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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Digger Offline
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Post: #2401
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Been following this thread for about three months, a great wealth of information, thanks to scotian for his time and knowledge. Personally not really feeling any love from employers in the patch, I am a certified heavy equipment operator from Ontario (born and raised), I have applied to every add looking for anything to do with HEO's , probably about fifty resume's and applications submitted , and nothin yet. So I started looking on kijiji and there seems to be more guys looking for work than jobs offered! Kinda makes me wonder if movin out there before securing a gig is such a great idea! Just wondering if this is normal for this time of year or are the rumours that the sands are slowin down true!
03-04-2014 07:31 PM
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Snuke Offline
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Post: #2402
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-04-2014 07:31 PM)Digger Wrote:  are the rumours that the sands are slowin down true!

Definitely not slowing down dude. This is probably the worst time of year to job hunt in Alberta though. I would personally wait until mid summer or even fall when you will for sure get a good gig easy. No big projects are shutting down and with the start of construction for the new pipelines this year, it will only stress the work force even more, thus making jobs even easier to get this fall.
03-04-2014 08:52 PM
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Digger Offline
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Post: #2403
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Thanks for the info Snuke, good to hear it's not slowin down, I'll just keep plugging the resumes and see what happens!
03-04-2014 10:30 PM
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Zeus Offline
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Post: #2404
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-04-2014 07:31 PM)Digger Wrote:  Been following this thread for about three months, a great wealth of information, thanks to scotian for his time and knowledge. Personally not really feeling any love from employers in the patch, I am a certified heavy equipment operator from Ontario (born and raised), I have applied to every add looking for anything to do with HEO's , probably about fifty resume's and applications submitted , and nothin yet. So I started looking on kijiji and there seems to be more guys looking for work than jobs offered! Kinda makes me wonder if movin out there before securing a gig is such a great idea! Just wondering if this is normal for this time of year or are the rumours that the sands are slowin down true!

No,

you're probably not getting responses because you are NOT here. You look like a tire kicker. You need to come here, pound pavement and get a job. EVERYONE that has done that in this thread has secured a job fast.

Get to it!
03-04-2014 11:16 PM
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Atlantic Offline
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Post: #2405
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-04-2014 07:31 PM)Digger Wrote:  Been following this thread for about three months, a great wealth of information, thanks to scotian for his time and knowledge. Personally not really feeling any love from employers in the patch, I am a certified heavy equipment operator from Ontario (born and raised), I have applied to every add looking for anything to do with HEO's , probably about fifty resume's and applications submitted , and nothin yet. So I started looking on kijiji and there seems to be more guys looking for work than jobs offered! Kinda makes me wonder if movin out there before securing a gig is such a great idea! Just wondering if this is normal for this time of year or are the rumours that the sands are slowin down true!

I got a friend working on a 8 billion dollar project over the next 4-5 years. Ain't nothing slowing down.

In my experience its been busier since I arrived. I have had to request some time off work this year round.
03-05-2014 12:00 AM
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Zauber Offline
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Post: #2406
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hey everyone!

Just got an update on the situation here in Toronto. Apparently there are 1500 unemployed plumbing apprentices right now in the Local 46. Doesn't look like I'll have much of a chance getting in. Looks like I'll be making the move to Alberta this summer.

When you guys visited the union halls in Calgary and Edmonton how desperate did they sound for apprentices?
03-05-2014 02:29 AM
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blazer88888 Offline
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Post: #2407
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(12-06-2013 09:46 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(12-05-2013 05:35 PM)blazer88888 Wrote:  Hey guys I'm looking for some solid advice here. I'm 19 living in Canada, Toronto to be exact. I was in university last year but decided it just wasn't for me so here I am taking this year off to figure things out. I'm seriously interested going over to Alberta to work the oil sands but I haven't got any experience in the construction/oil/trades business. I've only got retail experience.

So, what should someone in my position do? I want to do more then just shovel snow or dig trenches so what's the best Certificate/Diploma that I should attain in the shortest amount of time to maximize my earnings while over there? Electrical tech, management etc.

Thanks

Is making quick money your main objective or would you consider taking a two year technical diploma and get into something that would be more of a career? If I was 19, that's what I would do.

