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Should i quit my job and go to Alberta ? ( Mech Eng with 3 years of experience)

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 14th, 2013 2:09 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 16, 2013
14 posts
1 upvote
Toronto

Should i quit my job and go to Alberta ? ( Mech Eng with 3 years of experience)

Should I go to Alberta for better pay and position ?

Background: 24 yrs old, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer from University of Toronto with 3 years of experience. Currently I am employed in Toronto as a Jr. Engineer with below a pay of $46k per year. Being an immigrant with a family of 3 and no assets, salary right now tops my list of priority. As I want to buy a home for parents, its becoming harder to see my self here in Toronto with low paying jobs.


I want to get a new engineering job in Alberta, and wondering should I apply for Alberta jobs from here in Toronto and hope for the best ? Or should should I quit my job and head to AB (i.e burn money to find a new job) ?


How long does it take to find a Engineering job in Calgary/Edmonton area ?

FYI It took me 5 months to land a job in Toronto and was never able to get an interview from AB.

Thank you for reading and contributing,

Just an immigrant trying to make it.
45 replies
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2005
119 posts
11 upvotes
lhrstig1 wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 1:49 pm
Should I go to Alberta for better pay and position ?

Background: 24 yrs old, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer from University of Toronto with 3 years of experience. Currently I am employed in Toronto as a Jr. Engineer with below a pay of $46k per year. Being an immigrant with a family of 3 and no assets, salary right now tops my list of priority. As I want to buy a home for parents, its becoming harder to see my self here in Toronto with low paying jobs.


I want to get a new engineering job in Alberta, and wondering should I apply for Alberta jobs from here in Toronto and hope for the best ? Or should should I quit my job and head to AB (i.e burn money to find a new job) ?


How long does it take to find a Engineering job in Calgary/Edmonton area ?

FYI It took me 5 months to land a job in Toronto and was never able to get an interview from AB.

Thank you for reading and contributing,

Just an immigrant trying to make it.
Being a young immigrant must be very difficult, I can only empathize... My parents were immigrants, but since I had some stability I was able to take much larger career risks and was able to reap the benefits from those risks.

Before you count out the GTA, have you shopped yourself around to other companies and seen what you're worth locally? Your biggest pay increases will actually come when you make lateral moves between companies, but you can't do this year after year, otherwise you're seen as a flight risk... Moving to a new company every 3-5 years secures your progression both salary and career wise. My guess is you're still working at the same company you did your PEY with. Apply to some other companies, talk to some of your classmates and see whats available. If you've got a good resume, and are a good interviewer, with 3 years experience and a mech eng degree, I think you could pull in about $55-$60k.

If you're set on Alberta, have you tried reaching out through your network (ie. your classmates), to get some advice and see what's available for you out there? If not, this should be your first step. You might not have any 'friends' who went to Alberta, but I'm sure you have a friend of a friend who's working out there right now and can either advise you, directly refer you for a position, or pass on your contact to someone who can. Even if its someone you never talked to but recognized from Campus, reach out to them... UofT engineers love looking out for each other.

Shop around for new positions locally while talking to folks in Alberta. See what you're worth in both areas, factor in the cost of living, and make your decisions from there.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
8701 posts
1548 upvotes
Edmonton
In before Mark claims there's no jobs anywhere
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Feb 15, 2008
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clseea wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 10:56 pm
In before Mark claims there's no jobs anywhere
Nice try at trolling. But on a more serious note, yeah, things appear to have gone south significantly for Mechanical in Alberta recently. Didn't we have a report of 3 relatively low-level MechEng/Petroleum-Eng type positions receiving 2000 applications?

