"It is great working on computers that are the latest technology. And I like working on projects where you start at the very beginning and you get to see the finished project. Also, I really like the customer service aspect of the job."
At the age of 22, Laura is already earning more than $43,000 per year.
Laura Warkentin works for BC Gas. Her job title is Technologist 2 - Utility Planning. She designs and coordinates the installation of gas main services for BC Gas' customers. This involves a lot of planning and preparation of cost estimates. She draws up the plan, gets all necessary approvals, arranges for the crews and ensures the project is completed well and in a timely fashion.
When asked what she enjoys about her job, Laura says, "It is great working on computers that are the latest technology. Also, I really like the customer service aspect of the job."
Before Laura graduated from BCIT, she was already working part-time with BC Gas on weekends. She started full-time as a System Planner on international projects then became a plant designer.
The major reason why she would encourage other women to enter this field is because of the wide spectrum of opportunity. You can work on the oilrigs, work off shore, and work in the utility distribution side of things.
Did you know? Employment opportunities are increasing in the utilities sector as more and more companies are now competing to be utility providers.
The economics are excellent in this career. Laura's position can earn anywhere between $42,700 and $51,300.
Laura now plans to go back to school to take a one-year GIS course in order to improve her employability in the future. GIS stands for Geographical Information Systems, a technology that almost all utility distribution industries are using now.
Natural Gas Systems Planner Laura Warkentin has created a pipeline to success with her career choice. After completing a two-year diploma program in oil and gas technology - in which she was the only female - Laura now designs and coordinates the installation of gas services.
For Laura, it's a gas to get out on site to see the installation of systems she has designed. With Laura's background in the latest oil and gas technology, she can work pretty well anywhere in the world…
Education: British Columbia Institute of Technology
Hobbies: BC Gas baseball team, river rafting, reading novels, babysitting her nephew
Member of: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC