Do you always wonder how things work? Do you like solving
puzzles, or often think "there must be a better way"? If so, you
might have what it takes to be a Mechanical Engineer.
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering
disciplines. It touches just about every industry, including oil
and gas. Mechanical Engineers work in exploration, extraction,
production and transportation of petroleum products. They explore
new technologies to improve equipment, tools and processes
essential to the industry. You could be designing equipment for
process control systems or creating a new compressor system to
improve pipeline efficiency. Perhaps you will come up with an
improvement to a tool thus making the jobs of maintenance employees
Whichever facet you choose, you will definitely make a
difference if you choose a career in mechanical engineering!
What do Mechanical Engineers do?
Mechanical Engineers apply modern and applied
physics to the design, manufacturing,maintenance and
troubleshooting of mechanical systems. They design and analyse
themachinery and tools required to start and complete processes.
They also trouble-shootand improve the performance of equipment and
machinery. Mechanical Engineers play akey role in the following
- Facility Equipment and
Operating Unit Maintenance: Mechanical Engineers design,
install, maintain and repair equipment such as piping, furnaces,
turbines, pumps, tanks, boilers, compressors, heating, ventilating
and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In oils ands mining
operations, they engineer draglines, bucket-wheels, conveyer belts
- Capital Projects/Large
Projects: Mechanical Engineers oversee the design,
implementation and shut down phases of capital projects. They
design specific mechanical equipment and processes for these
Manufacturing: Mechanical Engineers provide technical
advice to custom equipment design for manufactured products used in
the oil and gas industry. They provide research, development and
technical support for new tools and equipment that improve
How do I become a Mechanical Engineer?
You will need a four year Bachelor of Science degree from an
accredited college or university. Your coursework will include
fundamentals such as mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics,
kinematics (motion), and energy.
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.
Information for foreign-trained engineers is provided on the
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website
What are the working conditions like?
Mechanical Engineers spend most of their time working in office
settings. They occasionally visit operation sites such as
production platforms off the East Coast, oil sands projects in
northern Alberta, or drilling and production sites anywhere onthe
prairies. When visiting these sites, they are sometimes exposed to
potentially hazardous conditions and inclement weather. Safety
protocols are strictly adhered to. Extended visits do occur on
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a
- I like to build new things, or
improve the way things work.
- I am interested in applied
mathematics and physics.
- I am creative, imaginative and
consider myself an idea person.
- I am good at clearly explaining
technical things to others.
- 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 have an aptitude for using
specialized computer software.
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I am quite versatile and can work on
my own or with a team.
- I have well developed communication
and computer literacy skills.
- I am able to travel to and from work
- I think a career as a Mechanical
Engineer is exciting and I'm up for the challenge and
Quick tips and next steps!
- Visit career fairs and talk to
employers who offer jobs andcareers in this occupation. Check with
employment centres, educational institutions, newspapers,
petroleum-relatedmagazines and the internet for information on
- Choose a university that offers co-op
engineering programs.These programs combine academic classes with
practicalexperience terms involving participating
- Obtain employment with a construction
or oil productioncompany during your summer breaks from
- Review 'Engineering Your Future -
a Career Planning Guidein Engineering' at the Association of
Professional Engineersand Geoscientists of Alberta website at: www.apegga.org.
- 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 located at www.generation-e.ca.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out