A drilling engineer plans, organizes and manages oil and gas well drilling projects. They also supervise drilling operations and monitor compliance with environmental regulations. They work closely with geologists and other specialists in drilling operations to ensure that all wells are drilled in a safe and efficient manner.
The field of petroleum engineering requires a high level of technical knowledge about geology, physics and mathematics. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is typically required. Most drilling engineers begin their careers as assistant engineering professionals, working under experienced drilling engineers until they gain experience and become full-fledged professionals.
The number of jobs for this career is expected to grow 3% between 2018 and 2028, slower than the average rate for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, a career as a drilling engineer offers excellent prospects for future professional development.
The most important skill for this job is problem-solving and analytical thinking. Drilling engineers must be capable of analyzing data and evaluating alternative options to find the most effective drilling methods and equipment.
Teamwork and Leadership skills are also essential to this profession. They must be able to collaborate with others and delegate tasks to employees according to their needs and expertise.
Drilling engineers also need strong physical stamina to perform hard labor in a hazardous environment. They spend much of their time on the drill floor, operating top drives and other equipment. They may travel to different locations to oversee various teams or design drilling paths in varying terrain types.