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How to Seek Employment in Alberta’s Lucrative Petroleum and Construction Job Market

One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a Safety Consultant is:

“How can I get Employment in  Alberta’s lucrative job market”?

Alberta’s booming economy offers great prospects for career opportunities, particularly in the petroleum and construction trades, in the coming years.

With the highest economic growth of all the provinces, there are 275,000 direct and indirect oil and gas jobs to be filled.

When I talk to employers who book safety courses for their staff and contractors, they are looking to hire:

a) Tradespeople, such as Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operators, Mechanics, Truck drivers, Electricians,  Instrumentation technologists,  scaffolders, and construction labourers

b) Technicians who are skilled in computer applications.

c) Engineers, accountants and administrative staff.

Frequently, Employers mention the characteristics of staff they are seeking, which are:

a) Trained and Certified in general  Safety programs, such as H2S Alive, First Aid and CPR, PST (petroleum safety training) 2.0, whmis, and TDG.

b) Certified and up to date in work-specific Safety Programs such as Fall Protection, Confined Space, Ground Disturbance, and Pipeline Construction Safety (PCST).

c) If they are in the Alberta Oilsands industry, have OSSA courses. This stands for Oilsands Safety Association. Programs such as Orientations will allow you entry into these sites.  Confined Space Entry and Monitor OSSA will give you the training credentials to work in a restricted or confined area on oilsands locations.

d) They prefer that candidates have work experience, a proven skill set, and the ability to work independently.

e) Be drug and alcohol-free, have a good driving record and be reliable.

f) Be able to communicate with an acceptable command of the English language.

g) For field workers, the ability to work outdoors in remote locations for long hours in all kinds of weather.

Given these requirements, to get one of these lucrative jobs, my recommendations are:

a) Obtain the safety programs that employers request as minimum certificates.

b) Network with other people who are already employed in the companies you are seeking to apply with. Who you know really helps get your foot in the door.

c) Get in good physical shape for labour trades so you won’t injure yourself.

d) Learn about the industries that you are applying to enter and the key job descriptions.

e) Research the companies you are sending your resumes to. Interviewers are interested in whether you have done your homework.

f) Obtain references that indicate work experience and reliability and note your safety and other credentials.

g) Have a professional company create your resume.  Otherwise,  they are often full of grammatical and other errors.

There is great promise for employment in Alberta, particularly up north.  Apply these recommendations and seek the rewards.

I’m Arliss Levine, the Safety Mom from Allstar Enviro Safety.   I would be happy to assist you in obtaining the safety credentials you need.