for people who are asking which is better, civil or petroleum engineering, this is the right post for you.
which is better civil or petroleum engineer
According to BLS the average salary of a civil engineer is $88,000 per year. while petroleum Engineers overcome the 100K, earning over $130,000. Bigger by 33% than civil engineers.
but the problem is petroleum engineers’ jobs are so competitive and have a lack of job opportunities offered compared to civil engineering.
In the US there are only 28,500 petroleum engineers while civil engineers numbers are 10 times bigger than that over 309,800 Engineers are working in multiple civil engineering specializations.
Every year, civil engineering hires more than 25,000 graduates, while only 2,200 occupations are offered in petroleum engineering, which is a very poor number, So the civil engineering industry is 10 times broader than petroleum engineering. It is easier to find a job as a civil engineer than being a petroleum engineer, involving a lot of competition with this small percentage of people they hire yearly.
The good news is to work as a civil or petroleum Engineer you don’t need to have more than a bachelor’s degree, unlike all those occupations that require taking grad schools such as physics or economics.
In general, petroleum Engineers offer great salaries but the problem is they don’t hire a lot of Engineers.
For instance, if we compare petroleum engineering to an industry that is blooming right now, like software engineers, we will find a huge difference. In petroleum engineering, there are only 2,800 new occupations offered every year while in software engineering there are 500,000 occupations Which is 200 times bigger than petroleum engineering.
If you are interested in working as a petroleum engineer, we recommend majoring in mechanical or chemical engineering because petroleum Engineers also accept these majors.
It would be the safest thing to do if you don’t arrive to find a job in petroleum engineering. You would have other opportunities to work in other Industries with mechanical or chemical engineering degrees.
On the other hand, if you are interested in civil engineering you can easily find a job without having struggles like in petroleum engineering.
Which is harder civil or petroleum engineer
Civil and petroleum engineering at both one of the hardest engineering occupations involving a lot of mathematics physics chemistry courses, petroleum engineering could be a little bit more challenging because it involves some additional branches like biology petroleum and gas engineering.
In the first 2 years of civil or petroleum engineering students are required to complete a lot of math, physics, and chemistry courses. For instance, civil engineers or petroleum engineers are required to complete these math courses:
If we compare civil and petroleum engineering in terms of physics topics concentration we find civil engineering studying some additional physics courses than petroleums do. civil engineers study the following physics courses:
While in petroleum engineering you would have to complete only physics 1 and thermodynamics, so there is not a big difference to consider.
The chemistry subject you would be studying as a civil or petroleum engineering all the same. you would be taking:
- CHEM 107 – General Chemistry I
- CHEM 108 – General Chemistry II
- CHEM 115 – General Chemistry Laboratory
But the main difference between civil and petroleum engineering is the interesting amount of biology subjects, petroleum engineering students should complete like:
- Fundamentals of Biology I
- Fundamentals of Biology II
- Biological Principles and Issues I
- Biological Principles and Issues II
- Conservation of Natural Resources
- Plants and Human Affairs
So if you don’t want to study a lot of biology and geology subjects, petroleum engineering will be hard for you. In this case, it is better to take civil engineering which has a lot of specialties that don’t involve a lot of biology or geology.
But in general, there is not a big difference between petroleum engineering and civil engineering in terms of difficulty, all the difficult math, physics, and chemistry courses are included in both branches.
should you choose: civil or petroleum engineering?
If you are passionate about working Outdoors, especially in petroleum or gas sites, then you should opt for petroleum engineering. but you have to consider that this occupation has limited job opportunities compared to civil engineering. It is more competitive but it’s still worth it, for its higher salary and financial advantages it offers.
On the other hand, you have to consider that petroleum engineering is a field that doesn’t offer a great life balance. You could be working in drilling sites away from your city or in the middle of the sea or even in another country around the world. So you have to be ready for isolation and not see your family for longer times, sometimes maybe months.
On the other hand, if you are passionate about building bridges or environmental science civil engineering would be a good option to opt for. It also offers many opportunities to work in multiple industries.
For instance working in geotechnical engineering verifying the foundation’s strengths of homes, Bridges, or any constructions, Or working as a transportation engineer building bridges and big buildings and other governmental facilities.
can a civil engineer do a master’s in petroleum engineering
Yes, it is possible to do a master’s in petroleum engineering if you have a bachelor’s in civil engineering but you have to consider that some grad schools in petroleum engineering require you to go back and take some undergrad courses while others don’t. So it would depend on the minor you will be choosing and the school you are enrolling in.
But you have to consider that working in the petroleum engineering industry is not easy and requires some kind of experience and good networking by building multiple internships. So it would be a good alternative idea to work for some oil companies to get some experience before applying to petroleum engineering jobs as a civil engineer.
In this way, it would make you more attractive for petroleum engineering companies to accept you than only having a Master’s with zero experience.