Trades people play a big role in the upstream petroleum industry
and are typically involved in the actual execution of the
industry's day to day functions or work in maintenance roles where
they are involved in all the work necessary to keep facilities and
equipment in good repair and reliable working order.
Tradespeople are actively involved in the design and fabrication
of materials and equipment used in the industry. Operating
companies and engineering consulting companies hire tradespeople
for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects that
build the sophisticated facilities used in onshore, offshore,
mining and heavy oil (in-situ) operations.
A compulsory trade is one in which an individual must be a
certified journeyperson or registered apprentice to do the work of
that trade. The trades listed below are apprenticeable in one or
more provinces. The Interprovincial Standard (Red Seal) Program,
which is required by some of the trades, confirms that the holder
has achieved 70 per cent or higher on the
interprovincial/territorial exam for their trade, allowing them to
work in any province/territory in Canada.
If you have the following skills, interests and abilities a
career as an Tradesperson might be for you:
- Have a natural knack for working with
tools, computers, instruments and machinery at tasks requiring
- Are curious about how things fit
together and operate.
- Like working with your
- Like to be physically active and
constantly on the move.
- Display great attention to
- Enjoy problem solving - taking a
methodical approach to analyzing problems and finding innovative
- Have an aptitude for visualizing an
Academic requirements vary by trade and province and territory;
however a high school diploma is recommended for the trades
involved in the upstream petroleum industry. Individuals
considering a trade must carefully select the one they are
interested in, find an employer to sponsor an apprenticeship and
register with the provincial and territorial apprenticeship office.
You can then start earning a salary while you learn the trade.
Secondary School Pre-Apprenticeship ProgramsMany provincial and
territorial governments have introduced special programs for
secondary school students who are interested in apprenticeship.
These programs offer early training in the trades and opportunities
to try working on-the-job. Students have a chance to earn credits
towards their apprenticeship in these pre-apprenticeship
Interprovincial Standards Red Seal ProgramThe Interprovincial
Standards Red Seal Program is administered in each province and
territory under the guidance of the Canadian Council of Directors
of Apprenticeship (CCDA). Red Seal certification is recognized in
Skilled tradespeople have meaningful, lucrative and long-term
careers, not just jobs. The level of advancement is up to the
capability and interests of the individual.
The first step is becoming an Apprentice and then becoming a
Certified Journeyperson. From there, a person can become a Master
Journeyperson, a business owner and entrepreneur, a contractor or a
supervisor and manager in a company. Individuals can also choose to
represent trades in a business, pursue trade instructor roles, or
become designers and inventors.
- These labour-intensive jobs can be
physically demanding. Opportunities for travel and overtime can
make these positions very attractive.
- The physical "hands-on" aspect of
trades may draw many people to these careers. However, it is
important to note that careers also include designing concepts and
blueprints, project management and performing administrative
- Safety-sensitive positions have
stringent requirements related to being drug and alcohol
Quick Tips & Additional Resources:
- Review the Guide to Apprenticeship
and an About Skilled Trades and Apparenticeship Presentation
- Review Skills Canada
- Review the International Standards Red Seal
Program information and follow links to provincial and
territorial apprenticeship branch offices.
- Attend career fairs hosted by
employers who offer jobs and careers in this occupation and review
- Contact individuals already in the
trades - among other things they can describe what the work
entails, what skills are important to have, who typically hires for
these roles and what next stpes could be taken to find out
- Review the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur
l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) for information on careers in trades
and apprenticeship training.