Working at Imperial Oil |

Imperial Oil Overview

Calgary, AB
5001 to 10000 employees
Company - Public (IMO)
$500 million to $1 billion (CAD) per year
After more than a century, Imperial continues to be an industry leader in applying technology and innovation to responsibly develop Canada’s energy resources. As the country’s largest petroleum refiner, a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, a key ... Read more

Glassdoor Awards

Top CEOs: 2015 (#6)

Company Updates

  • On September 8th, 140 years ago, 16 Canadians joined forces and formed the Imperial Oil Company. Since then, Imperial has been in the business of providing energy solutions to Canadians through dramatically changing times. When the company was formed in the late 1800s, we produced waxes and lamp oils, we transported fuel products by horse-drawn carriages, gasoline was dispensed through a garden hose and geologists searched for new discoveries in canoes. Today, we use virtual reality for safety training, drones for surveying, night vision cameras to monitor wildlife, and satellites to measure greenhouse gas emissions. We've developed technologies that significantly reduce emissions from our operations, invested in cogeneration to increase energy efficiency and reduce the GHG emissions intensity of our sites, and introduced advanced oil recovery technologies at our oil sands operations that reduce greenhouse gas intensity and water use. We've even created an app which lets our customers pay for fuel from their car.

  • As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, Imperial is taking proactive and preventative measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce and do our part to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community. Please see our full statement below.

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Imperial Oil – Why Work With Us?

Imperial Oil Overview Banner Image

As an integrated energy company, we explore for, produce, refine and market products essential to society. 


Over 130 years of industry leadership and innovation

Since 1880 Imperial has consistently demonstrated unwavering high standards, pioneering Canadian spirit, innovation and leadership in the challenging energy industry.  

While much has changed over 130-plus years, remaining true to these fundamentals has kept us at the forefront of the race to meet the world’s growing demands for energy.  Our goal is to do business in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner while delivering superior long-term value.  

At Imperial, we believe that we can have reliable and affordable energy, a strong economy and a clean environment, and we're committed to making it happen.


What we do

As an integrated energy company, we explore for, produce, refine and market products essential to society.

Whether it's finding oil and gas, making and selling high-quality petroleum products, or investing in innovative research, our business helps ensure Canada's quality of life and energy future. 

In our upstream business, we are contributing to reliable, affordable supplies of oil and gas for Canadians.  From coast to coast to coast we play a major role in developing Canada's oil and gas resources, investing billions of dollars to select the highest quality resources from opportunities in diverse geological and geographical environments.  

We are Canada's largest refiner of petroleum products.  We refine raw hydrocarbons into about 650 petroleum products essential to consumers and businesses: gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas, lubricants, and chemicals used to make plastics.  It’s hard to imagine life without the products manufactured from hydrocarbons.  They fuel our economies, heat our homes and make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Like you, we are concerned about the effects of chemicals on health and the environment and we have integrated Responsible Care® into our business practices.

Imperial offers these products and services to consumers across Canada as well as in export markets.  In total, we manufacture and sell about a quarter of the petroleum products used every day by Canadians.  We are a leading marketer of fuels, lubricants, asphalts and specialty products.

  • In addition to Imperial’s industrial and wholesale businesses, our retail brands, Esso and Mobil, are familiar fixtures across Canada.


How we do it 

We start by hiring the best and brightest and insist on maintaining the highest standards in ethical conduct and legal compliance to bring integrity to all aspects of our business.

The safety of our workforce is a company-wide priority and is a value that guides us to strive to achieve a very simple objective – Nobody Gets Hurt.  

We apply innovative thinking and continually invest in research and technology, growth projects and the communities where we operate.

To uphold our commitment to responsible development we strictly adhere to government regulations and follow detailed management systems.  While we are pleased with our progress in our environmental performance, we know there is still more work to be done. We will not relent in our efforts to reduce the impact of our operations.

Our stakeholders have an important voice in how we conduct our business.  Open and constructive dialogue provides an understanding of the issues that concern government, community and environmental groups, Indigenous communities and the public, and it helps us collaborate on solutions. We are building long-lasting relationships with our neighbours.

We take a long-term view, drawing on best practices and decades of experience to advance projects efficiently and responsibly in phases, allowing us to incorporate new best practices and technologies. 


