3 Factors That Make a Career in Oil and Gas Administration a Smart Option
Being an administrative professional in Canada's petroleum sector can provide extra advantages over working in other industries. Here are three of the most significant ones:
1. Career Stability and Industry Growth
The need for energy is always rising. That's just as true for the rest of the world as it is for Canada—especially as developing countries expand their economies. Energy demand is so great that, between 2012 and 2035, it is projected to increase by 35 percent at the global level.*
But even though more alternative energy sources are being developed than ever before to help meet that demand, fossil fuels remain—and, for decades to come, will likely continue to be—the world's primary source of power generation.
As a result, Canada's oil and natural gas industry is in prime position to be a major supplier of global energy and domestic career opportunities for a very long time. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that:
- The output from Alberta's oil sands is expected to more than double by 2035.**
- Canada has the globe's third-largest reserves of crude oil. Only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have more.*
- In 2012, the sector directly and indirectly supported about 550,000 Canadian jobs.*
- By 2022, direct employment in this industry could expand as much as 20 percent.*** And, by 2035, the oil sands alone could generate 905,000 new jobs (both directly and indirectly).*
2. Potential for Excellent Compensation
Administrative assistants in Alberta (the heartland of Canada's energy sector) typically earn salaries ranging from $41,921 to $57,842. That's about 36 to 40 percent higher than the typical salaries for Canadians with that kind of job title as a whole.****
Those higher wages are representative of the consistent need for business professionals who have a specialized understanding of the petroleum industry. In fact, to attain the greatest success within the sector, your abilities generally must extend beyond regular administrative skills like maintaining records, scheduling appointments, handling phone calls, and performing other clerical tasks. You also need to have a good grasp of things such as the professional jargon, business models, and regulations used in the oil and gas industry.
Of course, a lot of employers provide additional forms of compensation. It's a way for them to attract and keep good workers, especially in more remote northern cities such as Fort McMurray. So you could potentially receive benefits like:
- Supplemental health, dental, and life insurance
- Retirement account contributions
- Compressed schedule options
- Fitness membership discounts
- A cost-of-living allowance or housing and meal accommodations
3. An Interesting Variety of Possible Work Locations
It's true that Alberta is where most of the nation's oil and gas companies operate. The province has roughly 98 percent of all Canadian oil reserves, most of which are in the oil sands underlying much of the Athabasca and other northern regions.†
Since this sector is such a large part of Alberta's economy, it should come as no surprise that many of the province's cities and towns are home to employers looking for professionals with very particular skill sets. As an administrative assistant who has industry-specific knowledge, you could conceivably find work in Albertan locations like:
- Grand Prairie
- Fort McMurray
- Cold Lake
- Peace River
- Red Deer
- Medicine Hat
But Alberta isn't the only place to consider. Oil and natural gas employers are active in every province and territory other than Nunavut. In fact:
- British Columbia is the county's second-largest producer of natural gas.*
- Saskatchewan produces the second-largest amount of oil in the nation.*
- Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador each have significant offshore projects that will create new jobs in the years ahead.
* Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, website last visited on March 20, 2014.
** Government of Canada, National Energy Board, website last visited on March 20, 2014.
*** Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, Labour Market Outlook to 2022 for Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, document accessed on March 20, 2014.
**** Workopolis, website last visited on March 20, 2014.
† Government of Alberta, website last visited on March 20, 2014.