FAQ: Top Jobs In The Oil And Gas Industry


Would you consider a career in oil and gas? With high demand and growth potential, a career in oil and gas has a lot to offer.

From a Crane Operator to a Geologist, long-term, stable and well-paying opportunities await candidates who have the right education and training.

Here’s a quick introduction to some of the most in-demand jobs in the oil and gas industry:

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers apply a diverse mix of knowledge from fields including geology, chemistry and engineering sciences in order to extract petroleum.

A Petroleum Engineer could also be called a Design Engineer, Engineer, Oil and Gas Engineer, Production Engineer or Up-Stream Processing Engineer. Specialties range from oil and gas drilling to areas with a specific focus on reservoir management and production.

What are the education and experience requirements?

  • Degree in petroleum engineering or a related field
  • Minimum of four years post-secondary education or training (co-op programs usually take five years to complete, but offer an experience advantage)
  • Registered Petroleum Engineer under provincial requirements

Many Petroleum Engineers work in Alberta. However, there are opportunities in other provinces like British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.


Geologists work closely with geophysicists. Their expertise in rocks and the Earth’s crust allows them to study deposits. While you might think this role involves a lot of outdoor work (it can!), there’s also a lot of traditional office work indoors.

Geologists compile reports, conduct analyses and study maps from field and lab work. Some may spend months in remote areas that cover large areas of land conducting ongoing work.

A geologist can also be called a Petroleum Geologist, Physical Scientist, Planetary Geologist, Research Scientist, Sedimentologist, Stratigrapher, Surficial Geologist, or Volcanologist.

What are the education and experience requirements?

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Geology
  • 4 years of post-secondary education with additional professional development, which includes work experience or education depending on the position
  • Registered Geologist in line with provincial requirements

Geologists are mostly found in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.


Geophysicists use physics, math and geology to dig into how the earth is put together. They explore oil, gas, water and minerals using data processing, data interpretation and data selection methods.

Geophysicists work in the same family of geoscientists as geologists, often dividing their time between office and field work.

A geophysicist may also be called an Environmental Geophysicist, Exploration Geophysicist, Mining Geophysicist, Petroleum Exploration Geophysicist or Physical Scientist.

What are the education and experience requirements?

  • Four years post-secondary education and training
  • Bachelor of Science degree in geophysics or a related science with courses in geophysics, electronics, physics, chemistry, geology, mathematics or computer science
  • Roles in research require a doctorate
  • Many companies provide additional training in specialized techniques in oil and gas or mineral exploration

Similar to geologists, most geophysicists work in Alberta. Some jobs exist across Canada.


Skilled trades professionals working in oil and gas are responsible for various manual labour tasks.

Since these tasks are essential to every project, skilled trades professionals work in a variety of environments. There are over 200 trades occupations related to a career in the oil and gas industry!

What are the education and experience requirements?

  • Educational requirements depend on the province
  • High school diploma recommended
  • Certified Journeyperson status

Areas of specialization

  • Crane Operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics or Technicians
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Industrial Instrument Mechanics
  • Industrial Mechanics and Millwrights
  • Insulators
  • Machinists
  • Rig Technicians
  • Steamfitters and Pipefitters
  • Welders

Don’t forget to check out TalentEgg’s Petroleum Career Guide to learn more about starting your career in oil and gas!

Sources: Careers in Oil and Gas, Alberta Learning Information Service

About the author

Jessica Cruz 's scattered thoughts, ideas and quirky comics travel from her mind to paper. She enjoys narrative writing, graphic design, outdoor sports, and occasionally defeating virtual zombies. Her final year at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College (joint program) lands a double major in Communication, Culture & Information Technology (CCIT) and Professional Writing. She faces a career quest in the realm of marketing, design, writing, and web. Find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.