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Engineering Engineering Jobs with Rotating Shifts

  1. Dec 23, 2012 #1
    I've been considering petroleum engineering because of the rotating shift structure of drilling engineer work: such engineers typically work for 1-3 weeks, 12 hours a day, and then are off for an equal amount of time. However, lately I've become concerned about the job security of petroleum engineers, but I really want that rotating schedule. So, I have two questions. One, are there any other engineering jobs with a similar rotating schedule? And two, could I get a more flexible degree (such as in chemical engineering) and still work in petroleum as a drilling engineer with a rotating schedule?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2013 #2
    Chemical engineer that went into the oil field as an LWD engineer (on rig as I write this). Almost 50% of my class went into the oil field when I graduated so yes Chemicals can go into the oil field very easily. First off you probably won't get drilling engineer out of the gate without a petroleum degree and a good amount of internship experience. Even a petroleum engineer isn't very likely without some networking to get that job out the gate. Reason is the petroleum industry values field experience over everything else. They will send you as a MWD or LWD (LWD make more money for almost the same job). Get you 1 to 2 years of field experience then apply the other jobs like Drilling engineer or whatnot. Secondly some companies aren't very strict with their 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off policy so don't expect it to go as smoothly as you imagine it. They own you ... your on call every day your off if they get short handed. Typically it works out pretty well though. Though during your LWD days you might work 2 months on and only get a week off. LWD schedule is much more demanding but it's kinda ... paying your dues but you make as much as a drilling engineer

    The best job on the rig is the "Company man" where you always do 2-3 weeks than 2 off. ALWAYS. They make about $200+k a year. You typically need 2 years rig experience and a degree or something like 10+ years rig experience.

    For job prospects if your 100% sure you want to be in the oil industry a petroleum engineering degree is better largely because your life in the field kinda suffers and a petro degree gets you better access to the good office jobs off the bat. Field work keeps you always away especially in your first couple year and that makes things more difficult especially if you move to a new town to take the job. But you can become a petrophysicist if you apply yourself then after getting some experience go back and get a masters or pHD and go work as a lead petro for shell or chevron. Then you make 180-200k a year working only 40 hours a week and very little on call time.

    Also field work is hilarously easy. Experience is the only thing that matters out there because it's about instantly knowing what to do and thinking ahead to make sure things don't go wrong in the first place. Seriously ... my brain feels like it is atrophying sometimes and honestly when your doing your first job (MWD / LWD / even a drilling engineer) there will be people that were well connected in college who are drop outs or business majors doing the same work you are doing. Really a degree in the oil field only determines upward advancement (engineers are highly desired for LWD or MWD so they can transfer into R&D, wellplanning, or petrophys after they move out of the field) not where you start unless you have a petro degree where you can be a well planner or petrophysicist off the bat.

    (Advice go to be a petrphysicist lol, they have the sweetest gig. Only field work they do are simple exploratory wells. : P so your never out of town for long.)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
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