I Need an Oilfield Job, Should I Relocate?

Posted in Boom Town Life

I Need an Oilfield Job, Should I Relocate?

Pictured: A Baker Hughes truck spotted at an Ohio hotel, many miles from any drilling operations. Most folks looking for work in general, and fracking jobs in particular, are probably wondering the same thing: I need an oilfield job! Hmmm….should I consider moving to get one? Well, the short answer is: yes. if you are willing to relocate, then your odds of getting a job in the oil shale industry will greatly increase. It’s just the law of averages, or pure reality. Consider this: the Fracking Jobs site lists 17 states where enough oil shale related business is taking place to create significant numbers of oilfield jobs. That means that only 1/3 of U.S. states have enough employment to merit being featured on the site. Unless you are living in one of these 17 states, odds are pretty good that you will not be able to find employment in the fracking world, at least if you are seeking entry-level work in or around the oilfields. The major oil shale producing states, as of this writing, are: North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Colorado and Oklahoma are becoming big oil and gas producers as well. The remaining states featured here on Fracking Jobs offer employment opportunities, just not in the numbers that the above mentioned six states do at this time. Ok, I don’t live in a “fracking state”. What are my options if I don’t want to move? All is not lost, but your odds of participating in the “fracking boom” are diminished – so be realistic. We compiled a list of ideas that might help those who live in, say, New York state (where fracking is currently banned thanks to extremists who refuse to accept facts over hyperbole). Here are some avenues to explore if you can’t get a fracking job, but still want to benefit from the oil shale boom: Find a machine shop or small manufacturer in your area that supplies parts, supplies, or machinery for oil & gas companies. If you are located in a 100-mile radius of a fracking “hot spot”, there’s a good bet that hotels and motels located in your town have job openings. Seek out companies that are involved in oil & gas pipeline work in your area. Perhaps you might not live near an oilfield, but the oil being extracted travels along a route near you. Don’t live near an oilfield, but live near a water source? If you have a commercial driver’s license (or can get one), you can not only find companies that transport oil and gas, but also companies that transport the large quantities of water required for fracking operations. Don’t live near an oilfield or water source? Well, are you near a source of sand? Fracking requires lots of sand. And requires CDL holders to transport it. Can your travel to a fracking hotspot for two...

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Texas Oilfield Job Pay Rates

Posted in Boom Town Life

John (aka “Texas Amateur Oilfield Trucker”) is a Texas oilfield worker who has a few videos up on You Tube, one of which appears below. Here, he explains what he has seen concerning Texas oilfield job pay rates. Bear in mind that this video was made in early January of 2013, so these pay rates – which, of course, change based on supply and demand – may no longer apply. However, this is a good overview of Texas pay rates from the perspective of one who sees first hand who is hiring, what they are paying, and what jobs are open. Like North Dakota, parts of Montana, and Pennsylvania, Texas is expanding its fracking rig count. This makes sense, as Texas has a long history of oil production. Highlights: Roustabouts: $12 – $19 / hr. Fracking Crew Members: $3,500 per 2 weeks (days at a time at a site, lots of overtime) Truck Drivers: $15 / hr. appears to be the minimum; hourly pay usually $18 or $19 / hr., or $20 to $22 / hr. for nighttime shifts Flowback Operators: $200-$300 per...

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How Much Do Oil Rig Floorhands Earn?

Posted in Boom Town Life

  A common job title in the oil shale industry is “floorhand”. So, it follows then, that a common question among those interested in getting a fracking job is: “how much do oil rig floorhands earn?” Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives average hourly rates for several oil & gas jobs which were used to create the chart below. However, thanks to the wonders of social media, we now have ever more timely (and perhaps accurate) data on just about everything – including pay rates. Using data gleaned from the comments made in response to a post on the Facebook page for “Roughneck Wives and Oilfield Men”, Fracking Jobs created the chart posted above. Many comments stated the commenters’ pay based on either the state the commenter worked in, or the company worked for. This is why there are two types of “bars” in the above chart – blue bars for floorhand hourly average pay rate by state, and green bars for average by company. Both blue and green bars are arranged in ascending pay rate order. For example, the average hourly for a floorhand in Oklahoma (based on Facebook comments) is $20 per hour, while that average increases to $28 per hour in North Dakota. Don’t forget though: housing is scarce in some parts of North Dakota, and prices tend to be higher. Also, as you can see, the average hourly pay for “smaller companies” is $17 per hour, yet it’s at $28  per hour for Precision Drilling. Obviously, this information is very unscientific. However, those posting on this particular Facebook page have little reason to give misleading information. Have your own take on floorhand pay rates? Please leave a comment...

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Five More Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees

