Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be favorable because many engineers are expected to retire.
Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth. Because many petroleum engineers work in oil and gas extraction, any changes in oil prices will likely affect employment levels. Higher prices can cause oil and gas companies to drill in deeper waters and in less hospitable places and return to existing wells to try new extraction methods. This means that oil drilling operations will likely become more complex and will require more engineers to work on each drilling operation.
Demand for petroleum engineers in support activities for mining should also be strong, as oil and gas companies find it convenient and cost-effective to seek their services on an as-needed basis.
Job prospects are expected to be favorable because of projected growth and because many petroleum engineers may retire or leave the occupation for other reasons over the next decade.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program