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Field Engineer

Field Engineer

Krista McGrath
Hometown: Tilting, Fogo Island
Company: BJ Process & Pipeline Services

“I get to travel a lot and meet a lot of different people and experience a lot of different cultures. Every day is different, new and exciting! It is a very rewarding career.”


Krista attended St. Francis Xavier University and Dalhousie University and has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. She says her involvement in career fairs, APENS (Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia), Big Brothers/Big Sisters and peer tutoring helped prepare her for her position. Krista says she always had an interest in math and science, which helped direct her towards her chosen career. Her high school chemistry, physics and advanced math courses were most applicable to her post-secondary studies.


Krista’s regular office hours are 8 am-5 pm; while in the field she works 12 hour shifts. She is awarded a job bonus of 0.4 days off for every day worked in the field. She lives close to her place of work and commutes just 10 minutes. Krista’s job involves a lot of travel. Her work has taken her to offshore Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia, as well as to Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Houston, Colorado and Idaho.

Krista’s duties included procedure writing and executing jobs in a supervisor or engineer role. She is also the HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) representative for St. John’s which involves planning safety meetings and monitoring and closing out incident and near miss reports. She is also responsible for monitoring equipment certifications and database. She had to pass a physical before employment, due to some physical work (lifting, etc.) involved in her job. Krista says offshore working conditions can be cold, wet and windy and there are many hazards to be aware of (lifts, pressure, rotating machinery, etc.). She says the objective is to recognize the risk and put control measures in place to reduce or eliminate them.

To reach her current position, Krista completed work terms as part of her cooperative university program, with the last one at BJ Process and Pipeline Systems in Edmonton. She has been with the company full-time since graduating. In the future, she would like to become involved in project management, and eventually perhaps management. She is planning to take a four-month Master’s program from Memorial University beginning this September.

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries for Krista’s occupation range from $40,000-90,000 for a Field Engineer. She receives health and dental benefits, stock options, pension and a fitness subsidiary from her employer. She also receives employer training in all required safety courses. Krista feels her salary in the oil and gas industry is higher than a similar position in another industry and higher than salaries in other industries with similar amounts of training.