“The most rewarding aspect of a career in Engineering is that the possibilities are endless. You can see the world while you work on cutting edge projects, while at the same time meeting a lot of people that you will become life long friends with.”
Amanda has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University. She also participated in many extra-curricular activities which helped prepare her for her current position. Amanda was in involved in student council (both in high school and university), science olympics and public speaking.
She feels that her natural interest in math and science, as well as coming from a family of construction workers, drew her towards her chosen career. “I was always building something or other with my family.” Amanda says her high school Math, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and English courses were most applicable to her post-secondary studies.
Amanda’s job is a salaried position involving 37.5 hours a week with every second Friday off. Her hours of work are flexible and she usually starts her day around 7:00 am. Amanda is currently working in Calgary, Alberta where her commute to work is approximately 15 minutes by car or bus or a 20-minute bike ride.
Her typical duties include conceptual studies for oil and gas facilities being built in remote areas, which could include facilities design, cost estimate, schedule estimates and regulatory procedures. She is also responsible for business planning, recruiting and mentoring new hires.
Amanda says that there are few workplace hazards in her position, but field engineers must be aware of typical oil and gas site hazards: construction equipment, H2S leaks and rotation equipment.
Amanda’s job involves extensive travel, mostly in North America. She has visited Inuvik, NWT; Bakersfield, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX; Midland, TX; Lafayette, LA; and St. John’s, NL.
To reach her current position, Amanda first completed six engineering work-terms: C-CORE (Geotechnical Research); Hibernia (Drilling); AMKC (White Rose Topsides Design); Chevron (Corrosion Representation); AMKC (White Rose Hook up and Integration); and Petro-Canada (Production Engineering). Since graduating, she has been employed as a Facilities Engineer at the Centre for Marine Compressed Natural Gas and with Chevron Canada.
Amanda says her future career prospects are endless. She would like to work toward project management for a major capital project such as Hebron or Hibernia. Her career path would include gaining international experience in design and construction of offshore structures. Her next job would likely be hands on in offshore design, followed by being involved in a major capital project from front end engineering to hook up and commissioning.
Compensation and Benefits
The hiring rate for engineers at Chevron is based on competitive market data and in 2007, was approximately $63,000. Amanda’s employer provides her with benefits such as life, health and dental insurance, RRSP matching, pension input, success sharing bonuses, retention plan bonuses and gym membership.
Amanda says that salaries for her position in the oil & gas field are in the top 25% compared to similar positions in other industries, while her total compensation is also higher than that in other fields with similar amounts of training.
Amanda’s employer provides a five-year training program for new engineers which includes three weeks business training in the first two years and two to five weeks technical training for the first five years. They also provide driver and safety training.