Member SPE-AIME

Since 1978 the Society of Petroleum Engineers has conducted an annual survey of companies and universities in order to obtain data on the supply and demand for petroleum engineers. The purpose of this presentation petroleum engineers. The purpose of this presentation is to report on the results of the 1983 survey with respect to demand and to compare these results with indications of demand from other sources.

The SPE survey information includes a five-year history of the numbers of engineers employed at year end, a five-year history of hirings, and five-year projection of expected hirings. In 1982 the author projection of expected hirings. In 1982 the author presented a summary of the general conclusions that presented a summary of the general conclusions that could be drawn from the series of surveys up to and including the 1982 survey. Reference will be made to those results throughout this presentation. It is not possible to compare absolute results of these surveys from year-to-year because the companies that report are not the same ones each year.

In 1983 only 16 organizations respond to the questionnaire in a sufficiently uniform manner to construct the sample. This is the smallest number of respondents since the surveys were initiated (1979–62; 1980–35; 1981–35; 1982–27). The total population of engineers represented by the respondents also is the 1983 survey data for engineers and petroleum engineers employed at years end and the expected total work force of engineers for the future five years. The latter show both a high and low estimate. The data are also shown in Figures 1 and 2, with earlier survey data for comparison. The future work force of petroleum engineers is not a part of the survey.

The five year history for the hiring of engineers and the projected hiring for five years is given in Table II. Similar data for petroleum engineers are in Table III. Figures 3 and 4 show how these data compare with prior surveys. In Figures 5 and 6 the hires are shown as a percentage of the appropriate employed forces at the end of the prior year.

This year's survey data, for the first time, show a drop in the hiring both of total engineers and of petroleum engineers for the group of companies surveyed. Projected hirings also show a sharper reduction in 1983 with a subsequent recovery after five years to the hiring levels of 1975-76. (See Figures 3 and 4).

The drop in hiring for 1982 is illustrated also in Figures 5 and 6. Throughout the previous survey years the new hires had reached 20% of the employed work force. In 1982 that percentage fell to 11.4% for all engineers and to 15.6% for petroleum engineers. However, a greater percentage of petroleum engineer hires appeared to come from the campus as compared to off-campus hires in the date of this survey. Table IV lists the average percentages of hires from campus for all the surveys.

These survey data cannot be generalized rigorously to provide a demand picture for the next 5 years for the entire industry. The group of companies responding to the survey is not a statistically designed samples. Some total demand estimates are possible, however, one of which is based on the fact that the total number of B.S. petroleum degrees granted are known, i.e., this is the total source of petroleum engineers hired from the campus. As Table V shows, the companies that were surveyed hired an average of 43.2% of the B.S. degrees available over the five-year period 1978-82. If this same percentage should hold for the five-year period 1983-87, then the total demand for B.S. graduates period 1983-87, then the total demand for B.S. graduates can be estimated as shown in the table under the "demand" column. Figure 7 shows the curve for B.S. graduates, the hires reported in the survey and this estimated future demand. The estimated 1983 B.S. degrees production is around 1400, so these estimates mean that the percentage of the class that was hired should have ranged from 24.4% to 35.0%. This is probably lower than actual 1983 experience. probably lower than actual 1983 experience. This method of estimating the total demand has also been used to estimate the total size of the work force of employed petroleum engineers. Figure 8 shows the estimates for each survey year and for all survey years the estimates have been lower than estimates made by other methods. Two estimates made by the author in previous years using SPE membership data are shown in previous years using SPE membership data are shown in Figure 8. Hence, it would appear that the future demand estimated in Figure 7 is lower than the actual demand will be.

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