Types of Engineers
A variety of engineering specialties make great career options in the energy industry. Read below to see job descriptions for some of the many options!
Do you like working with computers?
Digital engineering jobs combine information technology (IT) with oil and gas disciplines, such as petroleum engineering, geology or geoscience. IT knowledge for a digital engineer can include programming, networking, system architecture and hardware. Digital engineers understand the capabilities, potential and limitations of IT. They use this knowledge to develop high-tech systems that find and retrieve oil and gas. They also must understand oil and gas disciplines, such as petroleum engineering, to know where new technology is needed and the best way to develop and apply the technology. Some other names for this job are user support engineer, software engineer, and engineering architect.
Do you like technology and economics?
The job of the drilling engineer is to design and implement a procedure to drill the well as economically as possible. The well will confirm the presence of oil or natural gas in the location selected by geologists and geophysicists. Drilling engineers work closely with the drilling contractor (the operator of the rig and its crews), service contractors and compliance personnel, as well as the other members of his internal team. A drilling engineer must manage the complex drilling operation, including both the people and technology. Drilling a well can often cost several million dollars, and the drilling engineer is responsible for making certain that costs are minimized while getting all the necessary information to evaluate the reservoir, protecting the health and safety of workers and any nearby residents, and protecting the environment.
Do you like chemistry?
Individuals with chemical engineering expertise can play many different roles in the energy industry. For example, they may work with facility or safety engineers in designing and operating natural gas processing plants or other field facilities. They may work with drilling or production engineers to determine the optimum fluids for use in drilling or stimulation given the subsurface properties. They help production engineers determine how to keep wellbores free from contaminants and control subsurface microbes that could create unpleasant byproducts. Many chemical engineers are engaged in research—to develop a better drilling fluid, to improve carrying agents so treatment chemicals can travel further into the reservoir, to devise new ways to control treatment of wastes and emissions to improve environmental performance, to more efficiently remove impurities from natural gas, or to address other technical challenges.