Canada’s North is known for its vast land, rich in tradition and natural resources.
However, it is also very rich in career opportunities for students and new grads.
To put it in perspective, the territories are home to 30% of Canada’s remaining recoverable light crude oil, needed to make anything from fertilizers – which grow food – to plastics and asphalt.
Developing the resources to find and extract this oil in our three territories could create a lot of job opportunities. Therefore, for students looking to enter the petroleum industry, you might have more reason to head up North than just for a look at the Northern Lights.
1. The petroleum industry is growing fast in the North
Just this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that more than 500 new natural resource development projects worth more than $500 billion across the country will be proposed in the next 10 years, many of them in the North, resulting in more economic growth and, as a result, more jobs!
2. The relationship between Northerners and the industry is changing
Canadians have debated for decades about how to develop the resources to access the oil and gas in the North. According to a report launched by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, there is proof that development can work in the North while still maintaining respect for the land.
Development in the North is definitely possible – and there are people behind it. As the report reads, “People sometimes think Northerners are against development…Northerners are really not much different than other Canadians. They want a better life for themselves and their families, both now and in the future.”
The report goes on to say that developing the oil and gas industry in the North allows for:
- Creating jobs
- Improving skills and education
- Making communities more vibrant
- Attracting new investments
- Improving housing and health care
3. You can make more money in the North
Employers with operations in the North will pay you at a premium to work there, and they will probably also help with relocation and moving costs. Many operations even have on-site housing that also provide meals and entertainment, so you don’t have to worry about paying rent or buying food.
If you live in the North for a minimum amount of time, you may also qualify to receive the Northern Living Allowance from the federal government when you file your taxes.
And check this out: thanks to the natural resources boom, the per capita income of the Northwest Territories is at almost $95,000. That’s some serious money!
4. It’s one of the best places to start your career while you’re young
As a student or recent grad, you probably don’t have a spouse or children yet, and you’re not stuck in one location because you don’t own a house. Taking advantage of that early-career mobility can really pay off in the long run!
And, remember, just because you start your career there doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever. Oil and gas companies have operations all over Canada and around the world, and employees often pursue opportunities at other locations early on in their careers.
5. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a beautiful part of Canada
How many people do you know who have spent time in Canada’s North? Exactly. Starting your career in the oil and gas industry in Canada’s North means seeing a part of the country that few people have the opportunity to visit in their lifetimes. With a huge variety of terrains, ecosystems, wildlife and recreational activities, you’ll be amazed by all there is to see and do while you’re starting your career in the Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut.