Canada has long been described as a “resource economy.” Canada’s first industries were based on fur and fish, two abundant natural resources. Since then, wood and mine products have been the source of workers in different types of construction jobs. Natural resources have always been the backbone of the Canadian economy, and they will continue to be so for a long time.
The natural resources sector – with its scope covering different types of jobs in mining to engineering and construction – has been a major source of employment. In 2016, around 1.74 million people were employed either directly or indirectly in the natural resources sector. About 600 major natural resources projects are underway or scheduled to begin before 2025, making this area one to watch for continuing growth over the next few years.
Following are some of the major job profiles responsible in driving Canada’s natural resources sector forward:
Geologists are needed to survey the land and help determine where deposits of oil and gas and other mine products may be located.
These scientific experts play a key role in both the oil & gas and mining industries in Canada. With exploration activities in both areas expanding in many provinces, geologists will become increasingly important.
A good example is the expansion of mining and oil & gas drilling in the Far North. Some estimates suggest there are billions of barrels of oil and natural gas located in the Beaufort-Mackenzie Delta in Northwest Territories. With the Arctic sea ice melting and the permafrost leaving the ground, exploration activities are expanding on the tundra.
Mechanical jobs in Canada are proportionate to the health of its natural resources sector. Heavy-duty mechanics are one of the most sought-after jobs in mining industry as they are responsible to keep machinery in operable conditions. The same is true on oil rigs and in the oil sands. All sorts of machinery keep the day-to-day operations of these industries afloat.
Mechanics help ensure machinery is in good working order, which in turns fuels productivity.
3. Engineers of All Stripes
You could have experience in any type of engineering job in EPC - a process engineer, an electrical engineer or a metallurgist, your skills are always in demand in the natural resources sector.
Mining and oil & gas are leading employers of engineers. Engineers working in a mine might have special experience and expertise in mining operations. Others might be project engineers or planning engineers. Oil & gas employs a wide array of engineers, including drilling engineers, operations engineers, and production engineers.
Both industries are also increasingly interested in environmental engineering, and efforts to green the natural resources sector are underway.
4. Procurement Specialists
Materials must be managed and supplies must be purchased. Without procurement professionals, almost nothing would get done in the natural resources sector. Buyers, supply chain managers, coordinators, and contract specialists all work to ensure operations in these industries have what they need to continue working around the clock.
These professions are vital to the day-to-day operations of any mine or oil & gas project in Canada.
5. Managers in Various Areas
Effective management is key for any natural resource operations. Managers fill many different roles and have different responsibilities in various areas of the natural resources sector, but all of them share a common goal. They want to keep operations flowing smoothly and achieve maximum productivity.
Construction managers look to construction projects on site. Engineering managers will oversee engineering operations. Procurement, production, health and safety, and even human resources all require effective management to ensure optimal operations.
The natural resources sector is a large and important part of the Canadian economy. As such, the 1.74 million jobs it generates, including these ones, are also important for the Canadian economy.