Petroleum Engineers See Highest Increase in Median Average Salary

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Petroleum engineers see the highest increase in median annual salary since 2011, according to a recent report.

Petroleum engineers experienced the highest increase in median annual salary since 2011, according to a recent report from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI).

In 2013, the median average salary for petroleum engineers was $132,000, and had increased by more than $10,000 since 2011, according to the Aug. 12 report, which quoted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since 2011, all geoscience occupations – with the exception of atmospheric and space scientists, geographers, environmental science and protection technicians, engineering postsecondary teachers, and atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences post-secondary teachers – recorded increases in their median annual salaries, while decreases ranged only from $10 to $2,760 per year.

The average median annual salary for geosciences-related occupations last year was $83,311. With the exception of soil and plant scientists and technician occupations, the median salaries for the geoscience occupations are higher than the median salaries for the broader occupation groups.

“The geosciences continue to be a lucrative employment option within the current workforce,” AGI said in the report.

Petroleum engineers are in demand in the United States thanks to the surge in exploration and production at home and worldwide. These workers are in demand not only in the private sector, but at the United States’ Bureau of Land Management, to oversee mineral resources are millions of acres in the nation.

ABC News reported Aug. 18 that the petroleum engineer job ranked among the best-paying jobs of 2014. Petroleum engineers also have the highest starting salary of any of the engineering degrees offered, with an average starting pay of $89,000 and a mid-career salary of $159,900, according to USAToday.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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