Oil Sands Jobs

Oil Sands employers in Alberta, most of which operate 24/7, 365 days of the year, continually post oil sands job openings on their websites. They range from highly specialized engineering and technical jobs to laborer positions.

Geologists are Necessary to Help Find the Most Ideal Locations to Drill in the Oil Sands

Types of Jobs

  • Welder
  • Building Safety Code Officer
  • Contract Administrator/Buyer
  • Engineering Applications Specialist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Health Surveillance Nurse
  • Heavy Equipment Technician (Heavy Duty Mechanic)
  • Instrumentation Technician
  • Instrumentation Technologist/Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mineral Processing/Mining Engineer
  • Operations Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Pipefitter
  • Process Control / Instrumentation Engineer
  • Process Operator
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control Inspector
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Senior Mining Engineer
  • Shutdown Planner
  • Steel Fabricator
  • Computer System Analyst

How to Get Hired

As is the case in most countries there is a stated preference to hire ‘natives’ over foreigners. Since the oil sands are located in Canada it’s only natural that they fill many jobs. However, oil sands projects have created over 100,000 jobs and industry analysts think the industry will ultimately be responsible for more than 900,000 workers (direct and indirect). There just aren’t enough Canadians to fill all of the jobs in Alberta. Consequently, companies have recruited outside of Canada to fill certain specialized jobs in engineering and geosciences. It is harder for non-Alberta residents and non-Canadians to land laborer and heavy equipment / machinery positions because workers are more readily available.

The number one place to start your oil sands job search is with the companies operating in Alberta. Some of the major employers are:

What if you’re not Canadian?

How do you go about getting a job in Alberta, Canada if you’re not Canadian? First you’ll need to get a job offer and then you’ll probably need to get a work permit. It’s hard to get the latter without the former!

There are many good online resources for learning about temporary work permits and immigration to Canada. Try:

For specific information on Work Permits for non-Canadians, read the Guide (pdf) found at:

Americans can contact a Canadian Consulate General’s Office in the United States to get help with visa and immigration matters.

Finally, for many jobs you must have specialized training, education, or certifications in order to get hired. All the information you need on this topic is available on the Government of Alberta website at: www.tradesecrets.org.

Oil Sands Information

Get to know the Athabasca oil sands industry before you start applying. Having a solid understanding of the area’s history and importance is helpful! We put together several overview pages you shouldn’t miss:

Where do many of the workers in this region live? Check out the next page!

Sign up for our newsletter!