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Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

(OP)
Hello members young and old....I would like to consult this multi-engineering professional group of individuals with a hope to lead myself down the right path of rewarding career.  All brown-nosing aside, your opinions please.
I would like to pursue a career in the field of petroleum engineering.  I am 33 years old.  I worked as a floor-hand/roughneck for 4 years prior to attending college.  I received an associates degree in general studies recently.  After exploring other fields of work such as restaurant mgmt and automobile sales, I am now back where I started 13 years ago....roughnecking.  I have no intention on working up through the ranks on the drilling rig and being a rig manager.  I guess my question is this, what is the most logical next step on being a petroleum engineer?  Should I continue to work 7/7 and attend college to receive my b.a.?  Are there companies that will hire ppl like me for some type of fast-track internship?  Perhaps the petro field is a bad choice for a career period....any input/suggestions/ideas or advice is appreciated.
Thanks in Advance,
Matt from Louisiana

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

To become an engineer, you nearly certainly need a degree from an ABET accredited university..

You have already have a "general studies" associate degree..  if this degree included some physics, math, chemistry, English, history, government and so forth, many of these classes may transfer into a 4 year program (provided you received your associates degree from a not-for profit institution- places like ITT and Virginia college typically will not have courses that can transfer to any other university)..

This may cut down on the time you need to spend receiving your bachelor's degree..

On the plus side, petroleum engineers are usually the highest paid of all engineering disciplines.

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

(OP)
My degree is from ULM (University of Louisiana at Monroe).  Thanks for the info.  I have been checking and found out that some colleges around here in South LA. have classes for offshore workers (7 days on 7 days off).  McNeese State and Nichols state just to name a few.

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

LSU has a good Petroleum engineering program.  Another career path is an API inspector.  In-service inspections/repair of vessels and piping is big money.  You could get API-510 certification, or just look on job search sites to see what is being asked for.  Many times companies will pay for your certification, but maybe having one key cert to get hired on could get your career going.

Going back to college to earn a full engineering degree will be a PITA, but well worth it if you choose that route.  I wouldn't limit myself to a Petro degree if I went that route though, just because a mechanical degree would offer more flexibility and more interesting course work as well, JMO.  Petro pays more, when there are jobs.   

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

both of my degrees are from abet schools although i've never been asked about it nor was it a requirement at boeing, or other large companies. nasa does require it for their engineers though.... i don't think it matters. for example, in kentucky, i think only one engineering program is accredited. UK. university of louisville's program is not.

i would not choose petroleum. too cyclic. if i really wanted to work in the petro field, i would choose chemical. much more versatile..... for processes (petro), and for environemntal, and they are usually very good heat transfer weenies if they end up on that side of mechanical... all in all, a MUCH better choice in my opinion... which is what you asked for...

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

Of course if the OP is interested in getting professional engineer certification, going to an ABET schoool sometimes makes it easier to start the process.

RE: Path best taken......opinions appreciated.

My aerospace company calls me an engineer (stress/fatigue analyst) but I have no degrees from ABET schools. My education was in math and then MS in Engineering Mechanics.

I'm not sure I could pass the Engineer-in-Training exam since I never had most of the subjects covered on the test, but I've published a number of papers in engineering journals. Only downside is I can't put out my shingle, if the shingle has the word "engineer" on it.

Doug

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