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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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alecks Offline
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Post: #276
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(05-20-2012 11:15 AM)Cr33pin Wrote:  
(05-20-2012 05:58 AM)alecks Wrote:  im determined to be out there by next summer making a bit of paper and starting some sort of life.il shovel shit for all i care lol

yea man, i would go spend some time there as a dish washer an be happy
i could go to the gym work on my spanish an read some books

but apparently its not easy for americans to get the BS jobs

im not american though.im irish.could be easy for me if i put my mind to it.need to become independent
05-21-2012 12:54 PM
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NeVerGymLess Offline
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Post: #277
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
does anyone know how much fraccers make ? I'm going for my class 3 road test on Friday and hope to get a job in Ft. Mac next winter. I see ads from cal frac and Sanjel all the time.

BRB getting Swole and banging these slutty married woman. Banana You mad white knights ?
06-03-2012 09:15 PM
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scotian Offline
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Post: #278
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I don't know too many guys doing fracking now but a good friend of mine used to do it for Schlumberger back in 06/07', he had his class one and his base rate was about 60K/year plus some other bonuses and benefits, that was for a new hire with no experience.

Ever watch the documentary "Gas Land"?

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-03-2012 09:37 PM
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NeVerGymLess Offline
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Post: #279
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Damn , failed my driving test because I was speeding in 30 KM zone . Now I'm upgrading to a class 1 license , since its easy to drive Semis and I passed my pre trip + driving part but had a Automatic fail for my speeding .

BRB getting Swole and banging these slutty married woman. Banana You mad white knights ?
(This post was last modified: 06-11-2012 03:49 PM by NeVerGymLess.)
06-11-2012 03:44 PM
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raliv Offline
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Post: #280
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-11-2012 03:44 PM)NeVerGymLess Wrote:  Damn , failed my driving test because I was speeding in 30 KM zone . Now I'm upgrading to a class 1 license , since its easy to drive Semis and I passed my pre trip + driving part but had a Automatic fail for my speeding .

I'm sorry to hear that. I am halfway through my CDL training course and I have been driving 5 mph below the speed limit in my car just for that reason.
06-11-2012 07:54 PM
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Ecksie Offline
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Post: #281
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I have been following this thread for some time now and just want to reiterate what scotian has said. If you have some skills to offer and aren't afraid to put in some serious hours and live remotely, this place is your ticket to financial freedom. That's assuming you can keep your head straight. I've been courted by multiple companies for several weeks now. They've offered me 3-4x the money I'd make in the states and pay for all my expenses above my salary. I don't think the opportunities would have been there if i haven't been living in Alberta for the past bit though.

Anyhow, best of luck to you all.
06-19-2012 11:36 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-19-2012 11:36 PM)Ecksie Wrote:  I have been following this thread for some time now and just want to reiterate what scotian has said. If you have some skills to offer and aren't afraid to put in some serious hours and live remotely, this place is your ticket to financial freedom. That's assuming you can keep your head straight. I've been courted by multiple companies for several weeks now. They've offered me 3-4x the money I'd make in the states and pay for all my expenses above my salary. I don't think the opportunities would have been there if i haven't been living in Alberta for the past bit though.

Anyhow, best of luck to you all.

Have you made the move up north yet or still waiting for the right offer? Ya companies are throwing around quite a bit of money lately, the labour shortage is back and they aren't afraid to spend a few bucks to attract and retain the right guys.

I did a 6 week stint in camp then when that job was over I asked my company if they'll match what the others are offering, they said no, so I bounced and the following week I started a new gig and they have me up in a company condo in Fort Mac, late model work truck and since I'm waiting for a project to start on July 1st, they pay me 50 hours per week plus $50/day for meals, so I don't leave. That's basic, I know guys getting $150-250 per diem.

Anyway, like I keep saying, its busy up here guys, many career opportunities, lots of companies are hiring and many of these projects are coming online soon and others are just breaking ground, such as Suncor Voyageur, which is going to be a huge construction job for a few years.

I'll be up here til the fall then I'm gettin the fuck out!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-20-2012 12:57 AM
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alecks Offline
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Post: #283
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
scotian what is the absolute MINIUMUM experience you need in a trade to start off with or even get hired? ive no experience in any sort of trade.but in my country (ireland) it could take me up to a year to get any sort of licence in a trade i might want to go into.you said they are hiring ex convicts right? lol.I WILL shovel shit if i can move my way up and make some serious dollar
06-21-2012 09:07 AM
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scotian Offline
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Post: #284
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-21-2012 09:07 AM)alecks Wrote:  scotian what is the absolute MINIUMUM experience you need in a trade to start off with or even get hired? ive no experience in any sort of trade.but in my country (ireland) it could take me up to a year to get any sort of licence in a trade i might want to go into.you said they are hiring ex convicts right? lol.I WILL shovel shit if i can move my way up and make some serious dollar

Minimum requirements are that you have a pulse and can urinate into a plastic cup and not fail the drug test. Your biggest concern as a foreigner would be visa issues, but being Irish you can get one easily, I think up to two years, I posted a link earlier in the thread about a programme for Europeans under 34 years old that you can look into.

I'm pretty sure that if anyone walked into a few a union halls or construction company offices in Alberta today, it wouldn't take long before they had a good job.

Check this out:

http://albertaconstruction.net/?p=777

http://albertaconstruction.net/wp-conten...treams.pdf

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2012 11:16 AM by scotian.)
06-21-2012 10:56 AM
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Jack Of All Trades Offline
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Post: #285
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I'm wondering how the slump in oil prices will affect alberta lately. I read that once oil breaks below 70$ the industry will start cutting projects, I'm worried because its currently at around 80$ and I plan to move there in January. I hope we won't have a crash for at least another 5 years.

**here's hoping for high oil prices to persist**
06-21-2012 02:38 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-21-2012 02:38 PM)zeeman Wrote:  I'm wondering how the slump in oil prices will affect alberta lately. I read that once oil breaks below 70$ the industry will start cutting projects, I'm worried because its currently at around 80$ and I plan to move there in January. I hope we won't have a crash for at least another 5 years.

**here's hoping for high oil prices to persist**

You and I both bud, its taken quite a hit lately, down about $20/barrel in the past few weeks, those kind of dips make me worry a bit about my job secutity. You're right that $70 is the magic number at which they'll kibosh future construction projects, that's what happened back in 08' when the price of oil shit the bed (from $140 to around $35), they basically shut down projects they had began, most of them have restarted such as Suncor Voyaguer and they've broken ground on quite a few new ones as well in the past year.

Even back at the end of 08' when everything went sideways, I still kept busy although I had to relocate from Calgary to Edmonton, I wasn't in Fort Mac then but a lot of the guys I know actually kept busy the entire time. That's the thing about a career in the resource sector which is susceptible to international market fluctuations, for some guys one minute you're making a tonne of money, the next you're sitting on your ass, its sink or swim. Best to plan ahead and save your money. Also, best to get into a trade or job that is involved in maintenance, because even if all the construction guys get laid off, the refineries, pipelines, etc have to be maintained.

I'm not an expert on world affairs but one thing that gives me peace of mind is that these major oil companies such as Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell etc wouldn't be investing hundreds of billions of dollars into these mega projects, which have estimated life spans of 50-75 years, if they weren't confident that these projects will be profitable for many years to come.

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-21-2012 09:35 PM
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xmlenigma Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
For a dramatic and very clear visual.

http://www.businessinsider.com/canadian-...012-5?op=1

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.
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06-26-2012 03:51 AM
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Jack Of All Trades Offline
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Post: #288
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
so I've read more about the oil & gas industry up in alberta. Maintenance will always be jobs from what I understand, because the break even cost of different projects is different. If the oil prices shit themselves again new projects will be halted, but the older ones will still require a ton of maintenance, etc because the break-even prices are significantly lower, ex. the early projects it cost them 30$ to produce a barrel of oil!!! nowadays you're looking at 60-75$ cost per barrel for newer projects until they reach their payback period in the project lifecycle. The good thing about the industry is that oil companies hedge their prices so it gives them more leeway with timing of projects, unless it goes from 140 to 35 in a month, that's a different story. Also I'm thinking the oil slump could be because of summer maintenance shutdowns as refineries go offline they don't buy crude forcing a glut if too many go offline or go down for maintenance. If this is the case it should pick up after august, if the oil price continues to tank we're all fucked.

