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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Amsterdao! Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-29-2012 10:32 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 05:33 PM)Amsterdao! Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 12:10 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 11:06 AM)Amsterdao! Wrote:  Scotian,

I already gave you +1 for all this golden information....thanks a lot! What do you know about truck driver jobs and salaries? I have already 3-4 years driving experience in heavy traffic.

ciao

Lots of work for truck drivers, most contracting companies employ some sort of trucks, whether its driving a vac truck for a company like CEDA or Clean Harbors or working directly for a transport company driving a big rig, there's a lot of work for truckers.

In Alberta, they have different types of licenses, the ones that I am familiar with are the class 1 license (to drive a multi axle semi truck) or the class 3 (air brakes endorsement), to drive trucks like dumps trucks, vac trucks, etc.

I'm sure if you're from a different province or state, they will recognize whatever license you may have.

and the salaries of those truck drivers?

So..i'm a 29 year old dutch guy and i want to make some serious money. A lot and ASAP. I Don't have technical work experience or what so ever in the Oil business, but if i have to...i'm willing to learn. I am used to long workdays and i think i have an good work mentality if i have to. So what would be your advice if you were in my position? Go to canada...do some pre-community college for a job and get some work experience after that? Or go to canada as an experienced truck driver and find a job in that field?

The plan is to start and build a new life in Canada for the next 3 years...make some serious money and do an around the world trip....and i'm pretty damn serious about it because i have nothing to lose

What do you think Scotian?

Since you're Dutch and under 35, qualifying for a visa won't be very hard, check out the work experience Canada link I posted earlier in the thread.

Once you're on the ground in Alberta or Saskatchewan or BC (remember, you don't necessarily have to be in the Fort Mac area to be making big money in the resource sector), I would try to get on with a company as a driver since that's what you know best and drivers make decent money, you'd probably clear around $2500/week.

You may have to take a "class 1" driver training class in Edmonton or Calgary, if so, it won't be hard to find a school, that's something you'll have to look into.

Also, You should probably have about $5000 in the bank to get settled, I moved out with only $1500 to my name, not an ideal scenario! Alberta cities are definitely "car cities", its not impossible to get by without a car, but public transport sucks, so you may want to consider buying a car too.

Overall, with your work experience as a trucker, you shouldn't have too many problems finding work in western Canada!

Thanks man...This all made me think about a change of life.

Due to some bad desicions in life i have to pay like 3000 euro extra p/y for a study at the university over here. The complete 4- year study would cost me approx. 15-20k and my start salary will be like 2500 dollar PER MONTH after that....sucks big time!

At my current job i earn like 4200 canadian dollars every 4 weeks but i know this salary will only rise a bit in the future and that's it. sucks big time as well!

Maybe i can follow a welding course here in holland. Get my divers certificates and become a industrial welder or something in Canada.
To become a truck is an option as well, but i get the feeling the max. annual salary will be like 150k or so? and if i have the choice. I rather do something else than standing somewhere with my truck and fix problems at the side of the road.

Could you give me like a top5 well-paid jobs in the Oil Sands? (and i don't mean managing positions or blue collar jobs, advocates or what so ever) so a top 5 of well paid labour jobs.

You call yourself scotian because you are from Nova Scotia? maybe a dumb question, but it made me curious.

good work so far Wink Thumb up
01-30-2012 06:12 AM
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scotian Offline
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Post: #77
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-30-2012 06:12 AM)Amsterdao! Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 10:32 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 05:33 PM)Amsterdao! Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 12:10 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-29-2012 11:06 AM)Amsterdao! Wrote:  Scotian,

I already gave you +1 for all this golden information....thanks a lot! What do you know about truck driver jobs and salaries? I have already 3-4 years driving experience in heavy traffic.

ciao

Lots of work for truck drivers, most contracting companies employ some sort of trucks, whether its driving a vac truck for a company like CEDA or Clean Harbors or working directly for a transport company driving a big rig, there's a lot of work for truckers.

In Alberta, they have different types of licenses, the ones that I am familiar with are the class 1 license (to drive a multi axle semi truck) or the class 3 (air brakes endorsement), to drive trucks like dumps trucks, vac trucks, etc.

I'm sure if you're from a different province or state, they will recognize whatever license you may have.

and the salaries of those truck drivers?

