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TechWORKS! Career Information Profiles


When you oil your bike chain or skateboard bearings, or put a quart of 10-40W in the family car, do you wonder where the oil comes from? A gas and petroleum technologist not only knows where it comes from, but also is involved in many of the technical activities that go into its production.

As a gas and petroleum technologist, you could specialize in gas and petroleum, geological or geophysical studies, exploration and production, or transmission and distribution. Your knowledge and training would be applied to petroleum drilling, production procedures, formation evaluation and reservoir engineering.

You might be involved in sizing equipment and setting procedures necessary for the production of oil and gas, or calculating and compiling production statistics from various tests required for the evaluation of projects.

Some of the activities you might do as a technologist in this field are:

  • Directing the work required in assembling the mechanical and electrical testing instruments used at the well-site
  • Measuring and recording pressures, temperatures and flow rates at production facilities
  • Analyzing the mud that is extracted through boreholes during drilling operations
  • Calculating the optimum consistency of mud required for different drilling operations
  • Designing well completions (including casing designs, and cementing volumes and pressures)
  • Sizing gas dehydration and hydrate suppression equipment
  • Specifying surface equipment (separators, treaters and storage vessels for gas gathering facilities)
  • Specifying artificial lift systems to suit well conditions
  • Calculating well deliverability, hydrocarbon reserves (through volumetric, material balance and decline curve analysis), and the economic viability of various projects and procedures
  • Making recommendations regarding specific techniques for removing solids and water from the oil or for increasing well production
  • Correlating well logs
  • Assisting in well stimulations
  • Enhancing recovery project design Performing reservoir surveillance
  • Submitting reports to government and regulatory agencies

How Much Will You Earn?

Technologist: $65,000/yr
Technician: $55,000/yr

How Does the Future Look?

The employment outlook in this occupation is expected to be average compared to other occupations. The majority of jobs can be found in Alberta, with some in British Columbia, offshore in the Maritimes and in the Northwest Territories. Opportunities are also available overseas.

How Can You Get Started?

In high school, be sure to take courses in English, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

What Will You Need?

To pursue this career you should have an aptitude for the sciences, particularly chemistry, physics and mathematics. You will need good oral and written communication skills, and you should be comfortable working alone as well as on a team.

You should enjoy working with tools and instruments at tasks that require precision, analyzing data and finding innovative solutions to problems and taking charge of situations. You should also be willing to relocate.

Post Secondary Possibilities

Accredited Status
Petroleum &
Natural Gas
Gas & Petroleum

  • Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check www.asttbc.org for updates on accredited programs.
  • Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources of information applicable to education options for this technology.
  • Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline. These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities and location of employment.
  • The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.


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