As for quitting, that's a tough one. I'd tend to advise against that, as you're facing a huge up-hill battle, as an EIT, and not a P.Eng. to find a job. Usually the employers de-lineate EITs and P.Eng.'s in their job ads. If they're hiring an EIT, they want a fresh EIT. If they're hiring a P.Eng., they want someone who already has the title, not someone who will take another year.
TodayHello wrote:
Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
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Nov 21, 2011
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Mark77 wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 11:44 pm
Nice try at trolling. But on a more serious note, yeah, things appear to have gone south significantly for Mechanical in Alberta recently. Didn't we have a report of 3 relatively low-level MechEng/Petroleum-Eng type positions receiving 2000 applications?
The total number of applications received doesn't matter.
Member
Feb 20, 2011
227 posts
115 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 10:56 pm
In before Mark claims there's no jobs anywhere
Mark77 wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 11:44 pm
Nice try at trolling. But on a more serious note, yeah, things appear to have gone south significantly for Mechanical in Alberta recently. Didn't we have a report of 3 relatively low-level MechEng/Petroleum-Eng type positions receiving 2000 applications?
:lol:
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Feb 15, 2008
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clseea wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 11:49 pm
The total number of applications received doesn't matter.
Yes it does. If the numbers are overwhelming, it means that applications are not being rejected based on any test of merit or application of the merit principle, but rather, in some sort of random process, if even.
TodayHello wrote:
Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
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Nov 21, 2011
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Mark77 wrote:
Oct 17th, 2013 11:56 pm
Yes it does. If the numbers are overwhelming, it means that applications are not being rejected based on any test of merit or application of the merit principle, but rather, in some sort of random process, if even.
Anyone can apply for a job, regardless if they're qualified or not. 2000 applications isn't an indicator that those 2000 people are qualified to meet the merit criteria. People apply for jobs all the time that they're not fully qualified for.
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clseea wrote:
Oct 18th, 2013 12:01 am
Anyone can apply for a job, regardless if they're qualified or not. 2000 applications isn't an indicator that those 2000 people are qualified to meet the merit criteria. People apply for jobs all the time that they're not fully qualified for.
Hardly. The job was an entry-level Engineering job. The required qualifications couldn't have been any more clear-cut. Yet they got 2000 applications. And very few people waste their time applying for jobs that they're not qualified for.

However HR clerks often have a poor grasp on the technical qualifications of engineers. For instance, a "Petroleum" Engineer and a "Mechanical" engineer, for many types of jobs, are completely interchangeable. Project management is project management. "Experience" requirements, especially in relatively trivial or proprietary technologies, are completely arbitrary and largely irrelevant.

Anyways, the point still stands, the market for Mech Eng's in Calgary is seeing a significant short-medium term glut, and I find it unlikely that spending a lot to relocate from Ontario and be unemployed in Calgary for an extended period will yield positive results. If anything, it could set a person back considerably, especially since there's not a of demand for "almost P.Eng.'s" either.
TodayHello wrote:
Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
8701 posts
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Edmonton
Mark77 wrote:
Oct 18th, 2013 12:09 am
Hardly. The job was an entry-level Engineering job. The required qualifications couldn't have been any more clear-cut. Yet they got 2000 applications. And very few people waste their time applying for jobs that they're not qualified for.

However HR clerks often have a poor grasp on the technical qualifications of engineers. For instance, a "Petroleum" Engineer and a "Mechanical" engineer, for many types of jobs, are completely interchangeable. Project management is project management. "Experience" requirements, especially in relatively trivial or proprietary technologies, are completely arbitrary and largely irrelevant.

Anyways, the point still stands, the market for Mech Eng's in Calgary is seeing a significant short-medium term glut, and I find it unlikely that spending a lot to relocate from Ontario and be unemployed in Calgary for an extended period will yield positive results. If anything, it could set a person back considerably, especially since there's not a of demand for "almost P.Eng.'s" either.
What a predictable reply. People apply for jobs seeking 3 years experience even if they only have 1. People apply for jobs seeking 5 years experience even if they only have 3. It happens all the time. Unless you can provide some sort of evidence that the 2000 applications fully met all of the requirements of the job, beat it.

