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Career and Education Opportunities for Petroleum Engineers in West Valley City, Utah

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for petroleum engineers in the West Valley City, Utah area. There are currently 140 jobs for petroleum engineers in Utah and this is projected to grow by 20% to 170 jobs by 2016. This is better than 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 about $47 hourly or $99,570 annually on average in Utah and about $51 hourly or $108,020 yearly on average nationally. Petroleum engineers earn more than people working in the category of Engineering generally in Utah and more than people in the Engineering category nationally. Petroleum engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: research chief engineer, test engineer, and prospecting observer.

The West Valley City area is home to thirty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of West Valley City where you can get a degree as a petroleum engineer. The most common level of education for petroleum engineers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 West Valley City include:

  • 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 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.
  • Nuclear Engineer. Conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.
  • 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 Utah - Salt Lake City, UT

University of Utah, 201 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9008. University of Utah is a large university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,211 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of Utah has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Petroleum Engineering.


West Valley City, Utah
West Valley City, Utah photo by Joe Tordiff

West Valley City is situated in Salt Lake County, Utah. It has a population of over 123,447, which has grown by 13.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in West Valley City, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in West Valley City are valued at $108,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-eight new homes were constructed in West Valley City, down from two hundred thirty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in West Valley City are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 11.4% of West Valley City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 2.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in West Valley City is 8.3%, which is greater than Utah's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of West Valley City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 67.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Atonement Lutheran Church and Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church are some of the churches located in West Valley City. The most common religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

West Valley City is home to the Valley Indoor Market Place and the Mini Warehouse Condominium. Shopping malls in the area include Redwood Shopping Center, Valley Fair Mall and Granger Shopping Center.