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  1. #1
    Resident Canadian master_no_name's Avatar
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    FortMcMurray/Alberta people, need help! (oil, roughneck etc)

    Hi,

    Hopefully someone can give me current info about what the job situation is there right now. I can only find old threads online from like 2006-2008 and I'm sure the situation has changed drastically since then. Basically, I want to gather up enough money to buy a house. My current job pays around 3000$ after taxes. I have a university degree (non-related field), I'm a hard worker and I can easily endure hardship (military) don't do drugs etc. I figure I'll go out West, pick up the appropriate qualifications, maybe some clothes and hope for the best.

    However, I want to make sure enough money is possible as whats the point of leaving a job which clears me 3000$ only to make 4000$, but work 12 hour shifts, 2 weeks at a time and pay 1000$ rent... For it to be worth my time and effort, I figure I would have to clear 5000$ (4000$ would be the bare minimum whereas 6000$ would be ideal, but I think that's a little unrealistic. That would mean making something like 8000-9000k/month). Is that kind of money possible if one has no experience in the oil industry and works as a labourer (roughneck, etc)?

    Also, is it possible to live there without needing a car? I really don't want to buy one unless absolutely necessary. I would honestly rather sleep in shacks, even on “off weeks” (if that's permitted), or rent out a tiny room. Do most workers live in FortMcMurray, or shuttle back to Edmonton? Are there still “camp” jobs around, as ideally I wouldn’t want to pay for food or lodging (or the minimum at that).

    So, what is the current situation really like? Are my expectations outdated? Is clearing 5000-6000$/month possible? If so (or if not), what kind of expenses can I expect?

    Cheers
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  2. #2
    Registered User -knucklehead-'s Avatar
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    plenty of camp jobs around, but ive been off rig for a few years now

    camps were 14$ a day taken off ur pay thats 3 meals showers laundry bedrooms etc

    and rate depends on what company you work for, as a roughneck you should make that no problem

    but youre gonna start as a leasehand- which is bitch work, but if you bust your ass like i did, you can make roughneck in less than 2 weeks .
    09 zx6r
    09 R1 / sold
    rsv4 or s1000rr hmmmm
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  3. #3
    Registered User -knucklehead-'s Avatar
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    apply for jobs before u make the switch, make the transition AFTER spring break up

    living in fort mac is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for renting anything because its an oil city. so good luck with that
    no "shuttle" services, u can bus to n from edmonton for about 100$/way
    09 zx6r
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    rsv4 or s1000rr hmmmm
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  4. #4
    winter is coming brahnnosaurusrex's Avatar
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    OP holler at me when your bored to death in hick town alberta and want some crack rock. I got white too.(
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  5. #5
    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Things are gonna be picking up pretty soon.. Right now it is a little slow.. Not sure how much will be going on over the summer. You might be better off waiting till October and heading up there.
    I'll be heading up to Fort Mac in either March or April but I have a family friend who does the hiring for the company I'm gonna be working for.
    What you are gonna need is

    1) HS2 Alive
    2) CSTS/PST
    3) Level 1 First Aid with CPR

    That is just have any chance of getting on a site. Total cost for those would be around $350-400. That will get you a basic job which should mean about $2500 a week (7 days a week 12 hours a day)... With a little bit of training (maybe getting a class 1 drivers license) you can make $3000+ a week. First aid is a pretty slack ass job (you only really do anything when someone gets hurt...
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    Registered User JerryAttric's Avatar
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    roughnecks make like 24 an hour. 12 hour shifts so $ hours you get ot pay which is sick. ****ty ****in work hope you like getting yelled at all shift and being miserable for 2 weeks.
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  7. #7
    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -knucklehead- View Post
    plenty of camp jobs around, but ive been off rig for a few years now

    camps were 14$ a day taken off ur pay thats 3 meals showers laundry bedrooms etc

    and rate depends on what company you work for, as a roughneck you should make that no problem

    but youre gonna start as a leasehand- which is bitch work, but if you bust your ass like i did, you can make roughneck in less than 2 weeks .
    They were charging you for living in camp? My brother in law was telling me that he knew ppl that were making an extra $100 a day because they lived in camp.
    I guess it all depends where the camp is. If its close to a town then maybe they will charge you since technically you could commute from town everyday.
    Even still $14 a day is nothing to have everything covered. Food alone is more then that.
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  8. #8
    Gangster of E-town CaptainCrunch21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by master_no_name View Post
    Hi,

    Hopefully someone can give me current info about what the job situation is there right now. I can only find old threads online from like 2006-2008 and I'm sure the situation has changed drastically since then. Basically, I want to gather up enough money to buy a house. My current job pays around 3000$ after taxes. I have a university degree (non-related field), I'm a hard worker and I can easily endure hardship (military) don't do drugs etc. I figure I'll go out West, pick up the appropriate qualifications, maybe some clothes and hope for the best.

