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Geology vs. Petroleum Engineering?

Prime145Prime145 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
edited March 2011 in Engineering Majors
I have a strong interest in both of these fields, but cannot decide which one to pursue. I understand that petroleum engineering deals with extracting oil and locating possible oil fields. But what exactly can you do with a major in geology? What types of companies do geology majors work for? Which major gives me the best opportunity to work overseas in different countries? Any advice is appreciated.
Post edited by Prime145 on

Replies to: Geology vs. Petroleum Engineering?

  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    Oil and gas companies use geologists/geophysicists to LOCATE the oil and gas that Petr Engrs then drill. You gotta have the "geo" first!

    And all the major oil companies (and even many of the mid-sized ones) have overseas offices. However, there tend to be more overseas opportunities (and more varied locations) for Petr Engr. But both are good.

    In addition, geologists work for environmental firms and a multitude of govt agencies.
  • Plut0niumPlut0nium Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    He's right. Both geologist and petroleum engineers recruited by big oil companies. Also there both in high demand do to the high number of workers eligible for retirement and an increase in energy demand. There salaries are very similar but their jobs very different. Do some research. It's whatever you feel like you enjoy more.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App
  • chato999chato999 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    Check out the major Geophysical Engineering. It is more related to oil/gas production than Geology. It is only offered by Montana Tech and Colorado School of Mines.
  • khoieykhoiey Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    If you for Geology, you most likely end up working in US departments unless you have master or PHD in Geology; then oil companies will definitely go out of their way to recruit you.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    khoiey - agree, must have an MS or PhD for major oil companies. Some smaller companies might be okay with a BS, but that would be a big risk.

    chato999 - I have a degree in geology (as does my husband), worked as a geophysicist, and have been involved with the oil industry for over 30 years (in several countries) - and I don't know anyone with a Geophysical Engineering degree. Not to say that it isn't a good degree (the description on the CSM website is quite interesting), but it is just not that well known.
  • BatlloBatllo - Posts: 3,047 Senior Member
    Friend is a geologist and he works as a consultant at diamond mines all over the world.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    Batllo - dang! Why didn't I think of that? ;)
  • Lemaitre1Lemaitre1 Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    I think if you are more interested in the Natural Sciences and making new discoveries Geology would be more suited to you. If you are more interested in developing technical solutions to achieve a certain outcome Petroleum Engineering would hold more interest for you. For both you need a strong background in Math, Physics and Chemistry. For Geology, courses in Paleontology and Biology might also be needed since one of things a geologist has to be able to do is examine and identify fossils of micro-organisms that come up in the well cuttings to determine where they are in the Geologic Column. My oldest son is a college sophomore majoring in Geology and I think he has so far taken more Calculus and Physics courses than Geology courses at this point.
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    You don't really hit the major Geology courses until Junior year. Freshman and Sophomore years generally focus on getting the science (Chem, Biol, Phys) and Math (Calc) courses done.

    In terms of Geology, freshman year has the fundamental Physical/Historical classes + labs. Sophomore year is usually Mineralogy plus maybe an elective or sometimes a petrology class. The rest of the classes come Junior/Senior years, and field camp is generally between Jr/Sr years.

    Of course, it varies by school, but this is the most common scenario I've seen.
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