So..i'm a 29 year old dutch guy and i want to make some serious money. A lot and ASAP. I Don't have technical work experience or what so ever in the Oil business, but if i have to...i'm willing to learn. I am used to long workdays and i think i have an good work mentality if i have to. So what would be your advice if you were in my position? Go to canada...do some pre-community college for a job and get some work experience after that? Or go to canada as an experienced truck driver and find a job in that field?

The plan is to start and build a new life in Canada for the next 3 years...make some serious money and do an around the world trip....and i'm pretty damn serious about it because i have nothing to lose

What do you think Scotian?

Since you're Dutch and under 35, qualifying for a visa won't be very hard, check out the work experience Canada link I posted earlier in the thread.

Once you're on the ground in Alberta or Saskatchewan or BC (remember, you don't necessarily have to be in the Fort Mac area to be making big money in the resource sector), I would try to get on with a company as a driver since that's what you know best and drivers make decent money, you'd probably clear around $2500/week.

You may have to take a "class 1" driver training class in Edmonton or Calgary, if so, it won't be hard to find a school, that's something you'll have to look into.

Also, You should probably have about $5000 in the bank to get settled, I moved out with only $1500 to my name, not an ideal scenario! Alberta cities are definitely "car cities", its not impossible to get by without a car, but public transport sucks, so you may want to consider buying a car too.

Overall, with your work experience as a trucker, you shouldn't have too many problems finding work in western Canada!

Thanks man...This all made me think about a change of life.

Due to some bad desicions in life i have to pay like 3000 euro extra p/y for a study at the university over here. The complete 4- year study would cost me approx. 15-20k and my start salary will be like 2500 dollar PER MONTH after that....sucks big time!

At my current job i earn like 4200 canadian dollars every 4 weeks but i know this salary will only rise a bit in the future and that's it. sucks big time as well!

Maybe i can follow a welding course here in holland. Get my divers certificates and become a industrial welder or something in Canada.
To become a truck is an option as well, but i get the feeling the max. annual salary will be like 150k or so? and if i have the choice. I rather do something else than standing somewhere with my truck and fix problems at the side of the road.

Could you give me like a top5 well-paid jobs in the Oil Sands? (and i don't mean managing positions or blue collar jobs, advocates or what so ever) so a top 5 of well paid labour jobs.

You call yourself scotian because you are from Nova Scotia? maybe a dumb question, but it made me curious.

good work so far Wink Thumb up

Yes I"m from Nova Scotia, you'll meet a lot of us out in Alberta!

I would do some research before enrolling in a welding course in Holland, it may not be recognized in Alberta, it would be best to come here and do the training here.

Also, working as a trucker may not be a bad idea since its something you already know how to do and you may be able to start off in a more intermediate/senior job. Then you can look around and see what the place is like and move into another trade, just remember, moving into a new career means starting out at the bottom and getting yelled at by guys 10 years younger than you!

As far as the top trades go, I'd say a journey man B pressure welder with his own welding rig (costs probably $80-120,000) who contracts out is one of the highest I know, those guys can make up to 400K if they work an insane amount of hours: 24 days on 4 days off, 12-16 hrs/day, $100-120/hour. It takes a few years to get to this level (probably at least 4 or 5) and as I've said before, welding ain't for wussies, many guys learn it in jail!

As far as the other trades go: electrician, pipefitter, scaffolder, insulator, crane operator, diesel mechanic, etc. They all pay around $40/hour, lots of over time available, most of these guys can make $150-225 depending on how much they work, of course!

Then there's other lines of work which I'm not overly familiar with where guys make even more: PLC programmer, industrial instrumentation tech, etc.

I'm a tradesman, so that's what I know and its what I"m hyping in this thread, they're easy to get into, pay well and are all in very high demand right now. My best advice is to actually come to Alberta, set yourself up in Edmonton, Fort Mac, Red Deer, wherever and start working and making some money, then figure out from there where you want to go, what you want to do, there's MANY options, trust me!
01-30-2012 10:16 AM
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r_passion Offline
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Post: #78
Tongue RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
There is a video from one of the camp providers about what it's like to work there. I have a chef ticket so starting here would be a good option for chefs - make the workers happy with the service and start networking and finding out about getting new tickets to switch over.

It's on the PTI website, I will post it soon when I gain link posting rights.

I imagine that those without tickets could start as kitchen hands and work their way up. The money doesn't look as much as the other trades but you are still saving like crazy and it's a way to start without going all the way up there and possibly failing.

