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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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21332 – Petroleum engineers

Petroleum engineers conduct studies for the exploration, development and extraction of oil and gas deposits; and plan, design, develop and supervise projects for the drilling, completion, testing and re-working of oil and gas wells. They are employed by petroleum producing companies, consulting companies, well logging or testing companies, government, and research and educational institutions.


Example titles

  • Oil and gas drilling engineer
  • Oil and gas production engineer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Petroleum reservoir engineer
  • Petroleum well completion engineer
  • Subsea engineer

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
  • Conduct feasibility assessment studies for developing new oil and gas fields
  • Direct and monitor oil and gas drilling operations
  • Develop drilling programs, select sites and specify drilling fluids, bit selection, drill stem testing procedures and equipment
  • Direct and monitor the completion and evaluation of wells, well testing and well surveys
  • Design and select artificial lift machinery, and well and surface production equipment and systems, and specify programs for corrosion control and oil or gas treatment
  • Develop specifications for and monitor and supervise well modification and stimulation programs to maximize oil and gas recovery
  • Analyze reservoir rock and fluid data to design optimum recovery methods and to predict reservoir performance and reserves
  • Monitor and forecast oil and gas reservoir performance and recommend oil recovery techniques which extend the economic life of wells
  • Design, develop and coordinate the installation, maintenance and operation of subsea well-head and production equipment.

Employment requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Additional information

  • Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practise in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.
  • Petroleum engineers may specialize in drilling, production, reservoir analysis or subsea operations.
  • Supervisory and senior positions in this unit group require experience.
  • There is mobility between petroleum engineering specializations at the less senior levels.


  • Chemical engineers (21320)
  • Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services (82021)
  • Engineering managers (20010)
  • Geological engineers (21331)
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers (21102)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
1 – Occupations usually require a university degree
Major group
21 – Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences
Sub-major group
213 – Professional occupations in engineering
Minor group
2133 – Natural resources engineers
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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