Most petroleum engineers work at head offices where oil and gas drilling or exploration is happening. In Canada, most petroleum engineers work in Alberta. However, opportunities also exist in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.
Petroleum engineers may specialize in specific areas of petroleum engineering. These include operations and production processes such as drilling, reservoir management, completions, petrophysics, gas processing, secondary and tertiary recovery methods, and pipelines.
They may work for:
- Major oil companies
- Smaller, independent oil exploration, production, and service companies
- Engineering consulting firms
- Government agencies
Many petroleum engineers have their own consulting businesses. Some work in financial institutions that finance oil and gas properties.
Petroleum engineer graduates often head into field positions. They are supervised by an experienced engineer. The practical experience and training are invaluable. It can help them move on to the bigger responsibilities, such as field or reservoir engineering assignments.
In company operations divisions, petroleum engineers can work their way up from field to district, division, and operations management positions.
This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.
In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.
In the 2145: Petroleum engineers occupational group, 81.2% of people work in:
Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
- Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
- Size of the occupation
- Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list
In Alberta, the 2145: Petroleum engineers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 195 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.