Standing out from the crowd: research and technology

Imperial is distinguished for its long-term commitment to research and technology. We are one of the select few energy companies in Canada with dedicated research facilities.  Scientists at our Calgary and Sarnia facilities conduct research and also partner with academic experts and scientists at ExxonMobil. Together, these efforts create better ways to recover energy resources, reduce environmental impacts and produce new or improved products for Canadians.


Come for the position. Stay for the career.

We know what long-term means. We’ve been around almost as long as Canada has been a country – and we have learned a lot over that time. Today, we’re still learning. We’ve learned to take a long-term view on everything that matters – our environment, our communities, our research, our business and, most importantly, our people. 

Why are we in for the long-haul with our people? Because complex challenges require ongoing problem solving. And because our stable Canadian roots, experience and pioneering spirit positions us to provide lifelong employment in the urgent quest to meet growing demand for responsible energy. 

But we don’t take that for granted. The world is demanding we become more sustainable. Put simply, smart people helped us become one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies, and we need smart people to help us push through the next evolution of this industry.


Why Imperial? It’s a win-win.

When you join Imperial, you join more than 5,800 employees who share in the success of our Canadian history and vision. Together we benefit from:

Diverse opportunities

We’re integrated. We shape progress across the entire oil and gas journey, from exploration to customer and all the moments in between. This means we have important responsibilities and opportunities for people like you to pursue a career full of diverse and unique challenges from internship to retirement. Learn more.

Sustainability and innovation

We get it. You want to work for a company you can stand behind. We believe that climate change risks warrant action and it’s going to take all of us — business, governments and consumers — to make meaningful progress. Claims to environmental and social responsibility aren’t lip service and require turning ideas into action:

  • Research: We have invested over $2.1 billion in research and innovation over the past 20 years. That’s more than $100 million a year!
  • Environmental sustainability: Our commitment to innovation and technology has helped us reduce our oil sands greenhouse gas intensity by 20 percent between 2013 and 2017. We’ve also committed to further reductions in oil sands greenhouse gas intensity of 10 percent by 2023 (compared to 2016 levels).Social responsibility: We contributed over $17 million to our communities in 2018 and spent $2.6 billion with Indigenous suppliers over the past 10 years.

Additionally, our corporate culture reflects the individuals who are a part of it. There are thousands of personal commitments to strong communities fueled by members of the Imperial team. They coach local sports teams and volunteer at schools, non-profits, and hundreds of other causes. Our ImpACT program provides matching company funds for employee volunteer hours and cash donations.

Benefits and flexibility

One size does not fit all. That’s why we provide options for savings & retirement plans and competitive benefits & salaries, in step with other top-tier Canadian companies. We also provide flexible opportunities for work/life balance, including:

  • flexibility around work hours
  • part-time work options and job-sharing arrangements
  • scheduled and floating earned days off
  • statutory and floating holidays
  • competitive vacation entitlement
  • leaves of absence 

Learn more about flexible work and employee benefits

Inclusion and diversity

When you start with inclusion, diversity follows. Then success happens. Inclusion means we create positive workspaces, in which people can bring their authentic selves each day, regardless of their unique needs and situations. This takes work and intention – leadership training, outside-the-box recruitment, and networking programs, including employee-led networks for women, Indigenous, visible minorities and LGBTQ employees. Learn more.

Training and mentoring

Learning is a journey, not a destination. As a company, we strive to learn always, which is why we invest in our own research. As an employer, we empower people to apply their knowledge, which is why we invest in you. From challenging work experiences and job rotations, to top-shelf training, courses, coaching, and counseling, our growth opportunities are limitless. Learn more.

Health and safety culture

Nobody gets hurt. On this vision we never relent or compromise. This is why we’ve developed a number of safety programs and seek to continuously learn from all incidents and near misses. It takes a strong focus on leadership, employee engagement and risk management. Learn more.

Strong business practices

We strive to do it all responsibly, economically and with excellence. Across Canada we focus on:

  • Business ethics. It should be a given for all business. High ethical standards. Legal compliance. Integrity.
  • Value to customers and shareholders. That means advancing sustainable practices while providing competitively priced energy to customers and delivering value to shareholders.
  • Operational excellence. We apply rigour and attention to everything we do to increase operating efficiencies, maintain workplace safety and minimize our footprint on the environment.



Students. Graduates. Experienced professionals. Regardless of experience level, if you come from a background in operations, trades and technology, engineering, science or business, let’s talk.

We don’t always fish from the usual ponds. Sure, we actively recruit from universities across Canada, and our operations support apprenticeship and technical career programs at local colleges. But diversity is key if we’re going to have the perspectives we need to tackle today’s complex challenges. So we think beyond the usual recruitment methods and reach people who may not have previously considered a career in oil and gas.


Imperial Careers Foot Image

We have our work cut out for us. We’re tackling today’s energy and environment challenges across the entire spectrum of the oil and gas business – from the moment we look for oil and get it out of the ground, to the journey to the plant, to the road and the home.

What does this mean for you? It means you will have an opportunity to learn more, and shape progress, across multiple areas of our business. When we step out to solve problems, we look at every step of the oil and gas journey. It means we rely on diversity of thought and experience in our workforce to deliver and innovate.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, there’s a career opportunity that matches your skills, your interests and where you seek to make a difference.

  • September: grad positions are posted
  • October: application deadlines
  • October/November: first interviews are conducted
  • November/December: second interviews are conducted

If you’re currently in university or college, we’ve got co-op and internship opportunities available for you at various times throughout the year.

  • September: work term opportunities are posted for January/May start
  • January: work term opportunities are posted for May start
  • May: work term opportunities are posted for September start
  • Interviews: are conducted in October, February, and June
  • Student term positions: are at least four months, but may be longer 


So where do you fit?

Are you an upstream, midstream or downstream person? Or, do you bring special skills that apply to all areas of business?

Tapping it (upstream)

Are you fascinated by the natural world where oil and gas begin – the land, the challenges, solutions and the technologies that make it all happen? Maybe an opportunity in the upstream business is right for you. That’s where we explore for resources and get them out of the ground.

Moving it (midstream)

For oil to meet energy demand around the world, we need to get it on the move. Are you interested in the puzzles that come with moving and storing these resources? We have 21 terminals across Canada, which help ensure reliability of fuel products to numerous regions. We also have product pipelines which provide a safe, environmentally friendly and vital way to transport both crude oil for refining and refined petrochemicals to consumers.

Refining it (downstream and chemical)

Maybe you’re an inventor type with a curious mind, intrigued by the world of refining and chemical products. This is the sector that most impacts our daily lives. It’s where the oil becomes the road and the grease hits the gears. It’s trips to the cabin. It’s the plastic in your frisbee and the power that lifts airplanes. The downstream world turns raw potential into products that make the modern world possible.

Selling it (retail)

You may already be familiar with our retail business. It includes the Mobil lubricants you put in your car, the Esso/Mobil gas station down the street – even the long-standing connection to hockey. While we no longer own or operate gas stations, we still have teams dedicated to selling product to distributers and wholesalers, managing and marketing the retail brands (Esso and Mobil), and overseeing our sponsorships.

Advancing it (research on all the above)

Knowledge is power. Reducing emissions, saving water, finding efficiencies and protecting the environment. That’s what drives research at Imperial.  We don’t just fund researchers… we hire them, we promote them and we invest in them. Our organization is taking the industry to the next frontiers of operational excellence through our research labs in Calgary and Sarnia and through collaboration with smart organizations and even smarter people.

Supporting it

Do you have specialized skills that supports all the segments above? Whether your background is in finance, commercial, information technology, law, safety, human resources or a number of other fields – you will play an important supporting role in all we do at Imperial.

We care about our employees. That’s why we provide a comprehensive employment package.

We offer a wide range of benefits and programs to meet our employees’ changing needs as they progress through a rewarding career. Whether it’s further education, wellness, or medical and dental, we offer support for the whole family.

Time-off work


It’s important to take time to rest and relax. We give our career employees three to six weeks of vacation time per year, depending on their years of service and experience level. Term employees and students also need relaxation time. They are eligible for 10 days of vacation for each 12 months of service.

We recognize the valuable experience and knowledge you may have gained from former jobs. Depending on the role, we may recognize relevant external experience gained through former employment in determining how much vacation employees are entitled to. 

Earned days off 

More is always welcome, right?  At Imperial, employees who work the standard corporate schedule earn extra Fridays off throughout the year. Most of these days are scheduled, and some are flexible to be used at the employee’s discretion. We can all use more time off to relax, run errands and attend appointments. 


Need even more days off? Yes please! We grant 12 paid holidays each year to all employees so they can enjoy holidays off with friends and family. Some are fixed, but others are flexible and can be taken as the employee chooses. 

Compensation and benefits


Our employees do important work that benefits Canadians all over the country. That’s why our salaries are benchmarked with top-tier Canadian companies, to ensure our employees’  compensation helps meet their individual and/or family needs. 

