Petroleum Engineering – Courses and Career

Though less spoken about, petroleum engineering is a well-paid field and offers good employment opportunities in India. The following Guest post takes a look at the course and career prospects in the field of petroleum engineering.

The field of engineering that is concerned with production of hydrocarbons that can be either crude oil of natural gas. Petroleum Engineering is a comparatively new discipline in the field of engineering. The profession of a petroleum engineer was recognised only in a century ago in 1914. Following this, the first degree in the discipline was conferred by the University of Pittsburgh in 1915.

Petroleum engineers can be divided into sections like reservoir engineers, drilling engineers, and production engineers. However, it’s a little surprising that in spite of being a well-paid profession, limited amount of information is available in this discipline. The job of a petroleum engineer encompasses discovering natural oil resources and examining the same. The job also comprises developing latest machines and equipment that are used in extraction and processing of oil. Petroleum engineers are recognised and accepted globally.


There are two major subdivisions of petroleum engineering, viz., upstream sector and downstream sector. While the former deals with production, exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gases, the latter specializes in refining, marketing and distributing of petroleum products.


The entire world is dependent on upon petroleum which is an important source of energy. Therefore, a career in this field is definitely attractive. An aspirant of petroleum engineering needs to complete a B.Tech degree in the specified field after completing their 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

One can also pursue an M.Tech degree after completing graduation. Another interesting point is, if a candidate has an MSc in Chemistry, he or she is eligible to pursue a postgraduate course in petroleum engineering. One can also conduct research in areas like refining, petrochemicals, petroleum science and others.

If a student is willing to make a career in the field of petroleum engineering, then it is best to start at an early age and prepare well in advance for the engineering entrance examinations that are held across the country. Before zeroing in for petroleum engineering, it is advisable that one analyses one’s interests, long-term goals and other related issues.

A comparatively uncommon discipline, a course in petroleum engineering is a little expensive as it involves lots of experimenting. An undergraduate degree/course in B.Tech may cost somewhere between Rs.5lakhs to Rs. 7lakhs and an M.Tech can cost somewhere between Rs. 4lakhs to Rs.5lakhs. Those who find this exorbitant, they need not worry, because scholarships are available. Nowadays, nationalized Indian banks also offer student loans at reasonable interest rates. Organizations like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited offer attractive scholarships to students who pursue research studies in petroleum engineering.

Indian Oil Corporation under its corporate social responsibility offers 100 scholarships to petroleum engineering students who require financial aid.

Various engineering colleges across India offer courses in Petroleum Engineering. Engineering colleges in Chennai, Mumbai and engineering colleges in other Indian cities offer courses in petroleum engineering. A list of the top colleges are given below

  • AC College of Technology, Chennai

  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad

  • Dehradun Institute of Technology, Dehradun

  • School of Petroleum Technology, Gandhinagar

  • University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun

  • Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering

  • Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune


Employment opportunities in the field of petroleum engineering are plenty and it is a well-paid profession. The demand for petroleum engineers are expected to increase as the industry is expected to create more jobs in this field.

Private and public sector both recruit petroleum engineers. Whereas the private sector may offer an attractive package, in the government sector pay packages are covered up by other facilities such as pension, housing and so on. Just like any other industry, the remuneration of a petroleum engineer is determined according to the qualification, knowledge, skills as well as experience. A beginner can get somewhere between Rs. 20000 to Rs.25000 which can go up to Rs. 6 lakhs per annum.

Top Indian companies that recruit petroleum engineers are Indian Oil Corporation, IBP Co. Limited, Lubricants India, ONGC, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance Petroleum, Gas Authority of India and many more.

The way consumption of oil and natural gas is increasing day by day, it can be said that petroleum engineers in India have a bright future.

About the Author:

Sampurna Majumder is a content writer by profession and she has been writing articles on current education trends and career opportunities in various engineering courses in India.


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