Pipeline engineering is a multi-faceted, complex and challenging
occupation where you can apply your engineering skills to "real
time" operations of the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas pipelines
function much like a railway network, with long and short lines and
numerous pick-up and drop-off points along the way. While trains
carry people, freight, tankers and grain cars above the ground,
pipelines move oil and gas products such as crude oil, natural gas
and refined petroleum products beneath the ground. Products we use
everyday such as fuel for our cars, or gas to heat our homes are
transported through these pipelines.
Pumping stations, storage terminals, gas compressor stations,
pipelines, manifolds, and control systems are some of the
facilities that Pipeline Engineers design, construct, operate and
What does a Pipeline Engineer do?
Pipeline Engineers typically perform duties associated with:
- Planning and design
- Integrity and corrosion
- Consulting and project
Every field of engineering is used to ensure the safe and
efficient operation of this vital component of the oil and gas
industry. There are many exciting pipeline engineering jobs
- Pipeline/Facilities Design
- Pipeline Inspection
- Pipeline Controls
- Pipeline Operations
- Pipeline Electrical
- Subsea Pipeline Engineer
- Pipeline Mechanical
- Subsea Inspection
- Consulting Project
How do I become a Pipeline Engineer?
You will need a four year Bachelor of Science degree from an
accredited college or university. You can choose from a variety of
engineering disciplines which include structural, metallurgical,
petroleum, chemical, computer, electrical, and mechanical. All are
applicable to the pipeline engineering occupation.
You will also need a license to practice as an engineer.
Provincial engineering associations are responsible for
administering and issuing licenses. For specific information about
engineering qualifications and professional certifications, check
out the following website: www.engineerscanada.ca.
What are the working conditions like?
Working conditions will vary by location considering pipelines
can be found onshore, offshore and in the Arctic region. Pipeline
Engineers are typically based at corporate or operational
headquarters working indoors. Occasional travel to the worksite is
required for the job. Inclement weather, isolation, potentially
hazardous conditions and shift work can be expected. Safety is very
important and you will be expected to adhere to all regulations and
Do I fit the bill?
Want to know if you would make a good Pipeline
- I am curious how things
- I like to build new things and enjoy
- I am good at math, sciences and
- I am creative and
- I can apply critical thinking to
- I can clearly explain technical
things to others.
- I am great team player and am able to
build personal and professional relationships.
- I am a good communicator.
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I have a strong aptitude for working
with computers/database systems.
- I have the stamina and enthusiasm to
work in a variety of work environments and conditions.
- I can handle traveling for long
periods and being away from home for up to three weeks or
- I am comfortable working in a 24/7
work environment while out at field locations.
- I believe that following safety
policies and procedures is very important.
- I believe I am well suited for a
career as a Pipeline Engineer!
Quick tips and next steps!
- Choose a university that offers co-op
engineering programs. These programs combine academic classes with
practical work experience.
- Visit websites of pipeline companies
for more information about the pipeline business.
- Research software and technology used
by pipeline engineers.
- Read engineer and pipeline-related
trade and industry publications.
- Seek summer employment with a
commercial construction company for exposure to engineering
- Gain valuable insight from all angles
of projects. When you become an engineer, meet with laborers,
technicians, operators and foremen on your projects.
- Stay connected with contractors and
- Research the oil and gas
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out