Career Profiles

Drilling Engineer 1



Newfoundland Oil and Gas Careers

Gerry Hewitt

Hometown: St. Shott’s

Company: Chevron

“I enjoy being on the leading edge of developing technology. There is a lot of focus in the oil & gas industry on developing new technologies to better recover oil and gas. This leads to a lot of new inventions and that advancing technology keeps me interested in my job.”

 

Education

Gerry has a Petroleum Engineering Technology diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Mechanical Engineering degree from Memorial University. He says playing team sports like hockey and softball helped him develop some of the skills needed to work effectively in large groups. He adds that being a peer tutor in high school improved his communication skills. Gerry feels that his natural aptitude for physics and chemistry helped steer him toward his chosen career and that his high school math and physics courses were most applicable to his post-secondary studies.

 

Lifestyle

Gerry normally works 8.5 hours a day and gets every second Friday off. He occasionally works at the rig site supervising drilling, and at that time does a 14 day on-14 day off rotation with 12-hour work days. Gerry currently works in downtown Calgary and has a 45 minute commute each way. He has also worked in Newfoundland, Ontario and Scotland. Gerry spends most of his time planning for drilling operations. This involves a lot of team work and requires him to interact with other engineers, geologists, accountants and technologists on a daily basis.

 

When at the rig site Gerry is surrounded by heavy equipment and must always be aware of his surroundings. He also must be trained on what that equipment is and how it works. Gerry started his career as a geologist describing rock types, before working as a technologist taking care of directional and horizontal drilling. After completing his Mechanical Engineering degree he was hired as a Drilling Engineer by Chevron. Gerry is working towards being a drilling engineer for offshore projects. He hopes to be working back in Newfoundland soon, though he may possibly relocate to the United States or Scotland.

 

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries for Gerry’s occupation and experience level range from $63,000-85,000 annually, while career compensation can range from $150,000 upwards. Gerry’s employer provides him with health and dental insurance, RRSP matching program, pension plan and success sharing bonuses (distributed once per year based on the company’s previous year’s success – it can be 5-15% of his yearly income).

 

Gerry does not receive hazard pay but when working on the rig he receives an additional bonus ranging from $75-150 per day. He estimates that his salary is higher than similar positions in other industries and also higher than salaries in non oil and gas careers with similar amounts of training.

 

Gerry receives job-specific training, as well as training in effective presentations, communications skills, computers and teamwork.