    However, I want to make sure enough money is possible as whats the point of leaving a job which clears me 3000$ only to make 4000$, but work 12 hour shifts, 2 weeks at a time and pay 1000$ rent... For it to be worth my time and effort, I figure I would have to clear 5000$ (4000$ would be the bare minimum whereas 6000$ would be ideal, but I think that's a little unrealistic. That would mean making something like 8000-9000k/month). Is that kind of money possible if one has no experience in the oil industry and works as a labourer (roughneck, etc)?

    Also, is it possible to live there without needing a car? I really don't want to buy one unless absolutely necessary. I would honestly rather sleep in shacks, even on “off weeks” (if that's permitted), or rent out a tiny room. Do most workers live in FortMcMurray, or shuttle back to Edmonton? Are there still “camp” jobs around, as ideally I wouldn’t want to pay for food or lodging (or the minimum at that).

    So, what is the current situation really like? Are my expectations outdated? Is clearing 5000-6000$/month possible? If so (or if not), what kind of expenses can I expect?

    Cheers
    Worked the rigs for a year, just finished up

    your doing it wrong if your only making 9000 pre taxes, I took home roughly 5500 two weeks that included 140 a day sub, not every rig is in fort mac, actually most are other places, u dont decide what rig u get put on, the company does, its either non camp or camp, no camp is 140 a day sub, camp is 50 a day sub extra.
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  9. #9
    Gangster of E-town CaptainCrunch21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JerryAttric View Post
    roughnecks make like 24 an hour. 12 hour shifts so $ hours you get ot pay which is sick. ****ty ****in work hope you like getting yelled at all shift and being miserable for 2 weeks.
    roughnecks make 26.40 an hour, leasehands make 25 an hour, only if ur a phaggot you will get yelled at
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  10. #10
    Gangster of E-town CaptainCrunch21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lildave View Post
    Things are gonna be picking up pretty soon.. Right now it is a little slow.. Not sure how much will be going on over the summer. You might be better off waiting till October and heading up there.
    I'll be heading up to Fort Mac in either March or April but I have a family friend who does the hiring for the company I'm gonna be working for.
    What you are gonna need is

    1) HS2 Alive
    2) CSTS/PST
    3) Level 1 First Aid with CPR

    That is just have any chance of getting on a site. Total cost for those would be around $350-400. That will get you a basic job which should mean about $2500 a week (7 days a week 12 hours a day)... With a little bit of training (maybe getting a class 1 drivers license) you can make $3000+ a week. First aid is a pretty slack ass job (you only really do anything when someone gets hurt...
    I only have h2s, worked all year, **** is busy in the patch, there short guys thats why they gave out a wage increase, dont wait till october like he says
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  11. #11
    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CaptainCrunch21 View Post
    roughnecks make 26.40 an hour, leasehands make 25 an hour, only if ur a phaggot you will get yelled at
    Good job going up there at your age. I'm trying to convince my buddies brother to head up north for a couple of years. He is 19.. If I would knew then what I know now I would have been up there as soon as I graduated.
    Young, single, and dont mind working your ass off? I dont think there is a better place to go. You do that for 2-3 years and make enough to buy a condo/townhouse with cash and have enough to pay for school for a couple years too. Talk about having no stress to be 25 with a education, no debt and a place that is paid off.
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  12. #12
    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CaptainCrunch21 View Post
    I only have h2s, worked all year, **** is busy in the patch, there short guys thats why they gave out a wage increase, dont wait till october like he says
    H2S gets you in but the First Aid and CSTS give you a huge advantage over all the people that apply that dont have it. Its a total of 3 days for both of them and like $250. If that means getting a job 2-3 days sooner its worth it.

    The reason I said wait till October is cuz some projects are being put on hold now. He might be able to get work in April but if I was him I would look into his options and then head out there right before the winter rush. There is more to the industry then just rig jobs and most of them pay better while being easier jobs.
    I'm not gonna say what I'm doing but I'm starting at $28 hr and its a pretty slack ass job. The course was only a day.
    There is also seismic jobs where you are pretty much driving around on ATV's, cutting down trees and playing with dynamite.. I've heard overtime is huge with those jobs.
    You are pretty much getting paid to go camping.
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  13. #13
    Gangster of E-town CaptainCrunch21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lildave View Post
    Good job going up there at your age. I'm trying to convince my buddies brother to head up north for a couple of years. He is 19.. If I would knew then what I know now I would have been up there as soon as I graduated.
    Young, single, and dont mind working your ass off? I dont think there is a better place to go. You do that for 2-3 years and make enough to buy a condo/townhouse with cash and have enough to pay for school for a couple years too. Talk about having no stress to be 25 with a education, no debt and a place that is paid off.
    2 guys I worked with were doing it right, ones been working since he was 18 and saved up 60k for a down payment on a house when he was 21 and the other was 24 and had two houses, one renting out to cover both morgteges, I just worked enough to pay for my school for 4 years, but I'll probably go back after spring break up for the summer then go back to school
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    I appreciate the replies guys.

