Deep Dives Module

Career Track 4: Project Developer

A day in the life video

Introduction: The Project Developer Career Track is for participants who are interested in a career working on large scale clean energy projects. The Track will explore what it is like working for a developer and explore examples of these large scale projects.

Did you know?

Medium-to-large Indigenous renewable energy projects have experienced a 29.6% growth rate across Canada since 2017.

Source: Accelerating Transition report

Job profiles:

  • Construction Manager
  • Land Acquisitions Expert
  • Project Manager
  • Hydrologist
  • Power Engineer

Job Profiles

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Job Profile 1

Construction Manager

Job description - Construction managers coordinate, supervise and evaluate plant construction operations. They normally perform their activities under the direction of the project manager and/or another senior manager. They also provide the project manager with assistance in both project planning and budget management. Construction managers work with engineering teams and supervise the activities of trade workers as well as subcontractors.

Median income: $40/Hour

Alternative job titles

  • Foreman
  • Construction Supervisor/Superintendent
Photo of a Construction Manager

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

4060

New Jobs:

555

Replacement:

3505

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related area or a designated trade certification is usually preferred.
  • Several years of experience in the construction industry.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is considered an asset.  
  • Good understanding of materials, methods, tools and equipment used in the construction and repair of buildings or other facilities like roads, mines or related structures.
  • Good understanding of management, planning, organization, personnel, leadership or direction of organizations, encompassing accounting principles and practices, human and material resources disposition, public relations, valuation, sales and marketing, and economics.

Skills

  • Good organizational skills to arrange and coordinate the tasks of groups and individuals to align their activities with the goals of the organization/company.
  • Strong communication skills to give status updates to the project manager outlining the project progress, concerns and any impacts to be addressed or budgeted for.
  • Data analysis skills to examine information and/or facts to determine appropriate actions or recommendations. Ability to understand contracts and technical information
  • Ability to make decisions in order to effectively recruit staff and subcontractors for specific tasks to be performed in a given area. Such decisions often need to be made promptly to meet deadlines.
  • Good evaluation skills to direct processes and procedures to ensure they add measurable value.  

Main Duties

  • State the progress of the work and financial matters to the project manager.
  • Work closely with engineers, trade workers and other construction specialists to make sure that the work was completed in accordance with the company's requirements and regulations, environmental, safety and other requirements.
  • Support the project manager in estimating project costs and schedules.
  • Collaborate with the project manager in order to schedule and manage the project activities, making sure that the project is concluded on time and according to budget.  
  • Manage, organize, plan, control and monitor construction projects from the beginning to the end, in accordance with the chronogram, requirements and budget.  
  • Comply with legal regulations, safety codes and other requirements.  

Training Opportunities

There are some programs in Canada that provide training opportunities in trades for Indigenous people:

Did you know?

Every province and territory establishes its own standards for certifying skilled tradespeople. As a result, certification in one jurisdiction may not permit you to work in other jurisdictions. However, the Red Seal certification enables you to practice your profession in any part of Canada. Click here to learn more about the Red Seal program.

You can also find information on financial support here.

Job Bank. Government of Canada. https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/summary-occupation/24325/ca

O*Net. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9021.00

Eco Canada. (2016, August.) Competencies for Environmental Professionals in Canada. https://www.eco.ca/research/report/nos-environmental-employment/

U.S. Department of Energy. Clean Energy careers map https://www.energy.gov/eere/education/map-career-clean-energy

Careers in Trade Canada. What are the skilled trades?   https://careersintrades.ca/what-are-the-skilled-trades/

Red Seal Program. http://www.red-seal.ca/about/pr.4gr.1m-eng.html

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Job Profile 2

Land Acquisition Expert

Job description - Land acquisition experts work closely with specialists, lawyers, engineers, scientists and other interested parties to make sure that the project is delivered on time and according to budget. They are also responsible for carrying out environmental assessments as well as implementing site remediation and restoration. Land acquisition specialists assist project developers in obtaining land for new projects as well as in the management of land after it has been purchased or leased.

