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Petroleum Technology Major

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Petroleum Technology

235 Associates's Degrees Annually
44 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#102 in Popularity (Associate's)
$62,890 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Petroleum Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many petroleum technology/technician graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 235
Basic Certificate 229
Undergraduate Certificate 95
Bachelor’s Degree 44

What Petroleum Technology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to petroleum tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Petroleum Tech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in petroleum tech should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills for Petroleum Tech Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to petroleum tech:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Petroleum Tech Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a petroleum tech student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Petroleum Technology?

235 Associate's Degrees Annually
11% Percent Women
31% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 89% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of petroleum tech majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 29
Hispanic or Latino 34
White 152
International Students 4
Other Races/Ethnicities 15

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Petroleum Tech, too. About 1.7% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Petroleum Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Petroleum Tech majors often go into careers with median salaries of $62,890. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Petroleum Technology Major  62,890
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with petroleum tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for petroleum tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 6.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.7%
Some College Courses 7.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 13.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 41.7%
Master’s Degree 25.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.6%

Online Petroleum Technology Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 42 schools offered some type of petroleum technology/technician program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 21 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 25 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 27 3
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 21 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Petroleum Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a petroleum tech grad is $62,890 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 58% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $459,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to petroleum tech.

Major Number of Grads
Mining Technology/Technician 98
Other Mining & Petroleum Technologies/Technicians 4

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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