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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!
(10-25-2013 12:57 AM)WesternCancer Wrote:  Good stuff swearbox, when you're quoting prices for housing is that for Edmonton?

What kind of places are these guys in (niceness wise) because looking on craigslist I've found a bunch of places you can get a room for ~500/mth.

Also update on my end: I think I'm going to hold off on getting a car until I get to Alberta. The hassle of changing over insurance/registration/whatever coupled with my complete inexperience at driving in the winter would mean almost certain death driving thru the rockies in december lol.

Anyone have any data on Saskatchewan. I think scotian mentioned he went there. Are there similar opportunities out there? My buddy is out there and said I could stay with him till I find a job, but I think hes just trying to trick me into going there since its so damn boring, ha.

Ya Sask has lots of work and is a bit more diverse than Alberta as they have oil and gas but also uranium and potash, however I`d never live here as the province sucks, it has all of the negative aspects of Alberta (cold as fuck, flat and boring, issues with natives, etc) but non of the positives (mountains, no PST, low taxes, etc). I`d much rather live in Edmonton or Calgary than Regina or Saskatoon and I`d never live in Estevan, a town I just spent three months in, although its booming there right now.

(10-25-2013 02:19 AM)WesternCancer Wrote:  that explains the prices then haha!

I've been digging a bit deeper into my opportunities and I think I might want to become a power engineer. I'm tired as fuck right now, but from what I understand you can take distance ED courses at NAIT or BCIT etc and 'go at your own pace" before you challenge the exam.

Ideally I'd want to get the certs in Alberta, because it looks like you have to have actual plant time to challenge an inter provincial exam.

Theres a 4th class guy at my work and BCIT offers a reduced time period if you get 'sponsored'

I probably know half the shit already from my physics/math classes and could probably become a 4th class power engineer in a few months or maybe less. I got pretty good marks in uni and I didn't start learning till the day before the test.

The process seems too simple, am I missing something?

Power engineering was mentioned on here a couple of pages ago and I think that the consensus is that its hard to get into and probably best to take a two year diploma at a community college, something you`re probably not too keen on since you just spent a few years in uni. I say come to Alberta and try to get into some entry level work on site, see how you like it, network and then move on from there. Or you could work some labour type job for a few months, save up some cash then go on an epic trip for a few months, that`s probably what I would do. There's no harm in taking the online courses though as you'd learn the ins and outs of how these plant sites work, even if you don't end up being a power engineer, its useful knowledge and would look good on a resume.

(10-25-2013 04:40 PM)Cattle Rustler Wrote:  Since there are many canadians working in natural resources on this thread, I want to ask two questions....

How's the situation like in Nanavut or Northern Territories? I was reading their wikipedia articles and yellowknife has a lot diamond production going on.

They seem like nice places to live....calm, not many people. Although the cold weather would freeze my texan balls off.

I've never been up there but I know that they're hard places to live, basically 9-10 months of winter, land of the midnight sun and very rowdy natives up there. You'd have to be an outdoors man to really enjoy it, if you're into hunting and fishing, a place like NWT or the Yukon could be great. Things are very expensive up there as they have to be flown in or hauled by truck over ice roads, but there are tax breaks and a "northern living allowance". Here's a link to a major diamond mine that I know of: , if you want more info, especially on Yellowknife, I have a couple of buddies up there now who could answer some questions, one of them works in a diamond mine.

(10-25-2013 07:14 PM)Temm Wrote:  Well here's an update on my Alberta job hunt adventures. Went to some instrumentation companies in Edmonton and Nisku/Leduc on Tuesday--all were saying it was slow. On Wednesday I decided to drive up to Calgary and hit the concentrated contractors in the downtown core. Some I dropped resumes but others said they would get me something when their winter projects pick up. Yesterday I took it easy and just made more copies of resumes and faxed a few out to some companies. And today I decided to drive down to Red Deer. Dropped a few resumes off at some instrumentation companies and well testing companies. I'm scheduled for a drug test and physical with a well testing company on Monday. And sounds like I might be able to get straight into an apprenticeship with two of the instrumentation companies I visited.

I don't think much has been said about Red Deer. Don't overlook this city. A crap load of oil well services company base out of Red Deer. I only visited a few companies and got a phone call with an offer in a matter of hours--I never even talked to a hiring manager, just dropped off a resume. In Red Deer you have well testing companies, frac/coil companies, service rigs, etc. If anyone has a class 1, 3, or 5 license, Baker Hughes has a big "Now Hiring" sign at their Red Deer location. So, don't overlook the small towns like Red Deer, Whitecourt, and Grande Prairie--I might drop a resume in on Baker Hughes when I go back next week lol.

Well done hitting up all of those cities and you're right, Red Deer is a busy city, mostly with drilling and oil field services but there's also a few chemical plants nearby (I worked at one recently) such as Dow chemical, Nova Chemicals and Agrium. The main contactor I worked for in Red Deer was Quinn contracting, I also worked for them up at Cenovus in Christina Lake (awesome site, the best I've been to), I would send them a resume too. A couple of other small towns that are very busy are Lloydminster, Slave Lake, Cold Lake, Wabasca and Zama, they all have oil and gas but I'm not sure if I could live in any of them for too long, maybe a few months but I'd eventually go insane, as I'm doing in this shitty little town in Sask called Coronach, you wouldn't believe how much it sucks here!

Swearbox, glad to hear that things are working out well, do you plan on flying home every rotation? Would you ever consider moving the family up to Fort Mac? The town gets a bad rep and in someways its deserved but I actually miss the place, it can be a good place to live, especially if you're living in the city and are home every night and get to go out for beers once in awhile. A lot of us east coasters just move the entire family up, its expensive to rent a house there (3-5K/month) but being able to see your family every night can't be beat.

My best friend just moved up there two months ago and is buying a three bedroom town house in Timberlea (the nice part) which will set him back a cool $600K, it sounds crazy but he's getting $200/day LOA and the place already has two renters paying $1000/month each, so the he'll make money off the place.

I haven't even worked in oil and gas at all this year, I've been working in electrical plants in Saskatchewan and I did a quick ten day job at a fertilizer plant near Red Deer. Its been good but I haven't been working the big Fort Mac style hours so the money hasn't been great, but I needed a break from the 100 hour/week madness that happens in Fort Mac. Well, I'm taking three months off mid-November and heading to warmer climes but I'll probably be back in the big dirty next spring, hope to see some of you guys up there!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
10-25-2013 08:32 PM
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Messages In This Thread
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - scotian - 10-25-2013 08:32 PM