Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Engineers in Los Angeles, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for petroleum engineers in the Los Angeles, California area. There are currently 1,400 jobs for petroleum engineers in California and this is projected to grow 14% to about 1,600 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for petroleum engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.4% over the next eight years. In general, petroleum engineers devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs.

Petroleum engineers earn approximately $55 per hour or $116,340 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $51 per hour or $108,020 annually. Incomes for petroleum engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in California, and better than the overall Engineering category nationally. Jobs in this field include: petroleum supply specialist, supplier quality engineer , and mud analysis well logging district supervisor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a petroleum engineer, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Given that the most common education level for petroleum engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a petroleum engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, petroleum engineers devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. They also oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.

Petroleum engineers talk with scientific and technical personnel to deal with layout and testing problems. They also monitor production rates, and plan rework processes to further optimize production. Equally important, petroleum engineers have to write technical summaries for engineering and management personnel. They are often called upon to evaluate findings to design or test equipment or processes. They are expected to analyze data to recommend placement of wells and supplementary processes to enhance production. Finally, petroleum engineers assist engineering and other personnel to solve operating problems.

Every day, petroleum engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for petroleum engineers to design plans for oil and gas field drilling, and for product recovery and treatment. They are often called upon to assign work to staff to obtain maximum utilization of personnel. They also assess costs and estimate the production capabilities and economic value of oil and gas wells, to review the economic viability of potential drilling sites. They are sometimes expected to direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells or well surveys. Somewhat less frequently, petroleum engineers are also expected to inspect oil and gas wells to establish that installations are completed.

Petroleum engineers sometimes are asked to inspect oil and gas wells to establish that installations are completed. They also have to be able to direct the installation and operation of mining and oil field equipment and simulate reservoir performance for different recovery techniques, using computer models. And finally, they sometimes have to layout and implement environmental controls on oil and gas operations.

Like many other jobs, petroleum engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Petroleum Engineer Training

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Petroleum Engineering which graduated zero, one, eight, one, and one students respectively in 2008.


Petroleum Engineer

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95833-2944

Phone: (916) 263-2222
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.