Archive for April, 2010

With refreshing thoughts , I would like to write about the job search in Canada for Instrumentation & Control Professional mainly in Oil and Gas industry. This post discusses industries (EPC, Vendor & client) and  places ( Alberta province) type of jobs,  for finding right  job in  the Canada.

The story starts in the year 2000. I had applied for Immigration to the Canada. I was searching for the skills which are in demand for the Instrumentation and Control  professional. ISA came to my rescue. I wrote an e mail to Ram ( I didn’t knew him at that time. Now he is a good  friend of mine) an ISA member who was residing in the Calgary. He gave me good idea of skill set required for I&C Professional. Later help came from   Dipak Kataria and Kalpesh Patel. Thanks to Ram, Dipak and Kalpesh for giving right advise for finding the job  the Canada.  Now, I am giving back to our community which will be helpful to aspiring immigrants to Canada.


These are the typical jobs  in the EPC ( Engineering Procurement & Commissioning) industry (Like Fluor,Jacobs, Bantrel etc..)


The job mainly involves Specify, Selection and Sizing of Instrument including Control Valve and Procurement. Some Engineering companies calls as Commodity Specialist .The Skill and Knowledge  in

(1) P &ID Development

(2) Selection of Flow, Level, Pressure, Flow  Control Valves and ON/OFF valves & Sizing of Orifice and Control Valve.

(3) Procurement (Request for Quote, Technical Bid Evaluation and Purchase Order )

(4) Preparation of Instrument Index , Control Narrative , Cause & Effect and  Datasheet

(5) Interface with Process for Data, Mechanical for mainly for Type of Material and Nozzle size etc.., Electrical for type of contact , cable Procurement etc..


There is a Design component in EPC and the Knowledge and Skill set required are

(1) Intools – now known as Smart Plant Instrumentation. This will involve Understanding various modules like Instrument Index, Calculation, Loop drawing, Installation Drawing etc..

(2) Field design which includes Calculation of Cables, Junction box , Marshalling Cabinets, Instrument Location etc..

(3) Drafting – Mainly on Autocad or Autoplant for drafting all the drawing such as P &ID, Instrument Location Plan, JB drawing, Marshalling drawing etc..


They are responsible for

(1) Generating I/O Count for DCS, SIS, PLC etc.

(2) Specify,Selection, Sizing and Procurement of DCS, SIS, PLC,Plant Historian, Remote Instrument House/Enclosure

(3) Defining System Architecture including servers, Consoles and various Interface to Business Systems like SAP

(4) Generating enough information on Control Philosophy, Graphic Guidelines, Alarm Management Philosophy, Detail Control Narrative & Cause and Effect Diagram required by DCS/SIS/PLC programmer.

(5) Testing which includes  FAT and  SAT.

(6) Defining and producing enough information for Programmer for Communication Protocols like Profibus, DeviceNet,Modubus,OPC. This involves interface with Electrical, third party PLCs.

(7) Functional Safety related activities like Preparation of Safety Requirement Specification, Defining SILs and Verification. This may be done by separate Safety Specialist if the project is big.

(8) Reviewing FDS (Functional Design Specification) generated by Automation (DCS/SIS ) vendor.

(9) There may be a separate Specialist/Engineer for third party packages like Vibration Monitoring, Anti Surge Control, Vendor packages for process like Air  Compressors etc.,

(10) Process Fire & Gas which includes System selection (SIS), Detectors like Gas, H2S & Fire. There may be a separate Fire & Gas Specialist if the project is big.


Resposible for:

(1)Specifying, selecting and procuring various Analyzers like Gas Chromatographs, CEMS (Continous Emission Monitoring System) including Analyzers shelters

(2)Review of Sample Conditioning system.

(3)Specify,Selection and Procuring of LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)


He is responsible:

(1) Managing all of the above Engineers/Specialist/Designer

(2) Creating Manpower requirement, schedule and progress report on Deliverables

(3) Review of the Deliverables like P &ID, Datasheets, Guidelines, Technical Bid Evaluation

(4) Coordinating within his team and with other disciples like Electrical, Process,Mechanical, HSE and Project Management.

JOBS in Client

These are the typical jobs  in the Client ( Manufacturing Facilities  like Suncor, Imperial Oil, Encana, Conoco Phillips ) industry

I would like to segregate these on two accounts. One for Project and second for Manufacturing facility (Plant).

For Projects mainly there is a requirement of  Lead Engineer and Specialist who may over sees , review and Interface with EPCs.  There may be or may not be  a separate Instrumentation Engineer or Control Engineer.  The skill set and Knowledge required are

(1) Preparation and Review of Guidelines and Specifications such as Control Philosophy

(2) Guide EPC & Vendor and provide recommendation where ever there is a Technical clarification.

(3)Define scope, man power requirement and schedule requirement from I &C perspective

(4)Provide input to HAZOP and SIL Assignment

(5)Ensure Deliverables like P&ID, Datasheets, Configuration are in Compliance with Standards and Guidelines .

(6) Coordinate with key stake holders within organization such as Operations and Maintenance, Project and outside organization such as EPC and Vendor.

For Manufacturing facilities , mainly there is requirement for Commissioning  Specialist when the plant is being started. In Running plant there is a requirement for Instrument Supervisor who manages Instrument Technicians – who troubleshoots field Instrument related problems. There is also Control/Automation Specialist who does the System job which includes DSC, SIS, PLC programming and modify the Control schemes for on going Sustainable projects. There is a Lead Automation Specialist/Engineer also who manages these Specialist and participates in HAZOP/SIL and other reviews. The Lead also look after Sustainable project review and it’s implementation at site.

Having discussed the industries, another important thing to consider is the place. This post mainly focus on Alberta province. There are mainly three cities to focus – Calgary for EPC, Edmonton for EPC and clients and Fort Mcmurray for clients companies.

Hope this post will add some value for the job seekers looking for a great career in the Canada.


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