Petroleum Technicians

Petroleum technicians work in a wide variety of specialties. Many kinds of drilling technicians drill for petroleum from the earth and beneath the ocean. Loggers analyze rock cuttings from drilling and measure characteristics of rock layers. Various types of production technicians"complete" wells (prepare wells for production), collect petroleum from producing wells, and control production. Engineering technicians help improve drilling technology, maximize field production, and provide technical assistance. Maintenance technicians keep machinery and equipment running smoothly. As of 2013, approximately 15,190 petroleum and geological technicians are employed in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments to obtain data indicating potential oil resources; analyze mud and drill cuttings; chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes; operate drill rigs.
Alternate Title(s) Drilling Technicians
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities available nationwide; Texas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Colorado have more employment opportunities
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience On-the-job training
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements Must be able to lift more than 60 pounds to the waist level and 40 pounds above chest level; must have a valid driver's license
Career Ladder
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Lead Petroleum Technician
  • Petroleum Technician
  • Petroleum Technician Trainee

Related Industries



Health Service Administrator

  • $0
  • 25
  • 50
  • 75
  • 100
  • 100+
Yearly Salary Range (US$ Thousands)