What technical diplomas could I explore? Apprentices need to be sponsored by a company first and pre-employment seems to be a risky bet. I want to make the jump but the prospect of not being able to find a job and returning home, tail between my legs isn't the most appealing.
03-05-2014 07:59 PM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #2408
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-05-2014 07:59 PM)blazer88888 Wrote:  
(12-06-2013 09:46 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(12-05-2013 05:35 PM)blazer88888 Wrote:  Hey guys I'm looking for some solid advice here. I'm 19 living in Canada, Toronto to be exact. I was in university last year but decided it just wasn't for me so here I am taking this year off to figure things out. I'm seriously interested going over to Alberta to work the oil sands but I haven't got any experience in the construction/oil/trades business. I've only got retail experience.

So, what should someone in my position do? I want to do more then just shovel snow or dig trenches so what's the best Certificate/Diploma that I should attain in the shortest amount of time to maximize my earnings while over there? Electrical tech, management etc.

Thanks

Is making quick money your main objective or would you consider taking a two year technical diploma and get into something that would be more of a career? If I was 19, that's what I would do.

What technical diplomas could I explore?

Well, what are you interested in doing?

http://www.sait.ca/programs-and-courses/...eships.php

Does anything listed there pique your interest?
03-05-2014 09:43 PM
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NFallin Offline
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Post: #2409
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-05-2014 02:29 AM)Zauber Wrote:  Hey everyone!

Just got an update on the situation here in Toronto. Apparently there are 1500 unemployed plumbing apprentices right now in the Local 46. Doesn't look like I'll have much of a chance getting in. Looks like I'll be making the move to Alberta this summer.

When you guys visited the union halls in Calgary and Edmonton how desperate did they sound for apprentices?

Not a plumber, but on my jobsite before I went for school in Calgary, they began hiring a lot of spanish speaking women just because they couldn't find anybody to fill a lot of the plumber apprentice positions. Come out bro.
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2014 09:52 PM by NFallin.)
03-05-2014 09:45 PM
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blazer88888 Offline
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Post: #2410
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-05-2014 09:43 PM)komatiite Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 07:59 PM)blazer88888 Wrote:  
(12-06-2013 09:46 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(12-05-2013 05:35 PM)blazer88888 Wrote:  Hey guys I'm looking for some solid advice here. I'm 19 living in Canada, Toronto to be exact. I was in university last year but decided it just wasn't for me so here I am taking this year off to figure things out. I'm seriously interested going over to Alberta to work the oil sands but I haven't got any experience in the construction/oil/trades business. I've only got retail experience.

So, what should someone in my position do? I want to do more then just shovel snow or dig trenches so what's the best Certificate/Diploma that I should attain in the shortest amount of time to maximize my earnings while over there? Electrical tech, management etc.

Thanks

Is making quick money your main objective or would you consider taking a two year technical diploma and get into something that would be more of a career? If I was 19, that's what I would do.

What technical diplomas could I explore?

Well, what are you interested in doing?

http://www.sait.ca/programs-and-courses/...eships.php

Does anything listed there pique your interest?

I've been looking at electrician and NDT for a while now. I'm not a big guy so I can't imagine doing welding or pipefitting for the long run. My plan for a while now has been to attend SAIT for their electrician pre-employment program since finding a company to sponsor you apprenticeship is getting more rare last I heard. After that I suppose I'd just hit up all the head offices of electrical companies and offer my services.
03-06-2014 05:07 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #2411
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hmmm I operated and maintained progressive tool and die for 6 years working in a machine shop, currently working in IT with a degree in computer science. I kinda miss labor, but at almost 30 years old I'm not sure if going back into training for a career change would be worth it unless I could find something that could take advantage of my current job experiences. Reading all this has got me itching for trade work, though...

Would certainly love to be making a mid-size sedan worth of money every month.
03-06-2014 06:00 PM
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Tresdus Offline
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Post: #2412
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Alright, it's been 4 weeks since I got here. Got the job I wanted yesterday, anyone saying the oilsands are slowing down doesn't know what they are talking about. Just driving around there are tons of HIRING signs. But you have to get out here.

Here's what I did.