btw scotian, for safety trades like a technician/inspector are most of the jobs working for safety companies who get contracted by oil companies or can you join an oil company as an inhouse safety tech?
06-26-2012 12:28 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-26-2012 12:28 PM)zeeman Wrote:  so I've read more about the oil & gas industry up in alberta. Maintenance will always be jobs from what I understand, because the break even cost of different projects is different. If the oil prices shit themselves again new projects will be halted, but the older ones will still require a ton of maintenance, etc because the break-even prices are significantly lower, ex. the early projects it cost them 30$ to produce a barrel of oil!!! nowadays you're looking at 60-75$ cost per barrel for newer projects until they reach their payback period in the project lifecycle. The good thing about the industry is that oil companies hedge their prices so it gives them more leeway with timing of projects, unless it goes from 140 to 35 in a month, that's a different story. Also I'm thinking the oil slump could be because of summer maintenance shutdowns as refineries go offline they don't buy crude forcing a glut if too many go offline or go down for maintenance. If this is the case it should pick up after august, if the oil price continues to tank we're all fucked.

btw scotian, for safety trades like a technician/inspector are most of the jobs working for safety companies who get contracted by oil companies or can you join an oil company as an inhouse safety tech?

Those are all major factors in the oil sands as far as I know, but also it has to do with whats going on the the USA where we sent 98 or 99% of Alberta heavy oil.

Apparently there is currently a glut down there and reserves are full, this is why there's a big push to bulid the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to the coast of BC to export to energy hungry Asian markets. Of course there's been a lot of resistance from green eco groups and native bands are putting up a fuss too, it doesn't help that there's been 3 oil spills in Alberta in the last month either.

I've also read that USA demand for oil has been decreasing over the past few years, actually right now there are the most unlicensed teenagers in something like 50 years, people are staying in and driving less due to social media, internet, etc.

About the job question, you can do both but generally any safety techs who work directly for the client (oil company) has a lot of experience and is "a big deal". They make good money but the thing is that there's very few of them, I've been on projects where there's 1000 guys on day shift and only 2-3 client safety reps. The rest of the safety techs are low skilled type jobs such as confined space monitor watch, they work for companies like United Safety or HSE Integrated.

A lot of senior or client safety guys were in other trades before going into safety because they wanted an easy job that isn't labour intensive, since they already know their way around a job site, such as a refinery, the transition into safety is easy. Safety isn't a "skilled trade", I don't know how to classify it, all I know is that those guys are the most hated people on site and I avoid them like the plague!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-26-2012 11:30 PM
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metalhaze Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
"A lot of senior or client safety guys were in other trades before going into safety because they wanted an easy job that isn't labour intensive, since they already know their way around a job site, such as a refinery, the transition into safety is easy. Safety isn't a "skilled trade", I don't know how to classify it, all I know is that those guys are the most hated people on site and I avoid them like the plague!"

but how much does it pay considering that it isn't a labour intensive "skilled trade" job compared to a traditional one? i.e. can they make big $ ?
btw where are you planning your next vacation Scotian? am going to visit nova scotia in a week, any spots you recommend ? beaches? scenery? etc.
(This post was last modified: 06-27-2012 11:14 PM by metalhaze.)
06-27-2012 11:13 PM
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NeVerGymLess Offline
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Post: #291
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-11-2012 07:54 PM)raliv Wrote:  
(06-11-2012 03:44 PM)NeVerGymLess Wrote:  Damn , failed my driving test because I was speeding in 30 KM zone . Now I'm upgrading to a class 1 license , since its easy to drive Semis and I passed my pre trip + driving part but had a Automatic fail for my speeding .

I'm sorry to hear that. I am halfway through my CDL training course and I have been driving 5 mph below the speed limit in my car just for that reason.

watch out for driving too slow , they take demerits off for that too. In Canada the guy said they had like a 10 km limit for either side.