Median income: $28.85/Hour

Alternative job titles

  • Procurement Officer
  • Contracts Officer
  • Purchasing agent
  • Land Agent
  • Land Acquisition Associate
Photo of a Land Acquisition Expert

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

1116

New Jobs:

242

Replacement:

874

Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree or higher in business administration, commerce, real estate, law, engineering, or a related discipline is normally required.
  • It is usually desirable to have experience and knowledge of the licensing process and an in-depth understanding of real estate, tax and accounting rules.
  • Good understanding of economic theories, principles and methods of analysis, for example simulation and forecasting techniques.
  • Good understanding of monitoring and accountability structures, financial management practices and procedures.
  • It is desirable that applicants hold or are able to obtain a purchasing certificate. 
  • Past experience as a purchasing clerk may also be desired. 

Skills

  • Strong communication skills to be able to clearly communicate the status of land transactions in order to identify any concerns that may hinder the implementation of a contract.
  • Good planning and organization skills to identify the phases and steps needed to complete the objectives on time and within budget.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to communicate the terms of a contract with a landowner, leading to a successful negotiation.
  • Data analysis skills in order to examine the relevant information and events to establish suitable strategies and/or guidelines.
  • Ability to establish and support cost-effective business practices.
  • Problem-solving skills and ability to accommodate new priorities and deadlines.

Main Duties

  • Design and implement strategies and land acquisition plans for new project development sites.
  • Negotiate the land acquisition or access rights for public or private use.
  • Collaborate with landowners, local governments and community organizations to gain assistance for upcoming projects.
  • Determine the scope of the project and identify the standards that must be complied with.
  • Work closely with lawyers, permitting experts, engineers and scientists as to whether the sites are suitable for project development.
  • Make sure that the site assessment has been conducted correctly as well as the development and implementation of action plans.
  • Provide assistance throughout the permitting process for the entire project. 

Training Opportunities

There are some programs in Canada that provide training opportunities in trades for Indigenous people:

Did you know?

A related university degree or college diploma may be required if you want to work as a purchasing agent or as an officer who purchases specialized materials or commercial services. For example, a bachelor's degree in engineering may be required if you want to work as a purchaser of industrial products.

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Job Profile 3

Project Manager

Job description - Project managers are responsible for developing the project from site selection to the final installation as well as the contractual bidding of projects. They are also responsible for managing the assessment and development of potential clean energy opportunities, such as permits and environmental studies. Project managers oversee the construction of the project, leading and coordinating operations to ensure that the project is delivered on time and according to budget.

Median income: $46.71/Hour

Alternative job titles

  • General Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Renewable Project Development
  • Project developer
Photo of a Project Manager

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

5960

New Jobs:

289

Replacement:

6249

Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree or higher in engineering, construction management, business administration or another discipline related to the company's operations is normally expected.
  • Several years of experience in construction management, particularly in the construction of clean energy projects, is essential for project managers working in the clean energy sector.
  • Working knowledge of business and management-related practices such as resources and people management.
  • Deep understanding of specific construction concerns such as restrictions on when cranes can operate, geotechnical restrictions, etc.
  • Good understanding of the practical application of engineering such as the application of principles, techniques and procedures to the project.
  • Deep understanding of concepts concerning the generation, transportation, installation, operation and maintenance of technologies and other related equipment needed to generate energy.

Skills

  • Good contractual skills to assist in hiring inspectors, engineers, subcontractors and material suppliers for each phase of the project.
  • Strong Communication skills to be able to clearly communicate the status of the project for all parties involved.
  • Good planning and organization skills in order to establish the allocation of resources, personnel, assets or funds to meet organizational goals.
  • Strong management skills as project managers monitor every aspect of the project.
  • Ability to manage and mitigate project risks to ensure that the project is successfully completed.
  • Critical thinking skills to identify potential issues within the project and propose appropriate solutions.

Main Duties

  • Manage the conception, engineering and construction of clean energy projects.
  • Manage and lead the development process, energy assessment, engineering or construction activities to make sure that the requirements and goals of the project are addressed.
  • Monitor the work plan, personnel and budget for each execution phase of the project.
  • Lead project meetings with management, clients, subcontractors and others involved to effectively communicate the status of the project.
  • Monitor the performance of energy management initiatives aimed at reducing demand for energy use and improving energy efficiency in all phases of the project.
  • Coordinate technical support for the development and licensing of activities, as required.
  • Collaborate with other project departments to outline the requirements for proper project rotation followed by assisting in the transition from project to operations after the project is completed.