Health and dental plans 

We offer comprehensive health and dental benefits that support and promote wellness. Our plans provide coverage to supplement provincial government plans - in areas such as prescription drugs, vision or dental care, to name a few. With various options and coverage levels to select from, employees can choose a health and a dental plan that best meets their needs and those of their family as they change throughout their career.  

Disability benefits 

We offer company-paid disability benefits that help safeguard our employees’ financial security when they can’t come into work due to illness or accident. 

We offer both a short and long-term plan – at no cost to you! Optional disability coverage is also available to supplement our disability benefits. 

Insurance plans 

100%. That’s right, on day one, employees are automatically enrolled in our 100% company-paid basic life insurance and accident insurance plans. We also provide the option of purchasing supplemental insurance at a reduced premium rate through the partnerships we’ve made. These optional plans include supplemental life, accident and critical illness insurance. 


Savings plan 

Employees enroll in the savings plan after one year of service. Your contributions as a percentage of normal earnings receive a matching company contribution up to a defined limit, which can be invested in a tax-paid account or RRSP. There are several investment options to choose from, to help you save for retirement. 

Pension plan 

We’re proud to offer our employees a Defined Benefit Pension Plan at no cost to you. To be retirement eligible, employees must have at least 10 years of service and leave the company on or after age 55. If you leave the company prior to age 55, or with less than 10 years of service you are entitled to a deferred benefit, or a lump sum actuarially equivalent value. 

Other wellness supports

Culture of health 

We recognize that when employees come to work, they bring their whole self. That’s why we strive to provide an environment and resources that foster a culture of wellbeing we can all benefit from. Culture of Health is a wellbeing program designed to support employee physical, emotional and financial health. It provides guidance, resources, encouragement and support to assist our employees.  

Wellness personal spending account 

Emotional. Physical. Financial. Health and wellness is everything. This program provides financial assistance for expenses and services that help our employees achieve their personal wellness goals. 

Employee and family assistance program 

No problem is too big or too small. Our employee and family assistance program provides our employees and their families with immediate and confidential support to help them manage work, physical, mental health, and life challenges. By ensuring our employees get resources and support, we hope to help lighten the load. 

Occupational health services 

Located at several key Imperial locations throughout the country, these services are available to assist with managing workplace health needs.

In addition to first aid and emergency medical services, company health professionals provide our employees with information on how to mitigate health risks and exposures so they can stay healthy. They also perform health surveillance, business travel health and fitness for work assessments. 

Supporting you and your family

Education refund program 

Never stop learning. That’s our philosophy. We provide financial assistance to employees who would like to pursue work-related educational opportunities to maintain or improve job skills, and to develop new ones. 

Higher education awards 

Maybe it’s a Mechanical Engineering Diploma from SAIT in Calgary. Or a Bachelors in Indigenous Studies from York University in Toronto. Either way, it comes with high price tag and we want to support the higher education of our employees’ children. These awards cover some of the cost of tuition and other expenses for children pursuing post-secondary education.  

Relocation assistance and support 

Work at different sites across the country. Relocate to take on a new position. These are valuable development opportunities we can offer our employees in many situations. We support this by offering a comprehensive relocation package to cover the majority of costs associated with a move. We also offer extensive resources to make the move easier, such as a home sale plan, checklists, and moving services. 


In the video, hear from members of our Imperial Indigenous Network in Cold Lake about the importance of the group and mentorship.

We need many perspectives to succeed. We encourage diversity of thought - so people aren’t afraid to take risks, make mistakes and look at things differently.

That’s what progress looks like. We honour diverse backgrounds so we can be a place where people can bring their full selves, no matter their identity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability. But diversity isn’t the default. We must be intentional and work hard to get there. It’s a mindset that begins at the leadership table and continues through every office and worksite across Canada.


Why it matters

The global talent pool is shrinking. The fastest growing groups in Canada are Indigenous and visible minority groups. Over the last 15 years, Indigenous populations alone increased by 42 percent. Visible minorities drive Canada’s economy and play a significant role in whether we succeed. The stakes are high for everyone. Here’s why:

We impact our communities and they impact us. Our success relies on our ability to understand and respond to people - our communities, customers, governments and investors. If they are diverse then we need to be too.

We need to hire and keep the best. Experienced workers are retiring. As the economy recovers there will be tough competition for skilled workers. We need to look beyond the usual places and toward untapped talent markets: women, new immigrants, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, youth and veterans.

