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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-25-2012 03:34 PM)raliv Wrote:  how experienced a welder do you have to be to get a job with one of the companies up there? Certified obviously but is there a threshold of years of experience they demand?

You don't need any experience in theory(it definitely won't hurt!), you could get hired on as a welder's helper, basically a labourer's job, you'd make around $20/hr starting out and if you played your cards right, the company would enlist you into the provincial apprenticeship programme. After about 6 months of field work, you'd to to school for 6-8 weeks and do this 3 times over the course of 3-4 years, after each school session you'd get a raise until you hit the top journey man rate, which in most trades is $40-45/hour, plus about $6hr into you pension. So if you're 18, by the time you're 21-22 you WILL (theres no grey area here!) be making about 150K, you'll get paid to go to school and make big money during your 4 year apprecticeship, I have a friend who is 25 and hasn't made less than 100K/year since he was 17!

Or, you could take a Bachelor of Arts in basket weaving and women's studies and graduate with 30K in debt!

As for Americans or anyone else, you'd have to prove your skills when you get to Canada through some tests. I'm not too familiar with that process, but if they can bring in a few thousand Filipino and Indian welders each year, I imagine they'll recognize USA certificates. Welders would likely need their B pressure ticket and all other processes (SMAW,GMAW,FCAW,TIG,etc), for more info you can check out the American Welding Society (

Welding is an excellent trade, contract rig welders in the Mac make $100-120/hr, 80-100 hrs week, do the math on a 24 on 4 off rotation! Warning, welding ain't for pussies, its a trade many guys learn IN JAIL! lol, there's so much riff raff in the trades, its great....this isn't the place to work if you have thin skin or are easily offended, working in the trades esp. in fort mac, is like being in a locker room all the time. Its a male dominated environment, not many women around you don't have to walk on egg shells, worrying about offending anyone, I get told to fuck off and tell other guys to go fuck themselves multiple times everyday, wouldn't have it any other way!
01-26-2012 12:28 AM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - scotian - 01-26-2012 12:28 AM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM