Engineers work in all parts of the upstream
petroleum industry, including exploration, extraction, production
and transportation. The common denominator for Engineers is that
work typically involves the professional design, construction,
operation, maintenance, quality control and optimization of systems
critical to the exploration, production, processing and
transportation of petroleum.
If you have the following skills, interests and abilities a
career as an Engineer might be for you:
- Like to build new things, or improve
the way things work.
- Like to work with ideas, to apply
critical thinking and figure out practical solutions to
- Like to understand the fundamental
physical principles regarding the behaviour of
- Are good at math and
- Are detail oriented.
- Can handle responsibility and
All professional engineering-related work requires a minimum of
an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline from a recognized
university. Academic qualifications and recognized professional
experience may lead to qualification for a professional engineering
designation (P.Eng.), a certification reflecting the highest
standard of professional engineering competencies. Some jobs may
require this designation and provincial requirements for licensing
will vary. Engineers must meet standards for practice, codes of
professional conduct and ethics. Details on internships and
licensing can be found at the provincial engineering association
websites listed below.
Entry into this occupation typically begins at the junior or
associate engineer level, with upward mobility through
intermediate, advanced, team lead, supervisory and finally,
management levels. In some cases, engineer-in-training or co-op
engineering programs are entry-level points to professional
engineering jobs. Some roles, particularly those that are
specialized, may require a combination of work experience and
post-graduate training. Career paths typically offer people
management or technical specialization opportunities, often with
the same employer.
In the conventional oil and gas sector, companies hire from
three main engineering disciplines - chemical, mechanical and
petroleum - and train them for a variety of jobs within the
industry. For example, a reservoir engineer may actually hold a
degree in chemical, mechanical or petroleum engineering and receive
on the job training in reservoir engineering. In the oil sands
producer sector, job titles are more true to their discipline. For
example, chemical engineers are chemical or process engineers, and
mechanical engineers require a mechanical engineering degree.
- Engineering positions may be
office-based, but generally require some amount of travel to other
offices or work sites.
- Safety-sensitive positions have
stringent requirements related to being drug and alcohol
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