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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #2564
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(05-10-2014 08:23 AM)Failing Wrote:  
(05-09-2014 09:14 PM)komatiite Wrote:  
(05-09-2014 08:22 PM)Failing Wrote:  scotian, I'm a Canadian native living in the US looking to get into oil, if I pay my own way into a mud school, can I find a job up there?

Rough Translation (Sorry if I missed anything, Lazy Questions on RVF Oilsands Thread is not my first language):
"Scotian, I am too lazy to phone schools or companies that offer drilling fluid training here in the US to see if they have had any cases where students have gone on to work in Canada. As well, I have not contacted any companies in Canada to see if they hire drilling fluid engineers from specific drilling fluid training programs in the States. In fact, I have not even tried to connect the dots on the concept that my best opportunity for gaining employment in Canada would be to try and get my training through a company that has operations in both Canada and the USA. However, please make sure I have a safety net of landing a guaranteed six-figure job once I graduate from a program I have about 1% intention of actually enrolling in."

If you had bothered to read the thread, you would learn that Scotian works in the trades at refineries and facilities. Mud engineers work on or around drilling rigs, which are much more prevalent in conventional oilfield operations, not the oil sands. Scotian has gone above and beyond by providing random internet strangers with a ton of information and advice based on his experiences-- he is not here to hold a Q & A with guys who show no initiative to dig out details on their own.

Too many lazy posters here asking asinine questions these days.

Thanks for the constructive reply. After reading the various threads, it seems like the 'oil specific' skills are the ones that with the really high potential, but the cost is that they are not relevant to anything other than the oil industry, unlike welding/electrician/plumber.

I've found a few drilling fluids training programs in the USA that take people without technical degrees off the street, total cost of ownership ranging from 5-15k. Despite calling the programs and a few companies, I'm a little skeptical about the idea that anything that low of a price tag results in walking into six figures, so I'm asking for some reality, hopefully from a person on the internet that has no financial incentive to lie to me. People like oil company HR people who can tell you whatever they want before you have the offer letter sitting in front of you, and University of Phoenix-type academic programs that live on churn have an incentive to lie to prospective applicants (like me). Additionally, nobody has touched the Affirmative Action in Canada issue in this thread, apparently in most industries up there it's a really huge deal. I'd stand to benefit, and I'd imagine that at a minimum, some of the Canadian posters have knowledge of it. This is a specific enough question that I felt like it would be useful to the thread to get answers posted.

So to make it simpler, for anyone with the expertise to answer:
Does paying yourself through a mud school actually result in a mud engineer job and the same career progression as someone who goes in and gets trained by a company or is there a substantial amount of BS (companies not recognizing the certificate, requiring that you completely retrain through them, etc) tied to paying your own way?
Does anyone know how preferential hiring for Canadian natives affects the oil biz up there, is it enough that I should be primarily looking at working in Canada?

There, now that is a much better question.

Do not pay for mud school on your own dime, try to get hired by a service company first and if they feel the need to train you they will do it themselves. I completely agree that lots of those mud programs are akin to University of Phoenix shit- nothing more than degree mills. Way too risky of a move especially if you are doing the program in the States with a subsequent plan to work in Canada after graduation with no company backing you up.

What if you don't like drilling? Since you are posting this then I assume you have never stepped foot on a rig, but the easiest way to progress through to mud engineer is to get some experience working on a rig or through entry level work for a field service company, then switching to drilling fluids once you learn the ropes and build rapport with your supervisors. Unless you have a degree in petroleum engineering from an ABET recognized school then the only true substitute is going to be real work experience.

This random post I just found googling seems to agree with some of this:

And on the "Affirmative Action" thing: I have no idea what your race is, by bringing that up you sound like you just want to take advantage of the fact that you are a minority and 'deserve' to get hired if indeed you are non-white. There is no 'affirmative action' in the Canadian oilfields buddy. If you work hard, work well with others and show promise you move up, not because of the colour of your skin or what it says on your passport. The oil patch is truly one of the last industries in this wacky western world where somebody can move up the ladder due solely on merit alone, not because of political legislation that demands accelerated progression for minorities. This is the fucking oil patch, not the CBC/Globe and Mail/Toronto Star etc!

And yes- if you are a Canadian Citizen then you WILL have a MUCH easier time getting work up in the Canadian oil patch compared to the bureaucratic bullshit foreign guys have to deal with. Don't fuck around with a bunch of expensive drilling fluid school training shit- just pack your bags and come up here and once you get some experience the world will be your oyster. As many other posters can attest to, once your testicles descend and you take the plunge, you will be amazed at the doors that will open once you make the move.
05-10-2014 12:13 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! - komatiite - 05-10-2014 12:13 PM