Training Opportunities

There are some programs in Canada that provide training opportunities in trades for Indigenous people:

Did you know?

Most people hired to be project managers have extensive experience working on several related projects as middle managers, for example, before being selected to manage one.

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Job Profile 4

Power Engineer

Job description – Power engineers are responsible for assessing the interconnection standards and transmission feasibility as well as operating and maintaining generators, turbines, boilers, reactors and auxiliary equipment. They are also in charge of installation assessments and/or testing of new electrical components. Other tasks include working on distribution systems and transmission. Power engineers are normally employed by electrical power utilities, power generation plants, hospitals, universities, manufacturing plants, etc.

Median income

The median income for power engineers varies according to the level of their certification. By completing a 2-year full-time program and fulfilling the requirements to obtain provincial certification, an Entry-Level Power Engineer (Grade 4) can look forward to earning $25-$30 per hour. First Class Engineers can earn over $200,000 after several years of training and experience.

Alternative job titles

  • Stationary Engineer
Photo of a Power Engineer

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

2509

New Jobs:

530

Replacement:

1979

Requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • College training program in stationary or power engineering and several years of work experience in the field.
  • A provincial or territorial power engineering or stationary engineering certificate according to class is required (the class required may vary depending on the job posting).
  • Working knowledge of applicable legislated regulations.
  • Solid technical skills combined with project management and strategic skills are usually required.

Skills

  • Mechanical aptitude/skills to allow hands-on operation of plant equipment (i.e. DCS control systems, turbo generators, pumps, compressors, heaters, etc.)
  • Operation Monitoring and Control: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly
  • Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strength and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approached to problems
  • Effective Communication – Verbal and written
  • Detail-oriented. They have to keep track of complex electrical systems, components and electronic products. They also design and develop a wide range of electrical systems, components and electronic devices
  • Leadership skills. They frequently provide support to project planning managers, along with leadership teams from a variety of technical backgrounds, such as other engineers, surveyors, construction managers, or technicians. Energy systems engineers perform a meaningful function in innovation and efficient project delivery.

Main Duties

  • Offer energy system design and support to development and construction staff operating power plant projects.
  • Manage and conduct system studies including interconnection, power system or grounding system studies.
  • Startup and shut down power plant equipment, control switching operations, control water levels and communicate with systems operators to regulate and coordinate transmission loads, frequency and line voltages.
  • Make sure that the construction and interconnection protocols have been complied with.
  • Prepare drawings of grid interconnection and collection system for interconnection applications
  • Optimize power transmission systems.
  • Coordinate, program and direct generating station and substation power loads and line voltages to meet distribution demands during daily operations, system outages, repairs and importing or exporting of power.
  • Gather system data from customers, utilities, suppliers and subcontractors for system modeling.

Training Opportunities

There are some programs in Canada that provide training opportunities in trades for Indigenous people:

Did you know?

Power Engineers should not be confused with Professional Engineers. In some jurisdictions, individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering can take their 4th Class Certificate without attending a course. Do you want to learn more? Click here for more information on Power Engineers in Canada.

Job Bank. Government of Canada. https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/summary-occupation/7857/ca

O*Net https://www.onetonline.org/link/details/51-8013.00

U.S. Department of Energy. Clean Energy careers map https://www.energy.gov/eere/education/map-career-clean-energy

The Institute of Power Engineers. https://nipe.ca/

Red Seal. A career in Power Engineering. https://redsealrecruiting.com/a-career-in-power-engineering/

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Job Profile 5

Mechanical Engineer

Job description - Mechanical engineers research, design and develop machinery and systems for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, power generation, transportation, processing and manufacturing. They also perform duties related to the evaluation, installation, operation and maintenance of mechanical systems. They are employed by consulting firms, by power-generating utilities and in a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries, or they may be self-employed.