Did anyone post the vice tv doc? That has an example of it going wrong for a few guys. I would make sure you guys have your shit sorted out before you go incase you run into the weeds; like Scotian says, bring about 5g investment for yourself if you are going to train and look for a job when you get there.
01-30-2012 05:41 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-30-2012 05:41 PM)r_passion Wrote:  There is a video from one of the camp providers about what it's like to work there. I have a chef ticket so starting here would be a good option for chefs - make the workers happy with the service and start networking and finding out about getting new tickets to switch over.

It's on the PTI website, I will post it soon when I gain link posting rights.

I imagine that those without tickets could start as kitchen hands and work their way up. The money doesn't look as much as the other trades but you are still saving like crazy and it's a way to start without going all the way up there and possibly failing.

Did anyone post the vice tv doc? That has an example of it going wrong for a few guys. I would make sure you guys have your shit sorted out before you go incase you run into the weeds; like Scotian says, bring about 5g investment for yourself if you are going to train and look for a job when you get there.

R Passion, I'll post those vids for you, here's the PTI one: http://www.ptigroup.com/data/CampLifeLarge.wmv

I didn't watch much of the video, but that fat chick in the first minute is representative of the types of scallywags you'll run into in camp! They stress in the video that "camp life is not for everyone", definitely true!
Here's Vice's Toxic Alberta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EHTyfVZDBM

I watched it a few years ago, they tend to exaggerate the environmental impact of the oil sands, and they give too much time to left wings types from organaizations like the Sierra Club, its a bit of propaganda, although parts of it do accurately depict life in Fort Mac!
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2012 07:10 PM by scotian.)
01-30-2012 06:51 PM
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Laner Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Come on Scotian! I did not want to be the one to have to post it......

But Deaner and Terry hit Fort Mac (with Tron of course).

Lets fuckin' giver!



01-30-2012 06:53 PM
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misterstir Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
All in all after 5 years out who earns most of all the trades people?

Are there jobs for plumbers out there well paying. I know Toronto plumbers earn$$$. Guy charged me $150 for less than 30 minutes of work and was book solid.

I'm surprised that a welder earns more than an electrician out there. Don't you have to breath in a lot of fumes as a welder?

How is a milwright earning out there?

And where do you think is better Alberta Oil rig, or west australia coal mine?
01-31-2012 01:03 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-31-2012 01:03 AM)misterstir Wrote:  All in all after 5 years out who earns most of all the trades people?

Are there jobs for plumbers out there well paying. I know Toronto plumbers earn$$$. Guy charged me $150 for less than 30 minutes of work and was book solid.

I'm surprised that a welder earns more than an electrician out there. Don't you have to breath in a lot of fumes as a welder?

How is a milwright earning out there?

And where do you think is better Alberta Oil rig, or west australia coal mine?

Most tradesmen make around $40-45 for a journeyman rate (that is base rate, goes up x1.5 or x2 with OT rates), welders can make a lot more because they can self contract, meaning that they get no pension, OT rates ($100-120 straight time all the time), have to do their own taxes, health care benefits, etc.

It really depends on how much OT you work and if you work all year round, but most journeymen can expect to make 150-225K if they work a decent shift like 2 weeks on 1 off all year round.

I met an ambitious welder who was about 40 years old, been welding since he was 20, he was running his own truck at about $100/hour, plus he owned 4 other trucks which he rented out to other guys for $40/hour, so basically this guy was hauling in $260/hour, all year around. There's BIG money to be made up here if a guy knows how to hustle and keep his nose clean, the rates I'm quoting above for journeymen are base rates that pretty much any guy can make if he decides to follow the trades route.

I'm not too sure about the rates in Oz, but a good friend of mine who spent many years working in Fort Mac recently relocated to Perth and he is making more money, but he's working offshore. These two areas (western Canada and western Oz) are both gold mines for guys looking to work, so is North Dakota, USA right now.
01-31-2012 01:47 AM
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Post: #83
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-31-2012 01:47 AM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-31-2012 01:03 AM)misterstir Wrote:  All in all after 5 years out who earns most of all the trades people?

Are there jobs for plumbers out there well paying. I know Toronto plumbers earn$$$. Guy charged me $150 for less than 30 minutes of work and was book solid.

I'm surprised that a welder earns more than an electrician out there. Don't you have to breath in a lot of fumes as a welder?

How is a milwright earning out there?

And where do you think is better Alberta Oil rig, or west australia coal mine?

