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Certified Health & Safety Consultant Canadian Red Cross Canadian Society of Safety Engineering

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 next 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, construction laborers.
b) Technicians that 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, TDG.
b) Certified and up to date in  work  specific  Safety Programs  such as Fall Protection, Confined Space, Ground Disturbance, 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) Prefer that they have work experience and a proven skill set, and be able 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 labor trades so you wont 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, 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 your needed safety credentials.

4 responses to “How to Seek Employment in Alberta’s Lucrative Petroleum and Construction Job Market”

  1. Shane says:

    My friend in Alberta is telling me that I have to get myself up there where the petroleum jobs pay a lot! The stories he has told me about how the oil sands workers are making six figures in some places in Alberta are wild and I’m definitely tempted to switch careers. Would I need to have work safety certifications before applying for a job or is that something I can get once I start?

  2. Arliss Levine says:

    Hi Shane,

    Yes you would want to have your ducks in a row before applying for a position in this market, which would include your safety certificates. Let me know if you have any other questions
    Arliss Levine

  3. Chris Dawson says:

    Arliss, awesome advice! I’m interested in moving to Fort McMurray – what do you think 0f my chances for landing a job are there? I’ve have my ticket driving heavy machinery and experience working in an oilfield in West Texas. Do you think I’ll find steady work? Thanks so much!


  4. Arliss Levine says:

    Hey Chris,

    With your job experience you should be qualified to land an excellent job! But get your resumes in and get feedback on possible offers before moving. The opportunities are there, but rent is expensive, so you don’t want to have to spend a lot of time looking for work.

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