We need to grow productivity and innovation. New perspectives. Better ways to do business. Innovative products, technologies and ideas. Research reveals that these rewards mostly come from diverse teams. We strive for a collaborative culture where people are included and aren’t afraid to take risks and try things differently.


How we get there

Invest in communities: develop skills

We support education programs that build up local communities, removing barriers to employment and providing better access to training for vulnerable or minority populations. We invest in programs that strengthen the communities where we operate.

Create inclusive workspaces: empower leaders and staff

We don’t just say it. We strive to do it. We know that an inclusive work environment requires work that starts from leadership. This means providing workplace flexibility. It means training supervisors to look beyond operations and to listen to staff. It means we are afforded time to participate in training and create solutions for people. We also support employee-led diversity networks, called Employee Resource Groups.

Recruit from diverse places: hire qualified people

Cast a wide net. Get more talent. Cast that net in more places. Get more variety. To attract the best and the brightest, we need to draw from the largest candidate pool. We think beyond the usual recruitment methods and reach people who may not have previously considered a career in oil and gas. When we recruit people, we value qualifications, equity and fairness.


Diversity: we mean it!

We host guest speakers who represent people from minority groups who share, encourage and inspire staff on a similar journey.

The Cold Lake Women in Wage group reaches out to the Women in Technology program at NAIT to promote careers in wage with Imperial.

We provide access to adaptive and ergonomic devices to help all employees, especially those with disabilities. The Ergo Lab at our Quarry Park campus provides access to many tools.

Our comprehensive benefits and Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides medical and wellness supports as needed.

We share job opportunities with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. We are working towards Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification.

Imperial is an Employer Partner with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).

We have been offering diversity training for over a decade.


Employee Resource Groups

Employees lead them. We support them. Employee Resource Groups are networks of people who share a common journey on a path less traveled.

Helping people bring their true selves to work each day are seven Employee Resource Groups, including:

  • Women’s Interest Network and Women in Wage, which support women across the majority of our sites
  • Imperial’s PRIDE resource group is in its seventh year as of 2019, with more than 170 members
  • Visible minority groups have grown to include:
    • BEST (Black Employee Success Team) formed in 2017
    • GOAL (Global Organization for the Advancement of Latinos) formed in 2019
    • ACE (Asian Connection for Excellence) formed in 2019
  • Indigenous networks

Supporting diversity outside of our walls

With Immigrant Services Calgary, we sponsored the Immigrants Distinction Awards March 15, 2019.

We hosted the annual Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion Unconference in February 2019 with over 100 participants from all sectors of business.

We have been a platinum sponsor of the Calgary Pride Parade since 2014.

For the fifth year in a row, we partnered with Bow Valley College and Calgary Regional Immigrant Employment Council to host and facilitate “speed interviewing,” designed to provide an opportunity for recent immigrants to develop interview and networking skills.


Imperial Oil Reviews

  • Featured Review

    "Treat you great, work you hard"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Calgary, AB
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Calgary, AB
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Imperial Oil full-time (More than 3 years)


    Good Salary
    Good Benefits
    Lots of room for development and growth


    Process Driven
    Little flexibility in how things are done

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Imperial Oil Photos

Imperial Oil photo of: Calgary Campus
Imperial Oil photo of: Calgary Campus Gym
Imperial Oil photo of: Esso brand
Imperial Oil photo of: Kearl Oil Sands
Imperial Oil photo of: Kearl Oil Sands
Imperial Oil photo of: Calgary campus
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Imperial Oil Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Geology Student Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Imperial Oil (Calgary, AB).


    Hiring process is over a weekend at a hotel. Friday is a meet-n-greet, with Saturday/Sunday being full days in the guise of a "short course" about oil sands or sequence stratigraphy. Wireline logs, seismic, presentation skills, group work are all evaluated. Throughout the short course they split you into small groups and look at fairly simple problems. Many students from the East Coast had never looked at a wireline log before, I felt bad for them.

    The interviewers stick around the Sunday evening and choose right there who to pick. I was called a day or two later.

    Interview Questions

    • - There is no specific question(s) they ask. They want you to see how you interpret data, present your findings and considering risk/economic choices.   1 Answer
See All 239 Interviews

Imperial Oil Awards & Accolades

  • Barron's 500, Barron's, 2009
  • Barron's 500, Barron's, 2008

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