It's weird, my brother is a Mechanical Engineer in Calgary and he tells me the exact opposite of what you're saying. Strange. I certainly trust him a lot more than you.
Newbie
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Jan 6, 2009
83 posts
7 upvotes
Fort McMurray
Yes. You show employers INITIATIVE by moving here. I would go directly to Fort Mcmurray with your background.
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Apr 14, 2005
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lhrstig1 - as you likely know by your inquiry, local candidates typically get some preference.. basically an ease of access thing. Since you are hesitant to take the risk of moving your family out there, perhaps you could represent yourself as a local candidate while remaining in TO and be prepared to make a flight out for an interview on your own dime.. a locall phone number and local address will do the trick.. if/when it comes up in a telephone interview you can just say you are still working in TO but currently transitioning yourself & family to Alberta for personal reasons (this avoids concerns of relocation costs on their end). If they ask for a face-to-face interview you could suggest a skype/etc meeting due to being in TO for work or plunk the money down for a flight.

just ideas as I know being a candidate from TO will unfortunately make you less competitive when applying for AB positions.

For the record, I believe there are more abundant opportunities in your field in AB than in ON, but it won't happen in 1 week.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
10302 posts
2444 upvotes
Saskatoon
Are you a member of the Ontario professional association as an EIT? If so, continue working for your present company until you get your P.Eng. Is your work getting progressively more responsible? Are you learning new skills that you can add to your resume? Sure, you could be making another $30K in SK or AB with your amount of experience, but there is a preference for local graduates with a lot of companies. Whatever you do, don't quit your present job unless you have something else to replace it.
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
784 posts
8 upvotes
I feel you. When I graduated I also applied for many o&g companies in AB, didn't get a angle interview.
If you want to stay in Ontario, get out of engineering all together, I am mech grad myself, I am also 24. I make much more than 46k in technology consulting.
Otherwise use an Alberta address and phone number to apply for jobs. Or clearly indicate you are willing to relocate at your own cost. It also depends on what kind of industry experience you have, oil and gas companies typically look for very specific experience or prior industry exposure.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 16, 2013
14 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
Hi guys, This is great advice, I really do appreciate you guys spending time to answer these questions.

Just to answer some of the questions.

1) I am not working at my PEY location, i never did PEY as i wanted to graduate early due to again financial reasons, but i did do intern-ship in a big companies before graduating in summer.
2) I am in HVAC field, not learning much as there is more management paper work and than " Engineering" but not many transferable technical skills that i can take to another big engineering company
3) I am already enrolled in the Professional Engineering Ontario's Engineer in training (EIT) program. I already have got my min 12 months under a P.Eng, infact i have 21 months/48 months at my current job. Having said that since my company is not typical engineering company no more compensation is expected even if I become P. ENG. They don't even know the difference between a Professional Engineer and Engineering Technologist ! .

HVAC is very old mans field and i hate to say it but I am not learning alot. More responsibility in my company would just translate into more non engineering paper work (timelines, budgets, processes) and i with that all my vital skills from engineering would be lost, I am a engineer at heart.

4) I have secured a local Calgary number/address through an app, it connects to my cell phone in Toronto. I am planning on applying for while through it. Hopefully as "mork" describes it, I would be flying out on moments notice. I am glad I didnt use my vacations this year and would be able to take days off. But it seems like a expensive option to go for interview as flights is $500 at minimum. I have never done a skype interview but I will try mentioning it to the HR, hopefully they agree.


5) I wouldn't be taking my family to AB at all. It would be too expensive and upsetting their life here, but for couple of years I do stand responsible for them financially.


Maybe this question was missed due to my main questions. How long does it take to find a Engineering job in Calgary/Edmonton area if i stay their for few months ?


I will be considering all your advice. Thank you for your contribution. Unfortunately, shameful as it might be my main priority remains a decent salary. No matter how much hard I work. GTA and surrounding areas a dead end :(

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