BRB getting Swole and banging these slutty married woman. Banana You mad white knights ?
06-29-2012 06:46 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-27-2012 11:13 PM)metalhaze Wrote:  "A lot of senior or client safety guys were in other trades before going into safety because they wanted an easy job that isn't labour intensive, since they already know their way around a job site, such as a refinery, the transition into safety is easy. Safety isn't a "skilled trade", I don't know how to classify it, all I know is that those guys are the most hated people on site and I avoid them like the plague!"

but how much does it pay considering that it isn't a labour intensive "skilled trade" job compared to a traditional one? i.e. can they make big $ ?
btw where are you planning your next vacation Scotian? am going to visit nova scotia in a week, any spots you recommend ? beaches? scenery? etc.

Senior guys can make decent money, depending on where and how much they work, around $50/hour. The lower end safety guys make much less, around $18-22, I'll write more about this later because many people ask me about a career in safety and I don't highly recommend it.

As for where to go in NS, definitely halifax, try to go on the weekend, checkout my data sheet. Also, Cape Breton is very nice in the summer, my favorite places are Baddeck and English town, Cabot Trail is awesome, all have nice scenery. I used to go to Lawrencetown beach about 15 minutes outside of Halifax, lots of surfing there. Check out Peggy's Cove, there's some really nice beaches out that way. Eat lots of lobster and donairs, have fun!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-29-2012 07:53 AM
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pitt Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Yeah scotian please write on this subject (safety) and i am wondering why you dont recommend this area. It would be great for you to tell us what area you recommend.
06-29-2012 08:38 AM
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_Samo_ Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Its probably been asked already but, what are the most desired trades the companies are looking for?
06-29-2012 12:47 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Safety: Ok so here's the low down on safety as it applies us working in the oil sands and probably every other job site out there, its a pain in the ass but a necessary evil. I did yet another contractor safety orientation yesterday and asked the guy whats the best way to get into the safety trade (I use the term trade loosely).

Basically he said that in Canada, a person needs to take a course called "National Construction Safety Officer", as a minimum requirement, a person needs at least 3 years of construction experience to take this course.

Now, construction experience could mean a lot of different things, it could be residential, commercial or industrial construction and if you're ultimate goal is to work in the oil industry as a safety officer, then you should get that experience in a relevant role. I wouldn't want to work under a safety guy at a refinery who spent his three years building residential houses.

So, basically you have a couple of options to get this experience, you can:

A) Take any skilled trade, welder, pipe fitter, scaffolder, electrician, crane operator, etc. All of these trades take about 3-4 years to become a journey man, they are all high paying and in high demand and you will see high numbers of all of them on a job site (especially the first 4). If at the time you get your JM ticket, you still want to go into safety (something I doubt you will by then), you can go get your NSCO ticket. You'll always have your JM ticket and if you don't like safety or it gets slow, you can always go back to welding pipe or wiring panels on site. An interprovincial JM ticket is recognized throughout Canada and in some cases, around the world.

B) You can also get one of the grunt safety jobs at a place like United Safety, you will get some safety training but will not be considered "skilled" in the sense that a registered apprentice would be. These are among the lowest paying jobs on site and some of the jobs are brutally boring, such as confined space watch, where you would sit outside the entrance to a vessel while guys like me work inside. You'd sit there on your ass for 10-12 hours per day, no smart phone (not allowed on site), nothing to do but make sure we're okay in there by radio and do gas testing. Then after 3 years of these shitty jobs you can go write the NSCO ticket. Yes these jobs are "easy" because you will sit on your ass doing nothing all day but trust me, it gets boring, I would rather be doing something more stimulating.

So, its up to you but like I say, go for the skilled trade, its much higher paying and in more demand. Plus no one really likes safety people, they are considered rats and you won't have many friends, basically its like being a cop, no one is comfortable around safety because we can't tell all the dumb stories about the shit we do at and out side work, and you'll have to deal with pricks like this guy all day, ol' Harry Sach:




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06-29-2012 08:32 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-29-2012 12:47 PM)_Samo_ Wrote:  Its probably been asked already but, what are the most desired trades the companies are looking for?

As you guys can probably tell I am a big proponent of the skilled trades, basically you get a job as an apprentice and start work right away and learn hands on how to do the job. You go back to school each year for about 8 weeks, then at the end you have the journey man ticket, in Alberta these guys are making $40-45/hour.

