Wall Street Oasis » Blogs » DonVon’s blog next > Dude…Engineers

So I have been in the dark about how much money engineers _actually_ make until recently. Apparently, these smart guys and gals rake it in — even in comparison to those of us in investment banking, especially when adjusting on a per-hour basis.

I know there are a lot of engineers out there, some on this site, and I have some questions for you all.

Today I was looking up average starting salaries for Oil & Petroleum Engineers, and they range in the $90,000 to $150,000 range. That’s a pretty serious salary to be making when you finish up engineering school, so out of curiosity, I decided to look up the “top” petroleum engineering programs.

I was shocked to find that, with the exception of UT-Austin, I hadn’t actually heard of any of the schools that _have_ petroleum engineering programs at the undergraduate level. I assumed the “prestigious” engineering schools – Stanford, MIT, etc. – would have the top petro programs, but they don’t actually have dedicated programs to petroleum engineering.

Is the concept of “target” schools not a thing when it comes to gaining entry-level employment in engineering?

I know I’ve had a lot of friends go to pretty standard state schools and get sweet engineering jobs coming out of them, so I’m sure it’s less true, but is the strength of the program itself, not of the school in general, what’s more important here?

Also, these salaries start out high, but I’m assuming the ceiling is pretty low (at least relative to finance). Anyone have information about this? What would be the career track for someone in petroleum engineering, or chemical engineering, for example? What happens to compensation as the engineer progresses?

Engineers out there why want to switch to finance — why? Nature of work? Comp?


“An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
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