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An oil field is an above-ground or undersea land area under which oil exists that's economically feasible to extract. Many different workers labor in an oil field, including what are called "mud engineers." Oil field mud engineers, more formally known as drilling fluids engineers, are found on oil well and natural gas drilling rigs. Salaries for mud engineers vary from employer to employer, but experienced "mud hands" can make lucrative pay for the hard work they perform.
Mud Engineer Salaries
Most sources put the yearly income for mud engineers in the six figures. The Inside Jobs website, citing data from the U.S. Department of Labor, reports that the annual salary range for mud engineers is $86,000 to $159,000 at the time of publication. A 2012 article on the CNN Money website notes that mud engineers make average salaries of $108,032 per year. The Ace Mud School website says experienced mud engineers can earn more than $800 daily.
Becoming a Mud Engineer
Many oil field mud engineers begin their careers working in manual labor-type positions on oil or natural gas rigs, including as drilling assistants. Mud engineers often earn their positions through on-the-job training combined with several years of experience. Vocational and occupational training in mud engineering is also available through what are called "mud schools." Some community colleges and technical schools also offer specific education and training in drilling fluids technologies.
Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.