Computer engineers are those behind the sophisticated gadgetry and hardware embedded throughout operations in the energy industry. Whether it’s a wellhead tool that receives temperature data and sends it up to the drill rig for geologists to review, a tool receiving vibration data from geophones sent to seismic experts for analysis, or the controller box attached to the pump jack, you are behind an unending number of processes, hardware and software that makes the industry tick.
Computer engineers research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and information and communication system networks, such as mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fiber-optic networks, wireless communication networks and other data communications systems. In the energy industry, they may develop complex production and processing systems, surface wellhead systems, high pressure fluid control equipment and marine loading systems.
Computer engineers interact with technicians, designers and end users through training and project implementation and maintenance phases.
I'm interested in a career in
- Sub-sector Exploration and production, Oil and gas services, Offshore, Oil sands, Pipelines
- Environment Primarily indoor/office work
- Average Salary $78,000 to $129,000
- Education Post-secondary degree
- Career Demand Stable
When you start in this occupation activities may include:
- Monitoring equipment and making the necessary modifications to ensure the system operates within specifications
- Testing and verifying hardware and support peripherals to meet specifications and requirements
- Storing, retrieving and manipulating data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements
As you advance in this career, you may take on additional tasks including:
- Directing technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed
- Supervising and providing design support during the manufacturing, installation and implementation of computer and telecommunications hardware
- Developing and conducting design verification simulations and prototype bench tests of components
- A post-secondary degree in computer engineering, electrical or electronics engineering, engineering physics or computer science is typically required.
- A master’s or doctoral degree in a related engineering discipline may be required.
- Specific health and safety certifications will be determined by job requirements
- To obtain a license as a professional engineer (P.Eng) you must obtain a degree from an accredited engineering program, pass a professional practice exam and have three or four years of engineering experience, of which one year must be gained in Canada. You must also have Canadian citizenship or proof of permanent residency in Canada.
- Once licensed, engineers receive a seal to stamp their designs and drawings.
- Unlicensed engineers must work under the supervision of a P. Eng.
- Travel likely required
- Primarily indoor/office work
- Work not physically demanding
You bring strong troubleshooting, knowledge of electronics and even some mechanical expertise, as computer technologies often bridge over into mechanical processes in the field.
- Computers and electronics
- Computer use
- Active listening
- Engineering and technology
- Systems analysis
- Planning and organizing
- Judgment and decision making
- Critical thinking
- Systems evaluation