Working in Industrial Construction and Maintenance in Energy

Explore Exciting Opportunities in Industrial Construction and Maintenance in Energy

From turnaround maintenance to ongoing maintenance, the industrial construction sector in energy offers a fast-paced, highly physical work environment with a chance to work in an oil- and gas-related field.

The Career Change Pathway

Ease of Transition

A career change from oil and gas to industrial construction and maintenance in energy has a medium rate of transferability. In most jobs, oil and gas workers will need to upskill for a successful transition.

Doing the Research

Before making a career change to a different sector, you should explore and assess your individual skills and experience, evaluate what technical skills may be needed to transition, consider consulting with a career advisor and identify how working in the sector may be different. Characteristics to consider in industrial construction and maintenance in energy include:

Skills and Experience
  • Relate operational skills and knowledge in design and fabrication and construction engineering
  • Establish and maintain Indigenous partnerships
  • Understand local community benefit agreements
  • Use computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS)
Benefits
  • Compensation for jobs in this sector is likely similar to the average oil and gas salary range
  • Opportunity to work in oil- and gas-related field
  • Large projects offer opportunity to broaden work experience
Work Environment
  • Employ creative problem-solving
  • Fast-paced
  • High rate of installation and repetition
  • More project work versus operational work
  • Similar environment to oil and gas
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Highly physical
  • Rotations in construction are longer than operations rotations
  • Maintenance work is often contracted
  • Travel often required 

The Future of Employment in Industrial Construction and Maintenance in Energy

Construction

When it comes to navigating future opportunities in industrial construction in energy, it’s good to keep an eye on projects that have been approved and activities that follow a positive final investment decision (FID).

From a construction perspective, once a positive FID is reached, project owners typically contract other companies to take on the project work, including creating a project execution plan, detailed engineering and design, procurement of materials, equipment and services and overseeing onsite construction.

Construction employs many skilled workers, although the occupations required will vary depending on the type of project and project life cycle.

With new projects emerging, construction jobs are always in demand. You can transfer skills from different sectors, work on new facilities and take your career to new heights. 

Construction projects include everything from LNG terminals, refineries, ethylene crackers, hydrogen plants and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) facilities, as well as pipeline infrastructure.

Before construction on a project begins, stakeholder and community relations professionals are required to help address and manage social and economic concerns.

Employers are focusing more and more on hiring locally to meet operational commitments, build community support through socio-economic benefits, and help mitigate costs.

Project Life Cycle within Industrial Construction in Energy

Engineering and Design

  • Project management including project execution strategy and planning
  • Develop conceptual designs to meet project’s operational, scope, cost and schedule requirements
  • Conduct process modelling for design of complex operational requirements
  • Design modular requirements and review modelling to ensure constructibility, maintainability and operability

Procurement

  • Source materials, equipment and services required to implement engineering and design plans
  • Manage contracts associated with material, equipment and service sourcing
  • Manage logistics to transport material and equipment to project site

Modular Fabrication

  • Manufacture and construct modular systems as required by the engineering design and project execution plan
  • Quality control and assurance

Construction

  • Project management
  • Execution of project construction plan
  • Quality control and assurance
  • Health, Safety and Environmental oversight
  • Securing workforce and training

Start-up and Commissioning

  • Develop procedures to facilitate commissioning
  • Performance test installed equipment and systems to ensure they meet design specifications
  • Bring equipment and systems online
  • Conduct production trials to ensure quality standards can be met
  • Turn project over to owner/operators

Maintenance

This area is broken into two segments: ongoing maintenance, which supports regular maintenance activities, and turnaround maintenance, which is when significant renovations or retrofits take place. A turnaround may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scope of work and requires a larger number of skilled workers on site for the duration.

The workforce required for ongoing and turnaround maintenance is transferable across all industrial sectors, which makes it a good fit for boilermakers, pipefitters, labourers, carpenters, electricians, managers and supervisors. 

Increasingly, ongoing maintenance is outsourced to service companies and consultants, with fewer permanent on-site positions.

Are You a Fit?

Think you’d like to explore a career in industrial construction and maintenance in energy? Are you:

  • Committed to working safely
  • Happy working outdoors
  • Willing to travel and work away from home for long periods of time
  • Open to engaging with a variety of stakeholders and Indigenous communities
  • Used to highly physical work
  • Willing to work in a union environment
  • Familiar with working in cross-functional teams
  • Capable of moving from project to project 

 

Learn more about career opportunities in industrial construction and maintenance in energy.

Day in the Life

Beckey Heavy Equipment Technician Apprentice

The day Beckey turned 39 in 2019, she became an unabashed mechanic apprentice working on “yellow iron.” Translation: she started working as a heavy equipment technician for Finning Canada, which manufactures yellow-coloured Caterpillar heavy equipment. Examples include giant D11 dozers, the world’s largest haul trucks and ginormous excavators that are used in and around Fort McMurray, the heart of Canada’s oil sands mining operations.

Read Beckey's Story

I used to be in procurement and I’d reached the top of what I could do. Now, I’m learning something new every day.