I came from Germany, so I had to apply for my visa which I got mid January. After that I quickly booked my flight and 2 weeks later I landed at 2pm in Edmonton. I stayed in the HI Hostel for 5 days. The same day I landed I found a room, about 3 hours later but I couldn't move in so I stayed in the hostel for the rest of the time I had it booked for. That evening I also met with 2 guys from the forum and had a few drinks with them.

Next day I went and got my SIN number, then I went and got my SIM card (don't get a contract if you are not Canadian, I had my account suspended a week later so I had to go in and cancel everything and get a new number which really sucked) and then I made an appointment for my bank account which was the next day.

I also bought some boots and various random stuff during that week. Everything is explained what you need in the thread and yes Marks in the place to go to.

The second week I took a one week course related to the job I'm doing which went from 8-5 every day. The instructor was really great and the stories you will hear when you work with people that have been in the industry for a long time are unbelievable.

On the weekend I took First Aid and then H2S on the following Monday. I also took CSTS, which you can do online. It's an 8 hour course and it's pretty boring so you just have to sit through it.

On Tuesday I got sick and took a rest day, the first one since I came here, I was doing things every single day since I arrived. I felt quite a bit better on Wednesday so I went out and started going around offices applying for jobs. I walked around 12km that day because the Bus system really sucks (Get the monthly pass, it's 89$). Get a car if you have the money. I talked to about 12 companies and got a few positive responses. Most said with experience (1year) they'd hire me immediately.

After 3 weeks I also signed up for a gym, which I should have done way sooner, but I wasn't sure which one to pick. I might also start a part time job at that gym so if anyone needs a good one PM me. There's quite a few girls around, online game works really well.

This week I went with another forum member to a different company and they interviewed me on the spot. It is not a 6 figure job, but it is a job where I can definitely get my PR next March. A day later I got hired and I have my first work day on monday. I also bought a really shitty car for 700$.

Thanks a lot to scotian, Atlantic and everyone else for the great information in this thread.

TL;DR Read the thread. Everything has been said a hundred times.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 06:01 PM by Tresdus.)
03-07-2014 06:00 PM
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John Mack Offline
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Post: #2413
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
03-09-2014 02:40 AM
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Seanchaí Offline
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Post: #2414
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Great to hear another forum member smashing out there well done Tresdus.

If you don't mind me asking what line of work are you in?

Also did you happen to come across any decent MMA gyms in Edmonton?
03-09-2014 10:37 AM
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Tresdus Offline
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Post: #2415
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I found this one:
http://eotstorm.com/mma.asp

I'm looking to get into self defense, so MMA for the street would be perfect. I'm probably going to take the free introductory class.
03-09-2014 01:16 PM
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Seanchaí Offline
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Post: #2416
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-09-2014 01:16 PM)Tresdus Wrote:  I found this one:
http://eotstorm.com/mma.asp

I'm looking to get into self defense, so MMA for the street would be perfect. I'm probably going to take the free introductory class.

It's a fun thing to do I can't recommend it enough, personally I prefer the ground game, especially while under the influence of my glaucoma medicine

Congats on the job hopefully we'll meet up for a pint or a bucket in a few months
03-09-2014 01:44 PM
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CKSEA Offline
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Post: #2417
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I am in Grande Prairie right now and have worked all over northern Alberta, fairly established in drilling and can answer questions about getting going out here.

Side note, breakup will be hitting at the end of the month which typically slows things down, but not like it used to.
03-09-2014 11:50 PM
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simdog87 Offline
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Post: #2418
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
CKSEA.

What is a better town for employment currently Calgary or Edmonton ?
03-10-2014 10:26 PM
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CKSEA Offline
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Post: #2419
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I'm sure the differences in unemployment between the two are negligible.

Alberta as a whole runs at basically total employment, we have a 5% natural unemployment rate. All oil companies and major service companies have main offices in Calgary. Lots of jobs in Edmonton though (service companies all over in Leduc/Nisku next to Edmonton Int'l), and more blue collar so I prefer it over Calgary any day.

(03-10-2014 10:26 PM)simdog87 Wrote:  CKSEA.

What is a better town for employment currently Calgary or Edmonton ?
03-11-2014 01:58 AM
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Atlantic Offline
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Post: #2420
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Looks like I am on spring break up. I find out later this week for sure.
03-11-2014 08:43 AM
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Buzzyfurbox Offline
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Post: #2421
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-11-2014 08:43 AM)Atlantic Wrote:  Looks like I am on spring break up. I find out later this week for sure.

