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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Vacancier Permanent Offline
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Post: #2063
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
An update/summary on how things went for me in the oil sands:

I got there in the beginning of Oct and found a job within 10 days. Took me that long only cause I was lazy and only went to 2 companies head offices in person. The first company,one of the biggest
In the trade I'm in, the guy told me he'd hire me on the spot, but he'd have to wait a few days to see where he could send me. The second company, just up the street from the first company, I had initially emailed them my résumé and they had replied back within 2 hours that they were interested but I'd have to relocate to another city. I replied I was open to that. However, the person hiring me and with whom I'd be working was busy as his wife was about to give birth. So a week went by while I was focused on finding a place to stay at in Edmonton. Eventually, I did find a room in a quiet house near the industrial area just south of Whitemud in Edmonton. Then the guy from the 2nd company called me back saying he wants to hire me but I'd have to move to Slave Lake where he was located. I ended up moving there, but as mentioned, he was busy with the birth of his son, so work was slow for the first 10 days I moved to SL.

Finding a place in SL wasn't easy as its a very small city of about 1500 people and 80%of the town was destroyed in major wild fire 2 summers ago. Needless to say that it was hard to find a place there but I did find a room on a brand new house with a cool Québécois for 800$/month.

Work was still very slow in SL where I only worked 3 half days in 3 weeks there, a far cry from true 12-14 hours per day I was expecting and looking forward to in order to make the kind of money that is possible there. Work got even slower that even my boss was sitting at home with no work. He told me thins would pick up in January and that I should look for something else in the meantime.

After evaluating the situation, I was aced with a dilemma: go back to Edmonton and get a job there until work picks up again in my trade in the new year or return back to Toronto for the winter. At the end of the day, I returned to Toronto.

Why? Lack of work? Over hype of the oil sands potential?

Absolutely not!

The main reason I returned home was the extreme cold up there in AB where it was already -20 to -30 by mid Nov!!!and this was just the beginning as it gets even colder as I was told by people there.

I simply cannot take that kind of conditions as my body and system are not able to support and operate under these conditions. In the meantime, I already found within a week a decent job in a warm office in Toronto.

What's my plans for the near future?

I will stay here in my warm office job till end of March and will return to Edmonton then and will be working in my trade till the end of October/mid November at the most. I simply am not able to live or work year long in Alberta or as coined by our buddy Scotian, Hellberta during the winters there. I take my hats off to all of you guys who can manage to live and work there, even more so, outside under theses conditions! I truly salute you all!

While reading the past few pages, I noticed that some were saying nonsensical things about the oil sands being overrarted or over hyped. After being there in person, seeing, talking and working there myself, it's clearly obvious that only someone who has no clue, let alone been there themselves, would say anything like that!

The oil sands is the biggest legal lifestyle hack there is out there! But it ain't easy, you gotta be patient, persistent and tough skinned to make it up there. But if you do, the rewards are fabulous and totally life enhancing.

It would be a blasphemy for anyone to say that the oil sands are a hype! I met, talked with and even worked with countless guys who after no prospects of jobs or being under paid and over taxed in other parts of the country, were making a very healthy 6 figure and more working there. We are blessed to have quiet a few there for on these forums having great success, most of which I met in person there.

Guys working on a rig, on a construction site, electrician, carpenter, welder, scaffolder, pipe fitter, guys working in a paper mill, or inspectors inspecting the work of welders and any other trade in between you can imagine, making money hands over fists. But and this is a major but, they started making great money only after 6-12 months in their respective and chosen trade/field!

For anyone looking to get to the oil fields, by all means, but come prepared, that is, enough money to last you at least 3-4 months living expenses, that is at least 5-6K, with a drivers licence and a clear Game plan. Know in advance in which trade/field you want to get into. If possible, take a per-employment course as that will help you big time! The course I took helped me a lot and was the primary reason I got hired so fast!

Here's what you can expect realistically in a trade in which you take a course to be making once you start working:

-first year, working 6 months, 60-80K depending on the # of hours you work.
- 2nd year, with more experience and getting tickets in your respective trade, expect a raise of 25-50% from your first year pay rate. In my trade, starting pay for a newbie or trainee is anywhere between 18-19 to 21-22$/hr. After 4-6 months of experience, and passing a federal exam, you are bumped to 27$/hr. it's at this point that you start to become valuable and in demand and can get those juicy camp jobs with all the great perks that come with it like a free company truck with free gas and insurance.
- within a year later and passing another federal exam, you are bumped to 40-45$/hr depending on the company and location you work. THis is where you get to be worth your weight in gold literally specially if you've got a a brain and are not a clown and blowing it all on booze, drugs or strippers. This is when you reach the so desired 6 figures in 6 months in a very high paying, high demand trade.

In short, first year is going to be the hardest like in anything. But if you can make it past that, then you're set! I just can't wait for the spring to come fast enough not only for the weather to get warmer but most importantly, so that I can return to Alberta and resume working in my trade!

All in all, be prepared, come prepared, be patient and persistent and you will be joining the ranks of countless men who are all using the oil sands to build a skill that will give you a real skill, a real and very lucrative career to build the lifestyle you can only dream about and live like a rock star as Scotian is.

Look at the oil sands as a 5 or 10 years plan if you are over ambitious or younger. I'm looking at it as a 5 year plan to get established in my trade and to build the experience, contacts and bankroll to parlay that into an even more lucrative career or world opportunities around the world.

I have a feeling that this is what the Pet Shop Boys meant with one of their all time best songs, Go West! so Go West Young Man!!!Go West to the Alberta oil sands! This is where it's at!!!!
(This post was last modified: 12-11-2013 12:39 AM by Vacancier Permanent.)
12-11-2013 12:27 AM
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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! - Vacancier Permanent - 12-11-2013 12:27 AM