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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Ecksie Offline

Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2012
Reputation: 2
Post: #508
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Been swamped and haven't checked in for a while.

Glad to see a few others taking the plunge and it really seems to be working out well for them. I can guarantee that, if you work hard, you'll be noticed and move up fast. My company hired a guy less than 2 months ago as a green laborer--we gave him a raise already and are sponsoring his apprenticeship now. We do this for guys who seem loyal and those who seem to shine.

Also, I've seen a lot of posts suggesting that the trades are better than going to university.....I just want to bring a little light to are the facts as I see them. Please don't take this as bragging--I simply don't want guys thinking university is a waste.

Guys twice my age make half my wage--albeit a good wage for them nonetheless. While other guys are begging for overtime, I work as much as it takes to stay ahead and do a great job and then I go home. I basically make my own hours. I can decide to be outside when Its comfortable for me (rarely when it's 40 below) while other guys are shivering. I drive a pickup where others ride the bus to site--I stay in an executive camp while others complain about their neighbors and shower fungus. Im MUCH less likely to be severely injured on the job and my job won't ruin my body by the age of 50. My career ceiling is much higher--MOST of our clients, competition and suppliers are run by engineers. Every one of the executive managers for my company has an engineering background. My position is about where a construction professional WITHOUT an engineering degree will likely cap out their career. And I'm under 30.

This isn't the case everywhere--but much of Alberta is DESPERATE for engineers.

University isn't for everyone.. You can make fantastic coin here without it. But an engineering degree makes a huge difference here--at least in the oilfield construction industry.

I've had the opportunity of seeing the production/drilling side of the business as well and I can't recommend it. Sure, the coin is unbelievable as a rig consultant ($1500+/day) but it takes t least a decade of experience to get to that level..ive seen one guy who was younger but his brother, the petroleum engineer in charge of the drilling program, hired him. you'll make crazy cash even getting there--but the lifestyle isn't worth it. As a consultant, you're a contractor who will live on the Wellsite for months without break. As a contractor, labour laws don't apply and you can be forced to work 60 day stints. I've yet to meet one consultant, rig manager, or even driller than hasn't been sucked into spending a huge chunk of their money on booze, drugs, disgusting bush-hookers, and divorces. One of the drillers I met was close to 50--and paid 3 women alimony and two kids child support. He created a world where, although he pulled down 180k a year, he was always broke and rented a one bedroom condo in red deer when he wasn't working.

Petroleum engineers visit the drilling programs to see how the rigs are progressing-- but they are usually in the bush no more than 2 days. They also pull down 200k+.

It's late and I'm tired so I hope this post doesn't come across as condescending--I really just don't want guys considering university to give up the greatest 4 year experience of their life to make what seems like, right now, some crazy amount of money.
10-05-2012 11:38 PM
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - Ecksie - 10-05-2012 11:38 PM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM