess strong analytical and computer skills. The many Master’s degree programs in petroleum engineering available in the US are designed to provide you with just that.

As more than 300 products commonly used in everyday life around the world are derived from petroleum, you will need to understand a variety of different concepts if you are to succeed as a petroleum engineer. Among these are physics, chemistry, geology and mathematics, as well as advanced topics such a fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. These are all topics that you will cover during the first year of your petroleum engineering graduate degree program.

Your second and typically final year of study will be focused on developing the skills needed to assess sites and determine the best processes for extracting petroleum reserves. Your coursework will likely include studies in:

  • Evaluating subsurface reservoirs
  • Simulation of fluid flow and transport through porous media
  • Oilfield operations and management

As you work through the latter portion of your graduate studies, a heavy emphasis will be placed on incorporating available technologies in the design, simulation, and execution of petroleum extraction and transport. This may entail you actually monitoring operations on-site, giving you valuable experience that may help you once you enter the job market.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering in the US?

Petroleum engineering can be an extremely complex field, which often requires you to have an understanding and knowledge that can only be gained through graduate studies. Your decision to finish your education now as opposed to putting it off while you gain work experience may allow you to step right into more attractive job opportunities sooner. Plus, a Master’s in petroleum engineering may qualify you for a broader range of career paths.

Several of the world’s largest oil companies are headquartered in the US, including:

  • ExxonMobil
  • Chevron
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Valero Energy

Companies such as these as well as other international oil providers like BP and Royal Dutch Shell may often recruit directly from American schools. Your decision to get your Master’s degree here could place you that much closer to landing a lucrative position with one of these major corporations.

Career Expectations with a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering

Just how lucrative can a career as a petroleum engineer be? The US Bureau of Labour Statistics recently reported the average annual salary for such a career to be USD$114,000. The BLS also estimates job growth within this industry to exceed 17 percent through 2020. Once you are in your career, much of your work will done in the office or boardroom planning projects or working in laboratories. However, you can also expect to travel to drilling locations all around the world to provide analysis and oversee operations.

A good personal income. The chance to travel to exotic locations. The satisfaction of knowing that your work helps fill a global need. All of these benefits can be yours by getting your Master’s degree in petroleum engineering in the US. Do  not let such an exciting opportunity pass you by.