    1) Camp jobs take away 14$ (not that much), are the meals decent? Any idea how many people bunked per room? I've heard you work 2 weeks on, 1 week off, 2 weeks on again. Is this so? How's life on camp? Internet, etc? (then again I guess there's no free time, all you want to do when off is sleep).

    2) So everyone starts out as a leasehand right? After that it's roughneck? Then derrickhand? What did you do as a leasehand? Wash floors and ****? Is it really strenous, like washing a lot like a nut, or is it part working a lot, part looking busy? What exactly did you do as a roughneck, actual drilling?

    3) Applying for jobs: should I apply online or something

    4 timings. Spring break up? You mean drilling is slow during winter time? I've heard they "close roads" now and then and everyone is laid off for 4-6 weeks for them to move the drilling sites? How exactly does this work? Are there actually "seasons" to working the oil patches? Like a high season with lot's of work and a low season?

    5) lildave, are you sure about those wages? 2500$ per week? Even before taxes that's a lot. Or are you basically working 3 weeks? (2 weeks on, one off, so 3 per month)?

    6)Holy **** nm, captaincrunch: So making 9000pre tax is easy? You actually "take home" 5500 every two weeks??!!? What's the 140$ sub? You live on a camp? Is sub money they give you, or you give them? Sorry if i sounds retarded I'm just really clueless. What are your working hours like. You work 2 weeks on, one off? Of non-stop all month? What work do you do? How long have you been working there? That's insane money dude, good job. How many weeks do you work before they "lay you off" for a few week?

    Sorry for bombarding you, but you're the first "recent worker" I've ever talked to.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Kokanee's Avatar
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    most of the jobs right now will be in construction. so if you're a pipefitter/welder/etc. you can make a lot of money there. otherwise there isn't much going on.

    edit: operators make a lot too
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  16. #16
    But who was gains? loose_caboose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CaptainCrunch21 View Post
    2 guys I worked with were doing it right, ones been working since he was 18 and saved up 60k for a down payment on a house when he was 21 and the other was 24 and had two houses, one renting out to cover both morgteges, I just worked enough to pay for my school for 4 years, but I'll probably go back after spring break up for the summer then go back to school
    You are definitely doing it right. Fellow Canucks brah here. My job is slow as all hell right now, and I am interested in some camp jobs for the summer so I can get money for school. Not necessarily the Mac, but something similar and this threads got a solid base of information. Thanks brah, I'm gonna give you some tiny reps.
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    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by master_no_name View Post
    I appreciate the replies guys.

    1) Camp jobs take away 14$ (not that much), are the meals decent? Any idea how many people bunked per room? I've heard you work 2 weeks on, 1 week off, 2 weeks on again. Is this so? How's life on camp? Internet, etc? (then again I guess there's no free time, all you want to do when off is sleep).

    every camp is different.. some are supposed to be really nice.. others not so much all depends what company is running the camp and how much the company is spending

    2) So everyone starts out as a leasehand right? After that it's roughneck? Then derrickhand? What did you do as a leasehand? Wash floors and ****? Is it really strenous, like washing a lot like a nut, or is it part working a lot, part looking busy? What exactly did you do as a roughneck, actual drilling?

    No idea about this.. Again I would look at all of your options... There are lots of jobs that you can do
    3) Applying for jobs: should I apply online or something

    4 timings. Spring break up? You mean drilling is slow during winter time? I've heard they "close roads" now and then and everyone is laid off for 4-6 weeks for them to move the drilling sites? How exactly does this work? Are there actually "seasons" to working the oil patches? Like a high season with lot's of work and a low season?
    If gets slow around March due to break up.. Pretty much it starts warming up and everything turns to mud... Takes around a month for it to dry up and then things get back to normal... winter is really busy
    5) lildave, are you sure about those wages? 2500$ per week? Even before taxes that's a lot. Or are you basically working 3 weeks? (2 weeks on, one off, so 3 per month)?

    You gotta remember how many hours you are working... 7 days a week.. 12 hours a day... that is 44 hours of overtime a week.. Lets say you are making $25 hr.. That means $1k a week of regular time and then $1650 in overtime..

    6)Holy **** nm, captaincrunch: So making 9000pre tax is easy? You actually "take home" 5500 every two weeks??!!? What's the 140$ sub? You live on a camp? Is sub money they give you, or you give them? Sorry if i sounds retarded I'm just really clueless. What are your working hours like. You work 2 weeks on, one off? Of non-stop all month? What work do you do? How long have you been working there? That's insane money dude, good job. How many weeks do you work before they "lay you off" for a few week?