So, take your pick: scaffolding, iron worker, welder, pipe fitter, plumber, electrician, industrial instrumentation, industrial insulator, crane operator, diesel mechanic, etc. Basically any trade that is related to oil and gas and you can't go wrong.


You want to pick a trade that can be done in different areas like cities so if you get sick and tired of working at remote job sites, which you will eventually, you can just move and do your trade there, electrician, plumber and welder are really good for that.

check out the websites of the many contractor companies I have listed throughout this thread, go to the job sections and you will get a better idea of what is in demand

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
06-29-2012 08:38 PM
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hi Scotian, thanks for the great thread. I recently finished my degree and am considering moving to Fort Mac to work, and maybe starting a trade. I've worked as a first aid attendant with a BC Occupational First Aid level III ticket (unsure of Alberta equivalent), and I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to recertify before heading up. I don't want to work specifically as a FA attendant or in safety, but would it help to have a FA ticket if I were applying to labour/ construction jobs?

Also, I'm thinking about getting into heavy equipment operation. Would you recommend taking a HEO course before moving to Fort Mac? I've been looking at this school for articulated rock truck or other courses: http://www.iheschool.com/ but I've also heard some contractors say that they wouldn't hire people out of that sort of program. What are your thoughts? Thanks.
06-30-2012 10:16 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(06-30-2012 10:16 AM)Tubthumper Wrote:  Hi Scotian, thanks for the great thread. I recently finished my degree and am considering moving to Fort Mac to work, and maybe starting a trade. I've worked as a first aid attendant with a BC Occupational First Aid level III ticket (unsure of Alberta equivalent), and I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to recertify before heading up. I don't want to work specifically as a FA attendant or in safety, but would it help to have a FA ticket if I were applying to labour/ construction jobs?

Also, I'm thinking about getting into heavy equipment operation. Would you recommend taking a HEO course before moving to Fort Mac? I've been looking at this school for articulated rock truck or other courses: http://www.iheschool.com/ but I've also heard some contractors say that they wouldn't hire people out of that sort of program. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

I wouldn`t worry too much about the first-aid course, but two others that are essential are CSTS and H2S, the former being a requirement on all job sites, the latter only on live sites (not new construction).

I think that there`s a pretty good demand for heavy equipment guys although not too sure if they hire guys right out of those type off courses, better of contacting a company directly. Off the top of my head I know of Thompson Bros Construction (http://www.thompsonbros.com/) and Bouchier contracting (http://www.thebouchiergroup.com/bcl.html), tell them you`re thinking about taking this course and ask if its something they`d recommend. This is exactly what I did 6 years ago before I took my pre-employment course. Also, have you looked at courses at Keyano college in Fort Mac? If not, I would suggest doing so because that`s probably the best place to take courses since its right here in the oil sands.

Then there`s the operators union local 955 (http://www.iuoe955.com/) call them and see what they think of the course and how to join the union, I heard there`s a 1000 guys on the waiting list as of last week, so don`t hold your breath on getting in quickly.

I`m not totally sure how a guy gets into heavy equipment operation, but there was a guy in my orientation the other day who got hired on with Thompson Bros and he was a farmer from Ontario and he had never worked construction or in the oil sands but they hired him on because he had experience operating back hoes and excavators.

I`ll ask around and get back to you, I actually have a buddy who got an awesome job as an equipment operator a couple weeks ago, I`m gonna write about that another time because its a pretty interesting story.

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
07-01-2012 12:00 AM
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Sybarite Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Scotian, thanks for the all the great info.

You've sold me. I'm looking into becoming an apprentice electrician. Any advice on starting and getting an apprenticeship up there? Could I start soon (September/October)?
07-01-2012 11:14 AM
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DjembaDjemba Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...le4365992/

I'm hoping not to get mistaken for a Somali drug dealer and get shot up. I generally stay away from this type of shit, but I'm hearing Alberta is a killing fields and all sorts of gangsters operate out there.

I'm scared of a mistaken identity scenario.
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2012 09:46 AM by DjembaDjemba.)
07-10-2012 09:44 AM
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