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. Approximately 15,190 petroleum and geological technicians are employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Drilling Technicians
Duties Provide a variety of support duties to petroleum scientists and engineers such as analyzing mud and drill cuttings and operating drill rigs
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities available nationwide; Texas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Colorado have more employment opportunities
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internships and on-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Skills
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing 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
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Lead Petroleum Technician
  • Petroleum Technician
  • Petroleum Technician Trainee

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