Most tradesmen make around $40-45 for a journeyman rate (that is base rate, goes up x1.5 or x2 with OT rates), welders can make a lot more because they can self contract, meaning that they get no pension, OT rates ($100-120 straight time all the time), have to do their own taxes, health care benefits, etc.

It really depends on how much OT you work and if you work all year round, but most journeymen can expect to make 150-225K if they work a decent shift like 2 weeks on 1 off all year round.

I met an ambitious welder who was about 40 years old, been welding since he was 20, he was running his own truck at about $100/hour, plus he owned 4 other trucks which he rented out to other guys for $40/hour, so basically this guy was hauling in $260/hour, all year around. There's BIG money to be made up here if a guy knows how to hustle and keep his nose clean, the rates I'm quoting above for journeymen are base rates that pretty much any guy can make if he decides to follow the trades route.

I'm not too sure about the rates in Oz, but a good friend of mine who spent many years working in Fort Mac recently relocated to Perth and he is making more money, but he's working offshore. These two areas (western Canada and western Oz) are both gold mines for guys looking to work, so is North Dakota, USA right now.

Can normal workers own trucks there and rent it to other workers or companies? How does one goes about it?

I am asking this because im working with this canadian fella here and he told me that he owns a truck there in Alberta and he is renting it (he didnt tell me exactly if he is renting it to a normal worker or to a company).

Hopefully you breakdown on this, so i know how it works.

This is starting to sound more like the kinda place that i am looking for (you work and you hustle hard in business).
01-31-2012 02:02 AM
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misterstir Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-31-2012 01:47 AM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-31-2012 01:03 AM)misterstir Wrote:  All in all after 5 years out who earns most of all the trades people?

Are there jobs for plumbers out there well paying. I know Toronto plumbers earn$$$. Guy charged me $150 for less than 30 minutes of work and was book solid.

I'm surprised that a welder earns more than an electrician out there. Don't you have to breath in a lot of fumes as a welder?

How is a milwright earning out there?

And where do you think is better Alberta Oil rig, or west australia coal mine?

Most tradesmen make around $40-45 for a journeyman rate (that is base rate, goes up x1.5 or x2 with OT rates), welders can make a lot more because they can self contract, meaning that they get no pension, OT rates ($100-120 straight time all the time), have to do their own taxes, health care benefits, etc.

It really depends on how much OT you work and if you work all year round, but most journeymen can expect to make 150-225K if they work a decent shift like 2 weeks on 1 off all year round.

I met an ambitious welder who was about 40 years old, been welding since he was 20, he was running his own truck at about $100/hour, plus he owned 4 other trucks which he rented out to other guys for $40/hour, so basically this guy was hauling in $260/hour, all year around. There's BIG money to be made up here if a guy knows how to hustle and keep his nose clean, the rates I'm quoting above for journeymen are base rates that pretty much any guy can make if he decides to follow the trades route.

I'm not too sure about the rates in Oz, but a good friend of mine who spent many years working in Fort Mac recently relocated to Perth and he is making more money, but he's working offshore. These two areas (western Canada and western Oz) are both gold mines for guys looking to work, so is North Dakota, USA right now.

He is working offshore as a welder?
01-31-2012 02:28 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(01-31-2012 02:28 AM)misterstir Wrote:  
(01-31-2012 01:47 AM)scotian Wrote:  
(01-31-2012 01:03 AM)misterstir Wrote:  All in all after 5 years out who earns most of all the trades people?

Are there jobs for plumbers out there well paying. I know Toronto plumbers earn$$$. Guy charged me $150 for less than 30 minutes of work and was book solid.

I'm surprised that a welder earns more than an electrician out there. Don't you have to breath in a lot of fumes as a welder?

How is a milwright earning out there?

And where do you think is better Alberta Oil rig, or west australia coal mine?

Most tradesmen make around $40-45 for a journeyman rate (that is base rate, goes up x1.5 or x2 with OT rates), welders can make a lot more because they can self contract, meaning that they get no pension, OT rates ($100-120 straight time all the time), have to do their own taxes, health care benefits, etc.

It really depends on how much OT you work and if you work all year round, but most journeymen can expect to make 150-225K if they work a decent shift like 2 weeks on 1 off all year round.

I met an ambitious welder who was about 40 years old, been welding since he was 20, he was running his own truck at about $100/hour, plus he owned 4 other trucks which he rented out to other guys for $40/hour, so basically this guy was hauling in $260/hour, all year around. There's BIG money to be made up here if a guy knows how to hustle and keep his nose clean, the rates I'm quoting above for journeymen are base rates that pretty much any guy can make if he decides to follow the trades route.