Atlantic, what's the possibility of being taken on as an MWD trainee during the summer?
03-11-2014 11:03 AM
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Atlantic Offline
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Post: #2422
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(03-11-2014 11:03 AM)Buzzyfurbox Wrote:  
(03-11-2014 08:43 AM)Atlantic Wrote:  Looks like I am on spring break up. I find out later this week for sure.

Atlantic, what's the possibility of being taken on as an MWD trainee during the summer?

It is a little bit harder but definitely possible.

My company nearly shuts down completely in spring but some companies have a more steady flow of work throughout the year - different type of projects that don't shut down.

These companies work flow doesn't fluctuate as much and could continue to hire throughout the summer. As for the companies that do slow down in spring- most people have spent their savings come summer so are keen to work and that leaves very little spare work ( no need to hire new people ).

Best time of year for getting hired is Sept - Nov.
03-11-2014 04:02 PM
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Laurifer Offline
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Post: #2423
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Just got back from a quick one-week hole in the bush out in Grande Prairie. My first complete gig on a rig from rig in to rig out. Think I lucked out since I wasn't bitched at as much as a leasehand normally would be, or so I was told. But I definitely was chewed out a few times, in some cases for no real reason lol.

Seems unlikely that I'll get called to another rig since break up is pretty much here but I'll give head office a call to see if there's any hope of getting a few more days in.
03-11-2014 04:22 PM
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a.canuck Offline
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Post: #2424
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
hey guys
first off wanted to thank Scotian for the thread, this thread is a wealth of info in one place - took me two whole days to read the thread! Anyways I'm making the move mid-July (already bought my tickets) and as I've booked myself on the SAIT course (pre-employment electrician) for November but in the meantime I want to try to get a job with a electrician so I can go down the apprenticeship route. Thanks again for the wealth of info and hey maybe I can meet you guys up someday and buy you that beer Scotian!
03-12-2014 09:07 AM
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Longdongmcgong Offline
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Post: #2425
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hey Guys!!!

This thread has given me a 6 foot boner with a cheeseburger on the end! HaHAAA!!! Only slept 3 hours, couldn't sleep I had money and girls on the brain haha!

Thank you for sharing this info guys! I just bought a membership just so I could post here. I wasn't surprised to see people who were interested in heading up to the oil sands though when I read what this forum is about. A couple years I was talking with a good friend of mine about getting into the up and coming natural gas/fracking industry and how much money you could make. Then I got into a conversation with a skydiving buddy of mine a few weeks ago who works in Fort Mac who's clearing $3000-$3500 per week! It's been in my brain nonstop. Shall I say my interest was picqued!?!?!!!!

My situation.

I work in aerospace and make pretty decent coin. Right now I'm a systems tech at a large aerospace company. We do everything from hydraulics to avionics, a lot of troubleshooting and elecrical. Been at it two years and it's getting a little boring. I have a tendency to work OT like a maniac. I make $22/hr and in 4 years I will jump up to $40/hr. Without OT though I'm lucky to clear $1100 every two weeks, if I work both weekends it goes up to around $2000. It's a good job, I can't complain overall. You get about 2-3 weeks off per year depending on how much OT you work. Not bad but not good enough either. I'll never be able to do some of the things I want to before I die if I stay here. I want to have the ability to make money in something I'm good at and still be able to take time off and still have the skills to come back to the industry easily after a few months of vacation.

Previous jobs:

logging
HVAC(building ductwork for cleanrooms)
Electrical(low voltage and data cabling)
U.S. Navy Electronics Technician(on a ship)
loading cars and machinery into shipping containers
Worked in a bar

What I'd like to get into up there is the electrical trade. I have a lot of work experience but nothing that really qualifies me to work up there.

My question is what type of jobs should I target? I would really like to get some kind of technician job or maybe an electrician apprenticeship. That's more of what I know but I wouldn't mind doing some kind of rough jobs like working on a drill rig or something for a season until I find something more suited to me. Am I missing something? Probably a lot haha!!!
03-12-2014 09:52 AM
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