The petroleum industry uses sophisticated systems to monitor,
measure and control wells, facilities and pipeline operations.
Control of all 'mission-critical' processes is fundamental to
business performance, economics and safety.
If you can see the big picture, but can also focus on the many
details behind it, a job as an Automation Engineer might be for
you. Imagine designing an automated system, choosing the right
technology and suppliers, and managing the system's installation
from start to finish. Do you anticipate going live with the system,
the challenge of troubleshooting and the satisfaction of affecting
the entire organization?
Automation Engineers are the masterminds behind all of this!
They ensure that systems run smoothly and safely, production is
maximized and bottom line costs are kept in check. Automation is
growing in importance within the industry. This could be your
opportunity to be on the leading edge of technology!
What does an Automation Engineer do?
Automation Engineers design, develop, install
and oversee instrumentation andcontrol systems that sense, measure,
and run operational processes. Jobs varyfrom managing broad system
projects, to providing expertise on specific
portions.Responsibilities can include:
- Designing, engineering, testing and
troubleshooting control systems.
- Ensuring field devices,
instrumentation systems, communication networks, data management
and interfaces work properly.
- Interacting with field teams,
consulting firms, contractors and vendors.
How do I become an Automation Engineer?
Automation Engineers need a degree from an accredited college or
university in adiscipline such as:
- Computer engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Engineering physics
You will also need a license to practice as an engineer.
Provincial engineering associations are responsible for
administering and issuing licenses. For more specific information
about engineering qualifications and professional certifications,
check out the following website: www.engineerscanada.ca.
International Society of Automation (ISA) certification is
considered an asset. See details at www.isa.org. Information for
foreign-trained engineers is provided on the Canadian Information
Centre for International Credentials website at www.cicic.ca.
What are the working conditions like?
Most Automation Engineers perform their work indoors, in
comfortable office settings. However, trips to the field and remote
sites are required. Travel with overnight stays can be
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become an
- I have a natural curiosity about the
world and have a knack forfiguring out how things work.
- I like to build new things and enjoy
- I am creative, imaginative and
consider myself an idea person.
- I can apply critical thinking and
enjoy problem solving.
- I am good at math, sciences and
- I am very comfortable working with
computers and database systems.
- I enjoy reading about new
- I am a multi-tasker and can handle
changing priorities whenunder pressure.
- I can balance details with the 'big
- I consider myself a great team-player
- I can build personal andprofessional relationships
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may requireat least four or more years of
- I think a career as an Automation
Engineer is exciting and I'm upfor the challenge and
Quick tips and next steps!
- Choose a university that offers co-op
engineering programs. These programs combine academic classes with
practical work experience.
- Browse the information for students
on the Association of Professional Engineers andGeoscientists of
B.C. website at www.apeg.bc.ca.
- Review 'Engineering Your Future - a
Career Planning Guide in Engineering' at www.apegga.ca.
- Check out the P-Eng website for
helpful information, including a section of Frequently Asked
Questions at www.peng.ca.
- Read up on automation technologies
like Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Supervisory Control and
Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems.
- Participate in National Engineering Month and National Scienceand Technology
- Get a summer job that will give you
some exposure to automated systems.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out www.careersinoilandgas.com.