    Sorry for bombarding you, but you're the first "recent worker" I've ever talked to.
    Sub money is pretty much living expense money.. I believe it might be tax free also but I'm not sure... Obviously if you are in camp you will get less since realistically you are only paying for anything on your week off.. While you are in camp you arent paying rent or for food..
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    used to drive a rock truck for ledcor in fort mac, made $35 an hour, time and a half after 8 hours, and double time after 12 21 days on, 7 off, and camp was actually very nice.

    *edit* my mom does office work in fort mac, makes $160,000 a year and $4000 a month tax free living out allowance.
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    What can Civil Engineers make out there?
    * Civil Engineering

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    Originally Posted by IsoMaxx View Post
    used to drive a rock truck for ledcor in fort mac, made $35 an hour, time and a half after 8 hours, and double time after 12 21 days on, 7 off, and camp was actually very nice.

    *edit* my mom does office work in fort mac, makes $160,000 a year and $4000 a month tax free living out allowance.
    I heard they dont have double time in Alberta anymore..
    Can anyone confirm this? I know BC still does.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by HotChuven View Post
    What can Civil Engineers make out there?
    I know my brother in law did it for a while.. I'll go ask him since he is a civil engineer.. I think part of him regrets knocking up my sister since now he doesnt really get the chance to go up north to work much anymore..


    edit:
    Just talked to brother in law... He says contact all the big oil companies. You might be able to get on designing roads and pipelines. He isnt sure what you would make but it will be much more then what you would make working in a city since you would get a ton of overtime..
    Thats the thing with the oil industry. You dont make much more per hour but you work so many hours that it ends up being huge money. If you dont mind working long hours its great.
    Last edited by lildave; 02-04-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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    thanks lildave.

    How do they calculate overtime if you are working 21 days straight? Is it like every work day, if you work more than 8hrs it become overtime? Even then, let's say you work 20 days per months:
    25$X8X20=3840
    Average of 3 hours extra per day (11hr days):
    3X50X20=3000=
    6840$ X .6=
    4104$ after taxes.

    It's still way off 10 000$/month. Is there lot's of work during the summer? Would it be a good idea for me to head out and see if I like it this summer before making a "big move"? Say I left in early May, could I easily find work? I could try working May-August and see if it's for me. Obviously, it would be risky unless I found a job quickly because I live out east, so plane ticket+courses+work clothes etc.

    Anyone know how long it takes to find a job? I remember stories back in 2006-2008 about people finding jobs within like 24 hours. Is it still possible?
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    Registered User lildave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by master_no_name View Post
    thanks lildave.

    How do they calculate overtime if you are working 21 days straight? Is it like every work day, if you work more than 8hrs it become overtime? Even then, let's say you work 20 days per months:
    25$X8X20=3840
    Average of 3 hours extra per day (11hr days):
    3X50X20=3000=
    6840$ X .6=
    4104$ after taxes.

    It's still way off 10 000$/month. Is there lot's of work during the summer? Would it be a good idea for me to head out and see if I like it this summer before making a "big move"? Say I left in early May, could I easily find work? I could try working May-August and see if it's for me. Obviously, it would be risky unless I found a job quickly because I live out east, so plane ticket+courses+work clothes etc.

    Anyone know how long it takes to find a job? I remember stories back in 2006-2008 about people finding jobs within like 24 hours. Is it still possible?
    Its per week...
    So anything over 8 hours a day is overtime. Anything over 40 hours regular is overtime.
    So it would be 40 hours of regular time plus 44 hours of overtime (4 hours a day during the week but come Saturday you have already put in 40 hours regular time so then Saturday and Sunday are all overtime)
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    btw... did you read the thread on bcsportbike? lol
    The whole 2006-2008 thing makes me think that... lol..
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    Ah I see. Nah, don't know what you're talking about, sorry, lol. How about finding jobs in the summer time? Is that a good time to head up there? I know winter is really busy because the ground is frozen, but what about summer?
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    Do they hire Americans with no previous experience or is it Canadians only?
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    lmao that place is dead now good luck finding a job. most people migrate over thinking they can land a job in a couple of days but since 2007 they started importing masses of philipino, spanish, european people into that town and now its a super saturated market. hell, even good luck if you get a job of tim hortons (srs)
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    Not to resurrect an old thread, but I'm in the same boat as OP and looking for a job for the following year up north. I live in Calgary right now, so I'm able to go down to a lot of the head offices and apply in person. Is that recommended?

    I've got my first aid, and am signing up for my H2S and PST next week. How likely am I to get a job with all three?

    Is it still pretty slow right now because of all the fires and floods?
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