I'm not too sure about the rates in Oz, but a good friend of mine who spent many years working in Fort Mac recently relocated to Perth and he is making more money, but he's working offshore. These two areas (western Canada and western Oz) are both gold mines for guys looking to work, so is North Dakota, USA right now.

He is working offshore as a welder?

Yes, he is a 'rope access" welder, which means he hangs in the air by ropes, sometimes a couple hundred meters suspended over the ocean!

That's another good trade to get into, rope access, check it out: http://www.irata.org/

That's another trade that isn't for pussies!!!

I"m pretty sure, to get your own truck on the go, you just buy it and contract yourself out. You'll need the proper certifications (inter-provincial journeyman ticket, b-pressure welding, ticket, etc.), you need to set it up as a proper business, then you go out and find your own work and contracts!
01-31-2012 11:22 AM
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Alright, I'll bite. I've got some questions.

I'm 23 years old, with limited carpentry experience, and am considering becoming the skills and certs to become an electrician, or at least just the skills. In your original post, you said something about making 100k in like 6 months.

Definitely a tantalizing offer.

Ilm definitely interested in making that kind of money and would start now if possible. What could I do to make that kind of money (100k and up) in that time frame, though I wouldn't object to staying longer for more $. Also, are the oil/black sand job/salary conditions the same in North Dakota as they are in alberta?
02-01-2012 09:40 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-01-2012 09:40 AM)serge68 Wrote:  Alright, I'll bite. I've got some questions.

I'm 23 years old, with limited carpentry experience, and am considering becoming the skills and certs to become an electrician, or at least just the skills. In your original post, you said something about making 100k in like 6 months.

Definitely a tantalizing offer.

Ilm definitely interested in making that kind of money and would start now if possible. What could I do to make that kind of money (100k and up) in that time frame, though I wouldn't object to staying longer for more $. Also, are the oil/black sand job/salary conditions the same in North Dakota as they are in alberta?

Well the title of the thread may be a bit misleading, I"ll admit. You WON'T make 6 figures if you're a green hand newbie, however, if you play your cards right, work hard and move up the food chain, you can make that kind of money, it took me about 3 years to get to that level.

All of the info you need to get started in the oil sands is in this thread, you can work union through the IBEW (http://www.ibew.org/) or non-union through CLAC (http://www.clac.ca/)

here's some MAJOR contractors that employ thousands of electricians in the oil sands (BTW electrician is an EXCELLENT trade, you can literally do it anywhere, either residential, commercial or industrial):

-Chemco (http://www.chemco-elec.com/)
-Kiewit (http://www.kiewit.com/)
-JV Driver (http://www.jvdriver.com/)
-Pyramid contruction (http://www.pyramidcorporation.com/)
-DCM Construction (http://www.dcmgroup.ca/)
-FT Services (http://www.ft-serv.com/)

No the oil fields of North Dakota and Fort McMurray aren't similar, in ND they drill for oil with a rig, in Fort Mac they scoop it out of the ground like in a mine, check out the videos posted in the thread for more info.
02-01-2012 12:16 PM
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Atlantic Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hi Everyone

This is my first post, I’ve have been waiting till the 1st so I could register for about 2 weeks!

I am a 23 year old Irish guy, as the username suggests, and I am very grateful that I stumbled across this forum. Really impressed with what I have seen so far, really good melting pot of game/lifestyle/wealth discussions. Wish I had of found this 4 years ago.

Scotian you’re an absolute legend! Thanks for all the advice man. I have gone ahead and applied for the full year visa and should be arriving at the end of March. A lot of it was down to reading this tread. Really appreciate the time gone into putting all this together just to helping us out. I’ll have a few pints waiting for ya if you ever visit Ireland.

I will be booking the flights once I get confirmation that my visa is going to go through successfully (it takes 6-8 weeks to do in Ireland). My plan at the moment is to land in Calgary and either do bar work till I can sort out a job in the oil business OR just go straight up to Fort McMurray and try to start work straight off. I have been sending CVs and using my LinkedIn account for the last 2 weeks to have something lined up for when I land but to be honest very few companies are getting back to me. My CVs and LinkedIn are top notch so not sure why that is. I haven’t started ringing yet (I will wait till nearer the time) but hopefully that goes better and I have something lined up before I get there.

