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Overview of the Oil & Gas Industry


British Columbia’s government forecasts a high demand for workers in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sector. B.C.’s developing industry is projected to create up to 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

Employment in the oil and gas industry is very dependent on economic cycles. The sharp decline in oil prices is currently having a significant negative impact on Canada’s industry.

A recent survey found that almost 60% of oil companies in Canada said they were reducing their workforce, with almost half saying that they’ve had to lay off between 11 and 25% of their employees.

Although the current downturn has affected BC’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) market, this sector has the potential for significant growth. BC’s government estimates that the LNG sector may require up to 100,000 workers in construction and operations over the next decade.

Northern BC, in particular, will need to recruit numerous workers to meet construction and operations requirements.

The industry is in need of a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce. As energy projects resume and workers retire, BC’s industry will require more people with specialized skills to work in an increasingly complex environment. Higher levels of reading, mathematical ability, communications and problem-solving skills are required to perform new tasks.

Immigrants are seen as a key source of talent as oil and gas companies seek to meet their hiring needs in the years ahead.

The industry has responded by developing a number of programs to attract newcomers. These include:

  • initiatives to attract newcomers to remote locations of the province
  • corporate efforts to encourage diversity in the workplace
  • strategies for streamlining foreign-credential recognition

One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program, which helps you overcome barriers to entering the trades, including jobs in oil and gas. This program can provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.

In recognition of the current demand for skilled professionals in northern BC, Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) has created a resource to connect you with jobs in three northern communities – Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John.

For more information on the oil and gas sector see:

Occupations in the Oil & Gas Sector

The oil and gas sector is made up of numerous occupations. Each career has its own unique set of experience and training requirements.

For most jobs you should be able to read, write and communicate effectively in English in order to work safely and efficiently.

In BC, occupations involved in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sector are in the greatest demand.

Top 10 LNG careers with highest workforce demand, 2018:

top 10 LNG careers with highest workforce demand, 2018

Source: British Columbia 2022 Labour Market Outlook

Across Canada, high demand occupations due to retirement include:

  • Engineers
  • Accounting & Finance Professionals
  • Geoscientists
  • Heavy Equipment Operators

Source: 2015 Industry HR Snapshot. Careers in Oil and Gas

For detailed information on any of the occupations in the oil and gas sector, including job description, training requirements, salary, and more see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

Most of BC’s oil and gas activity is in the northeastern part of the province.

Oil pipelines and rail deliveries to BC ports and LNG export facilities are also planned for the northwest coast, including Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

Companies involved in planning LNG exports from BC are opening offices and placing staff in Vancouver, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Kitimat, resulting in new employment opportunities. These are head office type jobs that are involved in the early stage planning of projects including regulatory, stakeholder relations and business development roles.

Additional information on oil and gas activities in specific regions can be found at:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the oil and gas industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: