SPE 101

Becoming a Top Professional: Advance Your Career With SPE Training Courses

In all industries, several qualities seem universal in top professionals: a focus on results, solid technical background, leadership qualities, self-motivation, willingness to share knowledge, superb ethics, and good communication and interpersonal skills. Top professionals have another quality that is not as easy to detect in the workplace: personal commitment to continuous learning.

High achievers in industry recognize the market is always changing—and to keep pace they constantly and eagerly renew, build, and add to their abilities and to the broad knowledge base that complements their formal education.

In just the last 5 years, for example, presalt discoveries offshore Brazil and shale plays onshore US demand skills significantly different from those acquired at university. The next great discovery and technological breakthrough are right around the corner. Are you ready to capitalize when the moment comes?

One of the most effective ways SPE can help you achieve your continuous learning and career goals is through training courses. SPE offers a very comprehensive catalog of training courses ranging from introductory to advanced levels of knowledge that are all designed to assist professionals in their training needs.

SPE has four training centers—in Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, and Calgary—where standalone courses are held. Training courses are also offered before and/or after SPE events, such as conferences and workshops. SPE events can draw many attendees from diverse locations, so event-related training opportunities are thereby accessible to a greater number of people worldwide. That way, SPE courses also can serve as opportunities to establish contact and network globally with professionals whose interests are similar to yours.

The SPE course catalog encompasses the six industry disciplines—drilling and completions; health, safety, security, and environment; management and information; projects, facilities, and construction; production and operations; and reservoir description and dynamics. Online, you can sort the complete course catalog by title and by discipline. You can also download the complete catalog. SPE’s 2015 goal is to hold 190 training courses, including those held standalone as well as in conjunction with events. Here are a few SPE course topics: “Social, Psychological, and Cognitive Factors in Project Decision-Making,” “Geology for Engineers,” “Practical Decline Curve Analysis,” “Oilfield Data Mining,” and “Technical Writing and Publishing.”

Instructors are carefully selected for each SPE course. Each instructor must have provided sound contributions to the industry and be considered a subject-matter expert in his or her field. All instructor biographies can be referenced in the SPE training catalog before you sign up for a course so you can be confident your instruction is in good hands.

If you are just starting your career, SPE training courses could be of great value to you. They could help accelerate your achievement of expertise and perhaps boost your chances for moving up within your organization. Students and recent graduates may find SPE training courses effective for acquiring skills and exposure to technical information typically not part of an academic curriculum. Attending professional society courses that complement your formal education can prove a consistent way to build your résumé and your technical competencies.

If you are an experienced professional working on the cutting edge of a specific discipline, you could serve as an SPE course instructor. SPE relies on members to propose new course ideas, subject to review and approval by members of the SPE Global Training Committee. In addition to sharing your experience and knowledge with industry colleagues, having your course approved as an SPE training course would also help build your reputation as a subject-matter expert.

Companies can also benefit from SPE training programs. Many companies in our industry lack training facilities and dedicated professional instructors. SPE courses can be an effective and relatively inexpensive way for an organization to keep its professionals up to date with the most current knowledge and industry developments. Companies can arrange for SPE courses to be held at the worksite. Small- to medium-sized companies in particular can benefit from onsite training.

SPE training courses are designed to maintain petroleum professionals’ high technical standards so they can effectively respond to the most challenging problems our industry faces. If you identify a technical subject, best practice, or emerging technology not covered by existing SPE courses, SPE welcomes your ideas for new courses. You can submit your ideas at

Next time you sign up for an SPE event, including workshops, check out the training courses offered in conjunction with it. Or when you seek training for yourself or your company, visit and simply browse through the calendar or the complete catalog of SPE training courses around the world.


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