Offshore Oil and Gas Engineers
Rugged waters, ocean terrain, subsea platforms, and pure
innovation and technology - these are a few of the things you'll
find in offshoreoil and gas operations. These operations involve
exploration and production above sea level and deep into the
crevices of the ocean. There are plenty of similarities between
offshore and onshore (land)operations - the main difference is of
course water! The majority of Canada's offshore operations are
located on the east coast, predominantly off the shores of
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
People who work offshore need strong technical skills, plus the
stamina, balance and enthusiasm needed to succeed in such a unique
What does an Offshore Oil and Gas Engineer do?
Offshore Oil and Gas Engineers play a critical
role in all facets of offshore operations. Their skills are used in
designing and constructing platform and subsea structures, drilling
equipment, well head operations, subsea pipelines and production
and transportation operations.
Offshore Engineers can branch out into many specialties
- Drilling and completions
- Marine corrosion
- Consulting and project
- Process controls and
- Intervention and tooling
- Quality control and
- Flow assurance
- Subsea processes
How do I become an Offshore Oiland Gas Engineer?
You will need a four year Bachelor of Science
degree from anaccredited college or university in any one of the
- Mechanical engineering
- Marine/Ocean engineering
- Structural engineering
- Civil engineering
- Chemical engineering
For specialized positions such as Process Engineers or Corrosion
Engineers, Chemical Engineering degrees are typically required. You
will also need a license to practice as an engineer. Provincial
engineering associations are responsible for administering and
issuing licenses. Specific information about engineering
qualifications and professional certifications can be found at: www.engineerscanada.ca.
What are the working conditions like?
Offshore Oil and Gas Engineers work in both onshore and offshore
locations. While onshore, they perform their work in an office
setting. Be prepared to travel. Trips by helicopter to offshore
platforms and/or vessels can occur frequently. Accommodations and
meals are provided. Workers maybe exposed to inclement weather and
potentially hazardous conditions; however safety protocols are
strictly adhered to, to avoid any risk. Worker safety is a top
concern for the oil and gas industry. While offshore, engineers are
expected to work similar hours as the crews. Periods of stay out at
sea willvary depending on the project assignment.
Do I fit the bill?
Want to know if you'd make a great Offshore Oil and Gas
It takes a very unique person set to be able to survive and
thrive in the offshore world.
- I have a natural curiosity about the
world and have a knack for figuring out how things
- I like to build new things and enjoy
- I am good at math, sciences and
- I am creative, imaginative and
consider myself an idea person.
- I can apply critical thinking and
enjoy problem solving.
- I am good at clearly explaining
technical things to others.
- I consider myself a great
team-player, able to easily build personal and professional
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I have the stamina and enthusiasm to
work at sea on ships, platforms, helicopters and other unique
offshore work environments.
- I can handle traveling for long
periods and being away from home for up to three weeks or
- I am comfortable working 24/7 in a
relatively isolated environment, with harsh weather
- I believe that following safety
policies and procedures is very important.
- I think a career as an Offshore Oil
and Gas Engineer is exciting!
Quick tips and next steps!
- Choose a university that offers co-op
engineering programs. These programs combine academic classes with
practical work experience.
- Conduct internet research and visit
offshore oil and gas industry websites.
- Research the software and technology
used by offshore engineers.
- Read engineer and offshore trade and
- Seek summer employment with a
commercial construction company, where you'll get exposure to
- Gain valuable insight from all angles
of projects. When you become an engineer, meet with labourers,
technicians, operators and foremen on your projects.
- Stay connected with contractors and
specialty companies. These contacts will come in handy when you
start managing projects.