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I want to live by the water. (PetE)

  1. Feb 13, 2012 #1
    This is a bit silly, I know.

    I'm a 1st year Petroleum Engineering student right now. I chose this major due to an interest in geology and fluids. Also due to the travel opportunities that are available to PetE grads and obviously the high salary.

    One thing that has been eating at me lately is how few places a Petroleum Engineer can live. I was born and raised in a small town by the ocean and want nothing more than to settle down and raise a family in one as well. It will make me happy. I've looked pretty extensively into where PetE's can live and most places are not ideal to my wishes (living on an oil rig 6 months of the year doesn't count as living by the ocean). I love wildlife and the outdoors, but a lot of Petroleum Engineering jobs are located in cities or urban sprawl.

    Being that it is still my 1st year, I still can easily change my major. What is another type of engineering that would allow me to travel, work in a town by the water, and ideally work outside a bit. Could it also just be possible to stick with PetE (which I love so far) and maybe just eventually start my own company related to the field in a coastal town? Or something else like that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2012 #2
    As I'm sure you know, there is a lot of oil work in the Gulf of Mexico... I have friends who work in oil services, and live in Houston. It's not on the beach, but it's less than an hour drive to Galveston. There's also plenty of work in Louisiana and Alabama... more beaches (and swamps). You may not live right on the beach, but you'll be a lot closer than you would be with a lot of jobs.
  4. Feb 14, 2012 #3
    As nuclear85 said.

    You can live on the water if you want, but you may have a bit of a commute.
  5. Feb 14, 2012 #4


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    Galveston beaches are not the greatest
  6. Feb 14, 2012 #5
    They're not the greatest, but they're not the worst. If the search is restricted to only the world's best beaches, this becomes considerably harder.
  7. Feb 14, 2012 #6


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    Maybe not the best but at least where the water is not dirty brown.
    If you work on an offshore platform where you have a "two weeks on-two weeks off" schedule, you can live anywhere within a couple hours flight. A friend of mine works as a petroleum engineer where he travels for a month at a time to places like Baku, Algeria, Brazil etc and then gets a month off...he could live anywhere
  8. Feb 14, 2012 #7
    What sub-specialty are you shooting for? As a Facilities PetE the Gulf coast and southern California are options. I think there is a Chesapeake Energy (nat. gas) compressor station in Virginia Beach, so Outer Banks North Carolina is 30-45 mins away if traffic permits. Production/drilling engineering, might give rise to opportunities around Houston, and again southern California. Otherwise Nat. Gas in Australia, or Norway. I'm personally really interested in OceanE, I am hoping to get a job designing/constructing/transporting offshore platforms, for a company near or around Houston. If you get a graduate degree specializing in reservoir engineering(very competitive) you could have high hopes of a job at a corporate office near the ocean. Hope this helps.
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