How Do I Become a Subsurface Engineer?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Subsurface engineering falls under the broader field of petroleum engineering, which means that a bachelor's degree in chemical or mechanical engineering is required to become a subsurface engineer. Some companies prefer to hire engineers who have a master's degree in a related subject to petroleum engineering, particularly for supervisory positions, but on-the-job training is standard for new employees who do not have previous experience in the field. Licensure is necessary at certain positions in parts of the world, and the company that eventually hires you should let you know if you need to take any examinations. Once you have completed your education, you can begin to apply for jobs with oil companies to become a subsurface engineer.

You need to be able to communicate well with colleagues, vendors, and contractors to become a subsurface engineer. A large portion of the job entails selecting the best equipment and plan to extract oil from beneath the earth, with the help of drilling engineers. In order to do this, you have to be able to clearly communicate your plan, find the best prices on equipment, and monitor the equipment once it is in place. This job is not done independently due to the fact that you need the help of others to accomplish your goals, which is why communication skills are so important.

A bachelor's degree in engineering is required to become a subsurface engineer. In order to be accepted into an engineering program, you need to have a high school diploma and meet the rest of the requirements for admission, which vary depending on the school that you choose. Engineering programs involve a large amount of courses in mathematics, science, and engineering, so it is important to have a good grasp on these subjects. Taking mathematics and science courses while you are in high school can help you prepare for a college program in engineering.

Certain employers look for candidates who have a master's degree in engineering, particularly for supervisory roles within the organization. This is not a requirement to become a subsurface engineer, but can help you get ahead in a competitive job market. Chemical or mechanical engineering are good choices for programs, particularly if a school has an emphasis or concentration in petroleum engineering. Upon graduation, you can begin to look for jobs with oil companies, the government, or with other organizations that require the expertise of a subsurface engineer.

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