Median income: $39.18/Hour

Alternative job titles

  • Design Engineer
  • Equipment Engineer
  • Energy Conservation Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
Photo of a Mechanical Engineer

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

3118

New Jobs:

595

Replacement:

2523

Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensed by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers or eligible to become licensed.
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience or demonstrated equivalency of experience and education. (Relevant work experience may vary depending on the job posting)
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience working in a power generation facility with specific experience desirable.

Skills

  • Analytical skills. Mechanical engineers must be able to analyze testing results, operations data and other issues, identifying the root cause of the issue and recommending solutions, ensuring equipment availability and reliability.
  • Communication skills. Mechanical engineers must communicate issues concerning wind turbine production and operations to management, clarify field issues with operations personnel as well as write reports and procedure manuals. They should also be able to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.
  • Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery, often developing innovate approaches and solutions to projects and issues.
  • Interpersonal skills. Mechanical engineers work across departments within their organization as well as establish and maintain relationships with customers and suppliers.
  • Math skills. Mechanical engineers understand the principals of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
  • Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices. Such a background allows engineers to visualize basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes more easily.
  • Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers must have the ability to identify issues, analyze data and other relevant information, and developing solutions to problems, reducing the impact to project budgets, timelines, production or operational capabilities.

Main Duties

  • Conduct research that tests or analyzes the feasibility, design, operation, or performance of equipment, wind turbine components or systems
  • Develop and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to assess feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications and necessity of modification
  • Estimate the time and cost required to complete projects
  • Generate specifications, read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports for mechanical components in wind turbines
  • Identify, review and recommend necessary modifications to ensure product conforms to engineering design and performance specifications
  • Develop, coordinate, or monitor all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication, or operation of product designs, ensuring optimal manufacturability of wind turbine components
  • Perform wind resource assessments during the siting process
  • Arrange transportation of turbine components
  • Coordinate crane lifting planning
  • Execute turbine installation verification
  • Troubleshoot design or component problems during operations phase
  • Conduct root cause failure analysis and develop solutions to address any production or product malfunctions or issues
  • Establish and maintain customer or vendor relationships
  • Supervise workers, technicians and other engineers.

Training Opportunities

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Job Profile 6

Environmental Engineering

Job description - Environmental engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports and coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. They may also specialize in foundation analysis, building and structural inspection, surveying, geomatics and municipal planning. They are employed by engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, by construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Median income: $39.42/Hour

Alternative job titles

  • Civil Engineer
  • Public Works Engineer
  • Water Management Engineer
  • Sanitation Engineer
  • Geomatics Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
Photo of a Environmental Engineering

Job prospects
by 2029

Total Job openings:

9162

New Jobs:

2825

Replacement:

6337

Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in environmental engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required
  • Licensed by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers or eligible to become licensed  
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience or demonstrated equivalency of experience and education. (Relevant work experience may vary depending on the job posting)
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience working in a power generation facility with specific experience desirable.

Skills

  • Imagination. Environmental engineers sometimes have to design systems that will be part of larger ones. They must be able to foresee how the proposed designs will interact with other components of the larger system, including the workers, machinery, and equipment, as well as with the environment.
  • Interpersonal skills. Environmental engineers must be able to work with others toward a common goal. They usually work with engineers and scientists who design other systems and with the technicians and mechanics who put the designs into practice.
  • Problem-solving skills. When designing facilities and processes, environmental engineers strive to solve several issues at once, from workers’ safety to environmental protection. They must be able to identify and anticipate problems in order to prevent losses for their employers, safeguard workers’ health, and mitigate environmental damage.
  • Reading skills. Environmental engineers often work with businesspeople, lawyers, and other professionals outside their field. They frequently are required to read and understand documents with topics outside their scope of training.
  • Writing skills. Environmental engineers must be able to write clearly so that others without their specific training can understand their plans, proposals, specifications, findings, and other documents.

Main Duties

  • Prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports
  •  Design projects that lead to environmental protection, such as water reclamation facilities, air pollution control systems, and operations that convert waste to energy
  •  Obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures
  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and for legal actions
  •  Analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks
  •  Monitor the progress of environmental improvement programs
  •  Inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs in order to ensure compliance with environmental regulations
  •  Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites

Training Opportunities