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How Do I Become a Petroleum Technician?

By Patrick Lynch
Updated May 17, 2024
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A petroleum technician's job involves locating, extracting, and refining oil. Postsecondary education and a couple of years worth of work experience should be sufficient for you to get a job at a petroleum company. If you hope to become a petroleum technician, you need to have technical skills as you will be required to evaluate the economic viability of projects and work under extreme pressure. If problems occur during an operation, you must have the ability to come up with quick solutions because once drilling begins, the oil extraction process becomes very costly indeed.

If you want to become a petroleum technician, you should know that employees of this nature are involved in the exploration and development of oil. You will be required to team up with engineers and find out the best ways to extract the oil from under the ground. The job also involves the refining process, in which raw material is transformed into something that can be used.

The postsecondary education requirements to become a petroleum technician include a two year petroleum engineering technology diploma or an associate's degree in an equivalent topic, such as mining technology. Although admission to these programs varies, depending on the country, North American postsecondary institutions accept candidates who have achieved a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in an engineering technology diploma program, which may last two years. It is likely that candidates will have to complete two further years of work experience with a company in the petroleum industry before they can become professionally certified.

As a petroleum technician, you will be asked to partake in a number of different tasks related to gas and oil production. These jobs include site analysis, laboratory analysis, and safety monitoring procedures for petroleum facilities and fields. You will be supervised by an experienced technician until you become comfortable in the job.

To become a petroleum technician, you must have exceptional engineering, geology, and mathematical skills in order to make sure that the best drilling techniques are used. It is a high pressure vocation with potentially millions of dollars at stake, so you must have the ability to quickly solve problems under pressure. As you will be dealing with colleagues and business people on a regular basis, you must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

If you wish to become a petroleum technician, you must also be willing to travel because the work can take you all over the world. The pressures of the job also come with ample rewards. Promotion in the industry can come quickly and those with great responsibility also tend to have relatively high salaries.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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