Posted in Boom Town Life

Five More Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees

If you’re college-bound, a recent college graduate, or are a parent, then you need to take a very hard-nosed look at how much college tuition will cost. Too many folks have accepted with blind faith that a degree must be pursued at all costs, to their detriment. If you haven’t already, you should read “Five Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees”. For five more reasons why fracking jobs might be preferable to college (or how to get rid of student loan debt with fracking jobs), read on… A degree doesn’t guarantee employment in your field, or any employment at all. Recently the New York Times published an article which gave an in-depth portrayal of recent high-school graduates in Montana forgoing college and pursuing oilfield employment. It’s a NY Times piece, so it tends to depict the idea of giving up on the pursuit of a degree – even temporarily – as somewhat of a mistake. The article barely mentions the financial straits that many college grads are finding themselves in vs. those who aren’t saddled with sky-high tuition debt. It also conveniently dodges another growing trend, which is… There are many alternatives to college, and they are increasing in number. The web has ushered in the era of the free college course. More and more universities are embracing the idea of offering their courses online – free of charge – to anyone who wants to “attend” them from the comfort of home. Now, most of these courses aren’t offering the college credits to go with them; that is, to receive full credit for taking a course, you’ll have to do so in person. But that could easily change, as more and more students, parents, and schools wake up to the reality that online learning is here to stay. Of course, many tenured professors – never before exposed to competition – will try to argue that only classroom-based learning is effective. Which is nonsense. It’s not just universities that are offering web-based learning. Visit YouTube, read classic literature, or check out Kindle books to create your own “curriculum”. Someday soon “students” may actually be tested on the knowledge that they possess instead of the courses that they choose (and pay for). Let’s be honest: if all you want to do is gain knowledge, you can do so for free. Ever heard of “libraries”? Many high-paying jobs do not require a degree. The oil shale industry’s varied job offerings prove that the old adage “you have to go to college to make a decent living” is a dying theme. It’s becoming increasingly common for debt-saddled sociology majors to accept low-paying starting gigs. Meanwhile, some high-school grads are finding big bucks if they are willing to take on a sense of adventure and work hard. The hard-sell on college-at-all-costs has meant that too much pressure to get a degree is being placed...

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Five Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees

Posted in Boom Town Life

Five Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees

Are you attending a college or university, thinking about doing so, or know someone who is? Sadly, too many debt-saddled youths will find that they were overcharged, and yet ill-prepared, for the “real world” by the colleges that granted them diplomas. After several decades of having the mantra “you need to go to college” shoved down our collective throats by conventional wisdom (or lack of it), some people are finally questioning the value of a college degree. Meanwhile, some industries such as oil shale extraction are booming, and are seeking job-hunters of all stripes. While plenty of technical and engineering positions within the fracking industry require a degree, there are many positions that do not. Fracking Jobs decided to take a look at five ways that fracking jobs beat college degrees: College has gotten too expensive, and the return on your investment in time and money is diminishing. You may have heard of the notion of “bad debt” vs. “good debt”. Bad debt, for example, is debt incurred by using a credit card to purchase frivolous items like a weekend in Vegas or a new big-screen TV that you probably should save up and pay cash for. Good debt, by contrast (we are told), is any debt that is incurred where the item being purchased may increase in value or provide a worthwhile return on investment. Good debt can be used to purchase a home, for example, as one hopes a home will increase in value. (Although the entire U.S. has learned that this notion is not necessarily the case after the last couple of years). Good debt is also that debt, the thinking goes, to pay for a college education – because you are investing in yourself. But is racking up six-figures in tuition debt really a good thing? Will you feel as though you’ll get a fair return on your college investment if you’re waiting tables or flipping burgers upon graduation – and you have a mountainous tuition debt as well? Not likely. Your sky-high tuition bill is paying for a college president’s sky-high compensation package. Take a look at what college presidents are paid in the graph below. We charted out the top ten university president compensation packages. Every pay package is either well over, or just shy of, $1 million per year. Some would argue that many college presidents are actually worth the money that they make while acting as heads of large universities. There is plenty of room for debate on that point – especially when one learns that many college presidents got their jobs through connections and not because they have great skills at running educational institutions. The real point, however, is this: you’ll be saddled with extremely high costs in order to attend a university. Why should some of those costs be used to pay for your university’s overly generous compensation packages?...

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How to Relocate for Fracking Jobs

Posted in Boom Town Life

How to Relocate for Fracking Jobs

Are you in a financial, social, or professional “rut”? The booming fracking industry might be beckoning you. However, to take advantage of fracking job growth, a change in geography might be in order. This writer has been there, done that – multiple times. I have deep attachments with two very different parts of the United States: the Southwest and the Midwest. I have actually moved between the two regions – sometimes spending years at a time in one or the other – on five separate occasions. There are obviously pros and cons to this sort of “back and forth” involving two distinct geographic regions: you’ll experience life with an expanded lens that few people will ever know. So if you’re thinking about a change of scene, read on to find out how to relocate for fracking jobs… You need less car than you think. Four of my cross-country moves took place with the vehicles pictured in this post. As you can see, I didn’t use a late-model Lexus, tricked-out Escalade, or a jacked-up F250 – ever. Every vehicle also doubled as a bed, en route, at least once. (Truck stops are best as crash spots – better security and fewer shady characters than what you’ll find at interstate rest stops). I favor smaller pickups with four-cylinder engines. Side note: Don’t forget to latch down the hood of your Ford Escort after checking the oil. The hood will fly up and slam against your windshield with incredible force, at 60 mph, somewhere in Wyoming. Yep, I’ve been there. Get rid of everything big. Furniture and appliances are worth a hell of a lot less than you think. If you can’t sell them, then give away your biggest pieces of furniture. If any part of it consists of particle board – trust me, it has near zero value. Lugging any sizable sofa, recliner, fridge, or what have you across several states is foolish. We live in the land of plenty. This fact, coupled with the Internet, means that you have access to either free or dirt cheap furniture anywhere you go. You already know where to look online for a gently used sofa when you get to your destination. In addition, you can check out garage and yard sales, estate sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores – the list goes on. There is a kind of karma effect involved with those who move around: as you depart your current residence and leave your five-year-old coffee table behind, you’ll much more easily find its three-year-old replacement near your new address. Try it! Get rid of some small things, too. I’m guessing that you have a number of items that have very low resale value and questionable sentimental value. Be ruthless. That plastic paperweight you received as a going away gift from your Acme Amalgamated Products co-workers in 1995 probably tugs less...

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