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Working and Learning in Wood Buffalo

Wood Buffalo is a region filled with families of all shapes and sizes, most of which find employment in the oil and gas industry, but many also take advantage of the need for retail, commercial, professional and service industries. Excellent schools educate our region's children and training programs prepare our region's residents for the next step in their professional lives.

Wood Buffalo School Districts

There are four public school districts in the Municipality with over 35 schools across Fort McMurray and the rural communities throughout the region.

  • The Fort McMurray Public School District also provides alternative programs including alternative assisted self-paced studies, French Immersion, the Fort McMurray Christian School and Fort McMurray Islamic School.
  • The Fort McMurray Catholic School District provides Catholic faith-based learning, French Immersion and First Nations, Metis and Inuit language programs.
  • The Northland School Division extends across Northern Alberta and includes the rural areas surrounding both the Town of Peace River and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
  • The Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord, or Greater North Central Francophone Education Region is the Northern Alberta school district for French first language education.

Post-Secondary Education

Keyano College is a comprehensive community college that operates at several campuses and learning centres throughout the region. They provide degree completion programs as well as one and two-year university transfer programs, certificate and diploma programs, academic upgrading, trades preparation and apprenticeship programs. Academic partnerships help provide a skilled workforce for the oil sands.

Finding work in Wood Buffalo

Wages for most jobs are higher in Wood Buffalo than in other areas of Alberta. However, just like anywhere else, if workers don't have the experience and/or education that companies are looking for they may need to work their way up, or get some training and experience before getting the high-paying job they want.

Credential Recognition

Workers moving to Wood Buffalo from another part of Canada, or from outside Canada, may need to take some steps to get their professional or trade credentials recognized in Alberta. This process can be very fast in some cases, but in other cases it may take some time or require some additional training or education.

It is important to compare your credentials (degree, certification, trade documents etc.) to what is required in Alberta.

Entrepreneurship And Business Development

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is envisioning a region with a greater diversity of services for its residents. There is a need for retail, commercial and professional services in the region in addition to industrial and supporting businesses.

The Municipality is working on several plans for developing retail, commercial and professional services throughout the region.

More information about starting a business in the region:

Wildfire Rebuild  [Learn more]