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Kemp: Peak Petroleum Engineer? Or Still Time To Join The Boom?

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Petroleum engineers are among the best paid professionals in the US. Only chief executives and some specialist doctors earned more last year, according to federal government pay data.

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

Reuters

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Petroleum engineers are among the best paid professionals in the United States. Only chief executives and some specialist doctors earned more last year, according to federal government pay data.

Petroleum engineers were paid an average of $132,000 a year, with the top 10 percent on more than $187,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

These figures include everyone from the newest graduates to the most experienced engineers with decades of experience, and are based on median earnings in May 2013.

Petroleum engineers earned almost four times as much as the average employee across the economy, who was on just $35,000 a year.

Oil and gas specialists in all fields have benefited from the shale boom and the broader energy revolution sweeping the United States and Canada in the last ten years, with engineers leading the pack.

Petroleum engineers were already well paid; now they are very well paid. Between 2003 and 2013, pay for engineers with a specialisation in petroleum soared almost 60 percent compared with an average increase of just 25 percent across the whole economy.

Booming demand from employers and sky high salaries are pulling large numbers of extra specialists into the industry.


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