I am planning on working very hard/smart, getting into the management side of things (I have a good degree in Construction and Engineering Management and plenty of relevant engineering/management experience) then working till I am about 28. I want to start working on some business ideas I have back in Ireland/Europe while I am over there and then hopefully be able to just get out of it when they are generating enough income.

Scotian I don’t really want to ask you much because you have answered so much already and have put up enough info for a motivated person to be able to figure it out themselves.

As it gets nearer the time I might get back in touch to see what you recommend but for now I will just start contributing to this forum and enjoying what it has to offer…
02-01-2012 04:13 PM
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
if anything, I am sure this thread as raised awareness for young men at the opportunity in learning a trade and skill. Looking into this myself.
02-01-2012 06:26 PM
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Post: #90
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-01-2012 04:13 PM)Irishman Wrote:  Hi Everyone

This is my first post, I’ve have been waiting till the 1st so I could register for about 2 weeks!

I am a 23 year old Irish guy, as the username suggests, and I am very grateful that I stumbled across this forum. Really impressed with what I have seen so far, really good melting pot of game/lifestyle/wealth discussions. Wish I had of found this 4 years ago.

Scotian you’re an absolute legend! Thanks for all the advice man. I have gone ahead and applied for the full year visa and should be arriving at the end of March. A lot of it was down to reading this tread. Really appreciate the time gone into putting all this together just to helping us out. I’ll have a few pints waiting for ya if you ever visit Ireland.

I will be booking the flights once I get confirmation that my visa is going to go through successfully (it takes 6-8 weeks to do in Ireland). My plan at the moment is to land in Calgary and either do bar work till I can sort out a job in the oil business OR just go straight up to Fort McMurray and try to start work straight off. I have been sending CVs and using my LinkedIn account for the last 2 weeks to have something lined up for when I land but to be honest very few companies are getting back to me. My CVs and LinkedIn are top notch so not sure why that is. I haven’t started ringing yet (I will wait till nearer the time) but hopefully that goes better and I have something lined up before I get there.

I am planning on working very hard/smart, getting into the management side of things (I have a good degree in Construction and Engineering Management and plenty of relevant engineering/management experience) then working till I am about 28. I want to start working on some business ideas I have back in Ireland/Europe while I am over there and then hopefully be able to just get out of it when they are generating enough income.

Scotian I don’t really want to ask you much because you have answered so much already and have put up enough info for a motivated person to be able to figure it out themselves.

As it gets nearer the time I might get back in touch to see what you recommend but for now I will just start contributing to this forum and enjoying what it has to offer…

Irishman, welcome to the forum, glad you are coming to Alberta, we need you here, tell your friends to come too!

Honestly, you probably won't hear too much from many of the companies, if you call them up directly, they may give you some pointers but honestly, its best to get here first and go from there.

Calgary is a good city to start in, lots of jobs to be had, but its more of a white collar/office type city. Edmonton (where I'm based out of) is better for industrial work and of course Fort Mac is the best place to be for a high paying industrial type job. However, you can be based in either Calgary or Edmonton and get a camp job in Fort Mac where you will fly to work on a 2 weeks on 1 off type schedule.

A camp job with paid flights may be the best for you, especially if you are based in Calgary, during your week off you can go to the Rocky mountains and go skiing and partying in places like Banff, Lake Louise, etc.

I'll just warn you now, all of these cities are "car cities", I lived in both Edmonton and Calgary without a car, and while its not impossible, to be honest, it sucks, these cities just aren't designed like the walkable ones in Europe, or even eastern Canada!

Your best plan would be to rent a room in a house in Calgary/Edmonton ($400-600/month) or Fort Mac ($800-1000/month), and hit the streets with your CV. take whatever job you can to sustain yourself, hopefully its a good oil job with room for advancement, if not, keep applying til you find one. Quitting jobs in Alberta means nothing, everyone crosses the road for an extra buck or a better deal, I do too!

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, I'll try my best to answer. I'll be back in Etown come mid-April and should by in the Mac by May, hopefully we can meet up for a pint then!
02-01-2012 10:27 PM
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Rafa Offline
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Post: #91
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Scotian,

Great info man.

I have been looking into some trades. Which trade do you think "has it the best, or easiest"? Seems like electricians would be a good bet.
02-02-2012 12:49 AM
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scotian Offline
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Post: #92
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-02-2012 12:49 AM)Rafa Wrote:  Scotian,

Great info man.

I have been looking into some trades. Which trade do you think "has it the best, or easiest"? Seems like electricians would be a good bet.

I dont know about that bud, Ive seen electricians pulling heavy duty cables and laying them on cable trays 30´ in the air up in a pipe rack during -30 C weather, not my idea of a good time!

All trades can be hard but they can all be very easy too, I once got paid to sit on my ass and surf the net for 2 months straight, I literally did NOTHING (it was really boring) but watch movies, read, etc. These big oil companies would rather have 10 guys sitting around doing nothing than be short a guy when they need him ASAP. Most maintenance gigs involve a lot of sitting around, construction, not so much.

One trade that definitely involves A LOT of shitting around doing nothing is a mobile crane operator, but when he does work, he often has to lift insanely heavy pieces into some tight spots, I couldnt do it!
02-02-2012 10:41 AM
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Roustabout Offline
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Post: #93
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Fantastic information Scotian! This thread should be required reading for all young people who don't know what to do with their lives. Instead of wasting time pursuing mindless undergraduate and graduate degrees (of which I was guilty), they could be working, earning, saving and investing for the future.

For information on jobs in North Dakota, check out this website: http://www.jobsnd.com. Read the information on searching for oilfield jobs.
02-02-2012 12:08 PM
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Rafa Offline
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Post: #94
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-02-2012 10:41 AM)scotian Wrote:  All trades can be hard but they can all be very easy too, I once got paid to sit on my ass and surf the net for 2 months straight, I literally did NOTHING (it was really boring) but watch movies, read, etc. These big oil companies would rather have 10 guys sitting around doing nothing than be short a guy when they need him ASAP. Most maintenance gigs involve a lot of sitting around, construction, not so much.

One trade that definitely involves A LOT of shitting around doing nothing is a mobile crane operator, but when he does work, he often has to lift insanely heavy pieces into some tight spots, I couldnt do it!

Hmm so which maintenance trade / area would you go into?

Also I dont recall reading about the visa issue for Americans. Do you know how that works?
02-02-2012 02:33 PM
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SkeletonJelly? Offline
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Post: #95
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I'm 19 and living in Montreal, could probably take the next fall course at a trade school. Rep to you scotian, awesome work you're doing here. I'm considering this because going into publishing with an English degree no longer seems very desirable. Couple of questions:

Since welding seems like the highest paying job with not much difference between the other trades for hours/quality of life, are there many welders staying with the work camps and having the logistics taken care of?

How much avg free time do you have per work day? (I need to read/write every day to keep my skills sharp)
02-02-2012 02:34 PM
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Post: #96
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I have just got a potential job offer and a definite phone interview with the CEDA Company. Just like Scotian said. Seriously guys if you haven’t yet looked into this- it is GOLD. Of course nothing is certain but looks like I should be well on my way to a few companies and a nice bank account in a few years. Plus I think a two week on/one off pattern is not that bad. Work hard play hard attitude.

Thanks again Scotian, I will keep posting up on how this plays out and give anyone else thing about this all the advice I can as I progress with it.
02-02-2012 05:52 PM
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Post: #97
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
+1 your way Scotian
02-02-2012 05:54 PM
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Post: #98
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-02-2012 05:52 PM)Irishman Wrote:  I have just got a potential job offer and a definite phone interview with the CEDA Company. Just like Scotian said. Seriously guys if you haven’t yet looked into this- it is GOLD. Of course nothing is certain but looks like I should be well on my way to a few companies and a nice bank account in a few years. Plus I think a two week on/one off pattern is not that bad. Work hard play hard attitude.

Thanks again Scotian, I will keep posting up on how this plays out and give anyone else thing about this all the advice I can as I progress with it.

Great to hear Irishman! I've also gotten a couple replies from some potential employers! Looking forward to grabbing a pint with all you guys.
Can't say enough about scotian for all he's posted.
02-02-2012 08:52 PM
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Post: #99
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
"Since welding seems like the highest paying job with not much difference between the other trades for hours/quality of life, are there many welders staying with the work camps and having the logistics taken care of?"

is that true?

it seems that welding is very risky and hazardous for your health. what trade are you in btw scotian?

