Career Profiles

Electrical Technician



George Oake

Hometown: Embree

Company: Husky Energy

“The greatest aspect of my career is the high level of exposure to learning and further enhancing my knowledge. This comes from the day to day challenges I am faced with and the people with whom I work.”

 

Education

George completed two years of General Studies at Memorial University, a 3-year diploma in Electrical Engineering Technology at the College of the North Atlantic and a 3-year diploma in Instrumentation Engineering Technology at the College of the North Atlantic. During his studies, George received the “Presidents Award of Academic Excellence” for graduating with the highest academic average in his Engineering Technology Program. He says his high school Physics and Mathematics courses were most applicable to his post-secondary studies. George adds that maintaining good physical fitness has been beneficial for the demands of his career, while his five years of service in Air Cadets provided him with leadership skills and the discipline to work hard to achieve his goals. George’s natural interest in troubleshooting and the overall process of creating solutions helped draw him towards his chosen career.

 

Lifestyle

George works on a rotation, working 12 hours a day for 21 days, followed by 21 days off. George’s work has brought him around the world to places like the North Sea, the Far East and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland & Labrador. George lives about 400 km from St. John’s and upon his arrival he has about a 1½ hour helicopter flight to get to his offshore location.

 

George’s work involves troubleshooting and repairing all electrical equipment on the SeaRose FPSO. He also carries out electrical isolations so that other disciplines can work on equipment such as pumps, compressors, valves, etc., and carries out regular maintenance on electrical equipment to prevent breakdowns and to identify and correct problems. The environmental conditions offshore can mean storms, high winds and rough seas in the winter and lots of foggy weather in the summer. As with other industrial work environments, George must be aware of the risks inherent in his line of work and deal with them in a safe manner.

 

George’s career has seen him working on oil tankers in the Atlantic and North Sea sectors and on a cable laying vessel in the Far East. His work for a local contracting company allowed him to work on seven different installations around the world. In the future, George plans to be involved in cross-training into other disciplines in order to take on leadership roles such as supervisor.

 

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this occupation is approximately $80,000-120,000 annually. George’s employer provides him with medical/dental coverage, life insurance, disability, RRSP contributions and a savings plan. There are also opportunities for individual or group performance bonuses. In addition to his salary, George receives an offshore uplift for each day he spends offshore. George’s company also provides equipment specific and safety-related training for its employees. George feels that excluding offshore uplift pay, his salary in the oil and gas industry is about the same or a little higher than that of a similar position in another industry, and that even without offshore uplift, it is higher than salaries in non oil and gas careers with similar amounts of training.