About Petroleum Engineering Technology

Petroleum Engineering Technology is a program designed to prepare individuals to work as Petroleum Engineering Technicians. The petroleum industry requires highly skilled individuals for multiple field and office positions.

This challenging program is designed to train engineering technicians in all areas of the downstream and midstream petroleum industry. Students in the Petroleum Engineering Technology program will complete core coursework in areas that include but are not limited to hydrocarbon safety, drilling, geology, oil exploration and production, and reservoir. In conjunction with these courses, the students will employ the latest computer software and will take interdisciplinary courses giving an overall view of the oil business.

Explore Our Programs

Petroleum Engineering Technology - AAS

Petroleum Engineering Technology - Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the procedures to get into Science & Engineering Technologies program at HCC-NE?
For future students, they need to fill out the HCC application for admission at www.hccs.edu  All students need to visit with HCC student advisors or counselors regarding details on student services, financial aid, and generation of a degree plan.  Diagnostic testing(s) and evaluation of transcripts from all institution the student attended will be done by student services.

2. How can I get Internship or CO-OP courses?
You must speak with the department chair or program coordinator about potential internship/co-op requirements.  Internships and Co-op courses are offered during the last semester of the one year certificate and the last semester of the second year for the AAS degrees.  Department approval is required prior to enrolling in these courses.  Students are encouraged to contact the HCC-NE Career Services Office to inquire about internship and coop opportunities.

3. Whom do I need to contact about the programs?

For general questions about enrollment, class selection, and degree planning you should speak with an advisor in the counseling department.  The phone number to the counseling department is 713 718 5949.  For questions about programs in the Science & Engineering Technologies Division, please call 713-718-5534 or morteza.sameei@hccs.edu .

4. What type of financial aid can I receive?

Federal grants and loans are available to students.  Further, various scholarships offered by the HCC foundation, are available to qualifying applicants.  For more information regarding financial aid, students may contact 713.718-8304.

5. What days are the classes offered (scheduling)?
Classes are offered weekdays (morning, afternoon and evening) and weekends depending on the specific program; some classes are also offered online.

6. What are the requirements to get into my field Pre-Requisites/Co-Requisites?
This varies depending on the program.  Most of the science & engineering technology areas require students to have reached a college level in mathematics, reading and writing.  Your specific program and the sequence of how to take classes will be reviewed with you by an advisor or program faculty representative.

7. How long will it take to complete a course or a degree?

Courses can be completed during a semester.  It takes approximately one year for students to complete their Certificate and about two years to complete the requirements for the AAS degree.  

8. What type of jobs will I be able to get?

The mission of each program is to prepare students to enter the energy workforce.  Each program specializes in the education and training of students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies for a particular field of employment and related ones.  Generally, these degrees prepare students for entry level positions in these fields.  For example the Petroleum Engineering Technology program prepares students for entry level Petroleum Engineering Technologists positions or Petro-Techs.

9. Can I use credit/semester hours earned at the HCC to transfer to the University?

Depending on the university or college and the intended major, your degree may transfer to a four year institution.  Please visit the department chair or undergraduate advisor of the department of the college you are interested to transfer your credits to discuss your academic interests.  You may also contact the HCC counselor concerning transfer plans prior to starting a degree program.  Semester credit hour courses in AAS programs may transfer to a university.

10. If I attain a certificate, will I be able to use my certificate hours toward a degree in AA or AAS degree?

Yes, you can.

11. What are the differences between an Engineering Degree and Engineering Technology Degree?

Both degrees involved theory and practice.  An engineering degree is more theoretical about the science of engineering and the academic components that establish its concepts (note: title does not have the word TECHNOLOGY, example: Electrical Engineering).  Engineering programs require Calculus I, II, III, Differential Equations, and other advanced Science/math concepts.
Engineering Technology degree has less theory and more about practical application of engineering concepts.  The math levels usually established for an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Engineering Technology programs (technician level) are Elements of Calculus with Applications, College Algebra and at times, Trigonometry

Programs Highlights

The program is a great success, thanks to support from the Society of Petroleum Engineers-Gulf Coast Section and other leaders within the petroleum community. Here are some of the highlights of the last eight months:

Petroleum Engineering Technology

Student enrollment for spring 2008 stands at 136, more than double the 57 students enrolled in PET classes in fall 2007.

Students show 100% persistence with their studies – all students enrolled have continued studies in consecutive semesters.

The PET program is now offering seven courses at two locations – HCC-NE’s Codwell Hall and BP’s Westlake campus. Students may also elect to take Petroleum Geology and/or Natural Gas Production online. Please see the attached curriculum and course descriptions.

Faculty anticipate that as many as four students will earn their PET Certificate after summer 2008 and another three will graduate with a PET AAS after fall 2008.

HCC has approved and provided funding to hire a full-time PET faculty member expected to start teaching in fall 2008.

PET students have formed PETSA – the Petroleum Engineering Technology Student Association. The group has elected officers and participated in the following activities:

  • PETSA members presented facts about the program and about careers in petroleum technology to students enrolled in introductory PET courses for spring 2008. The new students appreciated this interaction and opportunity to ask questions of those farther along in the process.
  • PETSA president, Lourdes Goodson will speak about the program at the Houston Hispanic Forum on February 9th, at the HCC faculty conference on February 16th, and will present at the February 21st meeting of the SPE-GCS and at a STEM EXPO to be held at HCC-NE that same day.
  • PETSA members toured facilities at Weatherford International here in Houston in the November of 2007. (see picture at right)
  • PETSA members visited the newly renovated Weiss Energy Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the fall of 2007.

Demographically, the PET students come from diverse backgrounds: 65% African or African-American, 22% Hispanic and 13% white. Between 35 and 40% of those enrolled are women, and many come from west African oil-producing nations. The vast majority are working and attending classes at the same time. Even so, many are carrying three or more classes. There is even a family studying together with mother, father, two daughters, and a cousin all enrolled in the PET program.

The PET program enjoys active partnerships with Milby High School’s Academy of Petroleum Exploration & Production Technology, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), the Greater Houston Energy Education Collaborative (GHEEC), and, of course, SPE-GCS.

15 PET students will represent the program and share space with BP at the upcoming Houston Hispanic Forum.

Student Profile

Household Income
Students enrolled in programs at the Division of Science and Engineering Technologies were asked to report their own household income. Of those reporting since the 2001/2002 academic year, 77% declared household income at or below the median for Houston ($36,616 according to the most recent census) with 36% reporting an income of less than $15,000.


Ethnic Diversity
Since it was established, the Division of Science and Engineering Technologies has attracted students from Houston’s many ethnic communities. Taken as a whole, this group of 947 students is:

  • 41% African American
  • 1% American Indian
  • 23% Hispanic
  • 10% Asian
  • 21% White
  • 5% Unknown


Of the 947 students enrolled at the Division of Science and Engineering Technologies since 2001/2002, the vast majority (76%) are between the ages of 23 and 50. A more detailed breakdown follows:

  • 2% Under 18
  • 43% Ages 31-50
  • 12% Ages 18-22
  • 8% Ages 50+
  • 33% Ages 23-30
  • 2% Unknown

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