Chemical and Process Engineers are champions for ongoing
improvement in the oil and gas industry. They examine how raw
materials are transported or converted into other products, and
improve the efficiency and economics of these processes. Chemical
process engineering applies to most oil and gas operations, so
there are many career options to consider.
Imagine working on oil sands projects that separate bitumen from
sand and upgrading it to synthetic crude oil. Your work could also
focus on applying technical know-how to improve production and
water treatment at steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) plants.
Alternatively, you may develop new ways to remove moisture,
contaminants, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from natural gas
or reduce corrosion on equipment and pipelines.
Does the logic of a flowchart fascinate you? Do instrumentation
diagrams and complex mathematical calculations intrigue you? Are
you curious about thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics
and chemical reactions? If so, you may find your niche as a
Chemical and Process Engineer!
What do Chemical and Process Engineers do?
Chemical and Process Engineers design, configure, and oversee
process improvements to equipment, facilities and pipelines. Your
responsibilities could include:
- Performing process optimization studies and developing new
- Preparing calculations, specifications and drawings that
conform with operational and regulatory standards
- Developing and maintaining design tools and databases
- Providing technical supervision during performance testing and
- Analysing technical risks and recommending options
- Interfacing with other engineering disciplines
How do I become a Chemical and Process Engineer?
You will need a four year Bachelor of Science degree from an
accredited college or university. Engineering programs in chemical
engineering, computer process control and process engineering are
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 followingwebsite: www.engineerscanada.ca.
The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)
International provides certification programs about corrosion and
corrosion control. More information is available at: www.nace.org. The International
Society of Automation (ISA) offers a Certified Automation
Professional (CAP) program. See details at: www.isa.org.
Information for foreign-trained engineers is provided on the
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website
What are the working conditions like?
Most Chemical and Process Engineers perform their work in office
settings. Trips to field locations occur on occasion. Some
engineers may work in operating plants and may be subject to noise
and dusty conditions. Going into confined spaces, such as
distillation columns or reactor vessels to perform inspections and
climbing ladders is a possibility. Safety protocols are strictly
adhered to in such cases.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become aChemical
and Process Engineer?
- I am interested in applied
mathematics, physics and chemical engineering.
- I like to experiment with
- I enjoy figuring out complex
calculations and diagrams.
- I can successfully manage a project
from start to finish.
- I have an aptitude for using
specialized computer software.
- I am creative, imaginative and
consider myself an idea person.
- I pay special attention to detail and
accuracy and am not easily distracted.
- I am a good problem solver and think
quickly on my feet.
- I am a great
- I am quite versatile and can work on
my own or with a team.
- I am good at clearly explaining
technical things to others.
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I think a career as a Chemical and
Process Engineer sounds exciting and I'm up for the challenge and
Quick tips and next steps!
Visit career fairs and talk to employers who offer jobs and
careers in this occupation. Check with employment centres,
educational institutions, newspapers, petroleum-related magazines
and the internet for information on career fairs.
Choose a university that offers co-op engineering programs.
These programs combine academic classes with practical work
Participate in National
Engineering Month and National
Science and Technology Week.
Review Engineering Your Future - a Career Planning Guide
inEngineering at the Association of Professional Engineers
andGeoscientists of Alberta website at: www.apegga.ca.
Check out the P-Eng website at www.peng.ca for helpful
information,including a section for students and Frequently Asked
Review the Generation-E Career Launch Handout at: www.generation-e.ca.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out www.careersinoilandgas.com.