from wikipedia "
Welding, without the proper precautions, can be a dangerous and unhealthy practice. However, with the use of new technology and proper protection, risks of injury and death associated with welding can be greatly reduced.[42] Because many common welding procedures involve an open electric arc or flame, the risk of burns and fire is significant; this is why it is classified as a hot work process. To prevent them, welders wear personal protective equipment in the form of heavy leather gloves and protective long sleeve jackets to avoid exposure to extreme heat and flames. Additionally, the brightness of the weld area leads to a condition called arc eye or flash burns in which ultraviolet light causes inflammation of the cornea and can burn the retinas of the eyes. Goggles and welding helmets with dark face plates are worn to prevent this exposure, and in recent years, new helmet models have been produced that feature a face plate that self-darkens upon exposure to high amounts of UV light. To protect bystanders, translucent welding curtains often surround the welding area. These curtains, made of a polyvinyl chloride plastic film, shield nearby workers from exposure to the UV light from the electric arc, but should not be used to replace the filter glass used in helmets.[43]
Welders are also often exposed to dangerous gases and particulate matter. Processes like flux-cored arc welding and shielded metal arc welding produce smoke containing particles of various types of oxides. The size of the particles in question tends to influence the toxicity of the fumes, with smaller particles presenting a greater danger. This is due to the fact that smaller particles have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Additionally, many processes produce fumes and various gases, most commonly carbon dioxide, ozone and heavy metals, that can prove dangerous without proper ventilation and training.[44] Exposure to manganese welding fumes, for example, even at low levels (<0.2 mg/m3), may lead to neurological problems or to damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or central nervous system.[45] Furthermore, because the use of compressed gases and flames in many welding processes poses an explosion and fire risk, some common precautions include limiting the amount of oxygen in the air and keeping combustible materials away from the workplace."

what are others trades that pay high , not so risky and are not too tough to get in (ex: some months of courses/training) electrician maybe?

what about Health and safety (HSE), what do they do? there are courses offered in HSE in some colleges I believe.

I have a graduate degree in business but if that stuff pays so much why not go into a trade and then move up!
(This post was last modified: 02-03-2012 08:20 PM by metalhaze.)
02-03-2012 08:15 PM
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scotian Offline
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Post: #100
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Rafa: there's many different options for maintenance trades, basically all trades can be a maintenance trade (welder, pipefitter, scaffolder, etc). The pros of working maintenance are that these are more permanent positions and you do less actual work because of safety issues (have to pull permits to work, this takes a while). the downside of course is that you're in a live refinery, things can go wrong (explosions, dangerous gas leaks, etc) also, you'll be exposed to some carcinogens. You'll have to check out the immigration Canada website (http://www.cic.gc.ca) they have fast track programmes for skilled workers.

Skeletonjelly: Welder is indeed one of the highest paying trades, if you get your own rig and self contract. That isn't something that happens quickly, you'll first have to spend about 3-5 years getting your JM ticket. A welder who isn't self employed and works directly for a company, like most other trades, make the same, $40-45/hr for a journeyman. You'll likely work 12 hours a day, 6am til 6pm, when you get back to camp, you eat, shower, then go to bed around 10-11 so most guys would have about 2-3 hours of free time per day. Depending on the gig, you may have a lot of downtime during the day to write, read, surf the net, etc.

Irishman: Good job getting an interview, let us know how it goes. Hopefully you'll have a job waiting for you once you land in Alberta, although it would be nice if you can take a few days to see a bit of the province. Trust me, once you get up to Fort Mac or wherever they send you, you'll be balls to the wall busy everyday! Also, if you can get your landed immigrant papers, you can do seasonal work in the oil sands (like me) and live elsewhere while you aren't working, I know a few guys who immigrated to Canada years ago and now just come back to work then leave again.

Metalhaze: Yes welding can indeed be a hazardous occupation (all trades can be, that's why we're well compensated) but if a guy follows the proper safety precautions, he can minimize the risk. I'm not sure its something I would want to do for 40 years, but it can be a pretty good gig for a few years anyway. All of the other trades are fairly easy to get into, they all have their own safety concerns (electricians work with high voltage electricity and can get zapped to death!).

Health and safety professionals are basically the most hated people on site but are a necessary evil. No body likes them because they can kick you offsite if you break any safety rules, but they're there to protect everyone and make sure we all go home safe. They can make really good money too ($50+/hour) and the job isn't labour intensive, check out United Safety and HSE integrated for entry level positions.

Having business experience and education WILL come in handy, especially if you spend a couple of years on the tools and you want to make the transition into management, that's something that I'm looking into doing eventually, I'm definitely not going to be climbing around pipe racks and inside boilers and furnaces when I'm 50 years old!
02-04-2012 03:08 PM
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