Petroleum Engineering - Career, Courses, Colleges and Salary

Petroleum Engineering is a recent development in the field of technical education which is becoming very much popular among young masses. Petroleum engineers are involved in the exploration and production activities of petroleum which is an upstream end of the energy sector.

The study covers a wide range of topics, including economics, geology, geochemistry, geomechanics, geophysics, oil drilling, geopolitics, knowledge management, seismology, tectonics, thermodynamics, well logging, well completion, oil and gas production, reservoir development, and pipelines etc.

With the development of new technology, Petroleum Engineering has become very useful in the extraction process. Improvements in computer modeling, materials and the application of statistics, probability analysis, and new technologies like horizontal drilling and enhanced oil recovery, have also improved the toolbox of the petroleum engineer in recent decades.

There are few institutions in India, offering B.Tech/M.Tech programs in Petroleum Engineering. The courses are taught by professionals from petroleum industries including ISM, ONGC, IOC and also academicians and researchers from several global centres dealing with petroleum technology and research.

Eligibility Criteria

The courses in Petroleum engineering are offered both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

  • B.Tech program in Petroleum Engineering also requires a minimum 10+2 qualification in Science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Maths with high percentage of marks in aggregate.
  • M. Tech (Petroleum Engineering) is open to Petroleum, Petrochemical, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering graduates. Non Petroleum Engineering graduates have to undergo some introductory papers.
  • One can also pursue PhD program after completing post-graduation. The research career is tough but rewarding.


Being a field where the pay is on the higher side, many students pursue petroleum engineering.

There is a demand for petroleum engineers, at all levels, from both the public and private sector companies and organizations.

ONGC Oil Rig, India; Image Courtesy:

Career and Job Prospects

Petroleum engineering, being a rare field of engineering study, offers quite good job opportunities to the graduates. Freshers may find ample scope in public undertakings as well as in corporate sector that deal with petroleum exploration and extraction.

  • A Petroleum engineer’s work involves bringing oil or gas from the reservoir to the surface economically, safely and with minimum damage to the reservoir and facilities.
  • Other activities include management of material resources and contractor relationships and also supervising drilling personnel. They work in multidisciplinary teams alongside other engineers, scientists, drilling teams and contractors.
  • Apart from opting for professional career, one can also do research work for further development of the field. He/she may join research labs as scientists or research fellow to carry out the R&D processes.

Despite a low number of potential job openings for petroleum engineers, the field is always in short supply of qualified entry level professionals. The world continues to demand safe, affordable energy sources and that will always make a degree in petroleum engineering a valuable investment. And the rewards for such a career are long-term. There are many challenges in this field, however, petroleum engineers apply their technical skills and knowledge to solve these engineering challenges.

Salary Package

Petroleum engineers are among the highest paid professionals in recent times. The reason for the high remuneration is due to relatively low number of qualified workers in the industry.

Almost all graduating petroleum engineers go on to find employment. In India Petroleum engineers are paid monthly salary between Rs.25, 000 and Rs.40, 000 apart from other perks and benefits.

The average starting salary of petroleum engineers in developed countries is about $50,000.

IIT Bombay is the top most college for Petroleum Engineering; Image Courtesy:

Top 9 Colleges/Institutes for Petroleum Engineering 2017

1Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai)Maharashtra
2Indian School of Mines University (Dhanbad)Jharkhand
3University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (Dehradun)Uttarakhand
4Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (Gandhinagar)Guajarat
5Maharashtra Institute of Technology (Pune)Maharashtra
6M.S. Engineering College (Bangalore)Karnataka
7L.D. College of Engineering (Ahmedabad)Gujarat
8G.H. Patel College of EngineeringGujarat
9Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum TechnologyUttar Pradesh


State Wise List of Engineering Colleges