Duties and responsibilities
Production engineers are petroleum engineers who take over wells after drilling is completed and monitor these wells’ for oil and gas production. If wells are not producing as much as expected, production engineers figure out ways to increase the amount being extracted. As well as this, production engineer will have other key tasks such as:
- Evaluating inflow and outflow performance between reservoirs and the wellbore
- Directing and monitoring the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing or well surveys
- Monitoring production rates, and planning rework processes to improve production
- Designing complexed completion systems for wells
- Selecting equipment for surface facilities that separate and measure the produced fluids and prepare them for transportation
Like all other engineers, production engineers will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering (preferably petroleum engineer) from an ABET-accredited program. To obtain licensure, production engineers will need to pass several exams, participate in internships and obtain work experience. Many production engineers will go on to achieve a masters degree as this will allow them to enter high paying management positions.
Skills and relevant work experience
Production engineers will learn many skills through their education and on-the-job training. As well as this, they will need skills such as:
- Problem-solving skills, as production engineers will need to find ways for old wells to create fuel more efficiently
- Communication skills, production engineers must work with and communicate other professionals
- Leadership skills, as production engineers need to oversee the daily operations at a fuel extraction site
- Analytical skills, as production engineers must use advanced simulation techniques to evaluate performances and monitor production rates
Production engineers are likely to work full time hours (40 hours per week). They may have to work overtime when they have to travel between sites.
According to glassdoor.com, the median annual salary for a production engineer in the United States is $84,521. At the lower end, production engineers can expect to earn around $59,000 per year. Whereas, at the upper end, production engineers earned over $113,000 per year.
By obtaining a masters degree, production engineers will have lots more opportunities. With more experience, production engineers may develop into management conditions where they will become responsible for supervising a team of other engineers and technicians. They may also progress into project management, consultancy, research and lecturing roles.