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What does a Drilling Engineer do?

Learn all about Drilling Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Drilling Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A drilling engineer is responsible for the planning and execution of drilling operations. They work with a team of engineers and technicians to ensure that the drilling process is safe and efficient. They also work with geologists to determine the best location for drilling operations.

Drilling Engineer job duties include:

  • Design and oversee drilling projects
  • Supervise drilling crews
  • Ensure that drilling operations comply with safety regulations
  • Keep track of drill bit usage and drill pipe wear
  • Maintain records of drilling activities
  • Monitor changes in rock formations during drilling
  • Adjust drilling plans as necessary
  • Evaluate data from completed wells
  • Prepare reports on well data
  • Recommend ways to improve drilling efficiency

Drilling Engineer Job Requirements

A drilling engineer is responsible for the planning and execution of drilling operations. They must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and many companies require a master's degree. Certification is not required, but many employers prefer candidates who are registered professional engineers. Drillers must have several years of experience working in the oil and gas industry.

Drilling Engineer Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problemsolving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Research skills
  • Technical skills

Related: Top Drilling Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Drilling Engineer

A drilling engineer is responsible for the safe and efficient drilling of wells. They work closely with other engineers and geologists to develop a drilling plan that will meet the needs of the project. A drilling engineer must have a strong understanding of both the mechanics of drilling and the geology of the area being drilled.

To become a drilling engineer, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering. It is important to choose a school that is accredited by ABET. Once you have obtained your degree, you will need to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. After passing the FE exam, you will need to complete four years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer. Once you have completed your work experience, you will need to pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.

Drilling engineers typically specialize in either oil or gas drilling. If you are interested in specializing in oil drilling, you may want to consider obtaining a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. If you are interested in specializing in gas drilling, you may want to consider obtaining a master’s degree in mining engineering.

Related: Drilling Engineer Resume Example

Related: Drilling Engineer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)