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Old 01-21-2007, 03:55 PM
Location: Oklahoma
1 posts, read 28,582 times
Reputation: 22


I see so many posts of people wanting to move to Montana, but it looks like the overwhelming consensus is 1) find a job and 2) be prepared for winter. We are hoping to be able to move there in about 2 years. We have a daughter going into college, but also a 5 year old and a baby on the way. We want to get the girl settled in school, but still move early enough for the "young'uns" to adapt while they're still small.

My husband is a backhoe operator and also has a lot of oilfield experience. I've seen a lot of posts about construction. How is it going this winter? Is everyone still working? Is the "boom" expected to continue or are there signs of it slowing down? What is the average wage for an experienced backhoe operator?

Right now he installs water meters for the City of Oklahoma City, which is contracted out through the homebuilders. Does anyone know how water and sewer services are handled there? By the city? By subcontractors? I haven't been able to find out much on-line about it.

I haven't seen anything about oilfield jobs. Are there any?

I hope I'm not asking the same questions you've seen 1,000 times; I read and read first! Thanks for any info.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:03 PM
Location: Cody WY Off Of Belfry Hwy
720 posts, read 2,657,024 times
Reputation: 206
There seems to be a lot of oil field related jobs in Wyoming, but I'm sure some of the local Montanans will know, about the oil industry in MT. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:23 PM
4 posts, read 43,548 times
Reputation: 15
Nope. Montana is not in the oil business. There is a teeny bit of mining and oil around Billings, but most of the oil is in Wyoming. I moved here (Wyoming) 5 years ago, but was raised in Montana. I am the administrator for Wyoming Associated Builders. I can guarantee that if you husband is any kind of hand at all ~ he could probably land a job over the telephone. All our member companies simply cannot get enough help. You will most likely have a difficult time working clear through a whole winter in Montana without laying off for a bit during the most severe part, in the construction industry. Whether you live in Montana or Wyoming, though - remember . . . it gets cold at times! Folks acclimate, but just remember it's not the South. Lots of folks head back south after the first winter. There are business councils in Wyoming who have posted for workers in Michigan, because of the automobile industry's downturn, in hopes of attracting workers. Naturally, with the influx of workers, you have all the headaches of finding enough housing and etc., but I can guarrantee, you can find work in Wyoming, right now. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:23 AM
51 posts, read 204,662 times
Reputation: 30
Default jobs in the oil field

Just wanted to write a quick reply to your questions. I don't know much about jobs as a backhoe operator but I do know there are oil field jobs in the very eastern corner of MT. Oil fields are booming around the town of Sydney --- so much so that there isn't housing there. We have many people who travel from here, Glasgow to there for like a 10 day shift and stay on sight then get 4 days off. As I understand it some of the workers also live in Culbertson or Glendive. So yes there are oil field jobs in MT that have spread from ND -- around Williston which is a nice town too. Sydney, Glendive or Glasgow all have a lot to offer a family.
Hope that helps.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:36 PM
Location: Great Falls, Montana
529 posts, read 1,656,812 times
Reputation: 244

You could just own your own.....

Heads up here......

I know an older gentleman here in Great Falls who owns a small excuvation company and might be looking to sell to someone who could make a good go of the business.

Not a lot of equipment.. just a few good, newer cabbed hoes (4x4 extendahoes)... a couple of dump trucks and a few other odds and ends including tilt-bed trailers.........

Might be a good start-up for you, you never know.... and you stand a better chance of making more money, than you ever would working for someone else...

just thought I'd toss it out there for you...
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:11 AM
1 posts, read 28,519 times
Reputation: 12
Like cowgirl said, the north eastern corner of MT has the oilfield booming right now. I just moved to Sidney from San Diego about a month ago but not for the oil industry. I've seen a lot of postings for oilfield jobs. A good place to look is the MT job service. If you would consider NW Montana, you should also look at ND. You won't notice a difference as eastern MT and western ND are exactly alike and even more oilfield jobs are available in ND. I was born and raised in ND before moving to AZ for college and CA for my 1st job. My wife and I decided to move back because we'd had enough of big city living and San Diego was getting way too expensive. Eastern MT is not like western MT in that everybody's not moving here. You still get a small town atmosphere. 1 problem in Sidney is housing. When I looked, there were 5 houses available and only 1 was to my taste. The houses range from 40,000 to 300,000+. Lower end of the scale are older small homes on small lots and more expensive ones are newer but not necessarily lots of land. I paid about 125,000 and got an acre with a 1982 house about 2000sqft. I do love the area and am glad I moved here. I'm also glad I'm not in the oil industry though. Just like western ND, when the oilfield boom putters out, there's not much else to employ the people in that industry so they leave and it could be hard to sell a place then. good luck
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:48 PM
Location: mid wyoming
1,975 posts, read 5,585,850 times
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There are also oil fields in Round Up and Haver. And in montana it's not a teeny bit. The oilfield in the state is a presence. It does employ alot of people and has alot of other people it indirectly employs.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:20 PM
1 posts, read 24,183 times
Reputation: 12
Default work in Montana

Well as a native Missoulian wages in this area of Montana are terrible!!!!! Construction jobs start around $10/hr. I have seen backhoe jobs posted for $8/hr, may not be the all around wage. My husband is a log builder by trade and he started at $10/hr this is a very skilled trade that anywhere else he would get paid a minimum of $15/hr. Unfortunately the contracters are making millions of dollars throughout the whole "boom" and they are not trickling down at all they are paying laborors crappy wages. We call it the "view tax" (paying to view Montana). So on the other side of things the cost of living is pretty expensive considering the wages. Now the housing market... the biggest joke of all. If you are renting houses start at $1000/month for a 2 bedroom dump, apartments start at $600/ for a one bedroom. If you are buying a trailer starts at 150K if it is on land or perm. foundation and pretty much houses start at 200K, there are some condos from 150-180K. Yeah so my frustration is that there are a lot of greedy individuals in Missoula ruining it for the rest of us. I can't speak for Eastern Montana. And I do know if you get out of Missoula a little like Kalispell the wages are a little higher and the houses are a little lower. But I am looking to leave for all these reasons, the view is just as nice other places!!
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:41 PM
103 posts, read 649,397 times
Reputation: 47
I was surprised by the comment by one of the posters that there is not much oil in MT, most is in WY. The person obviously is not very familiar with MT. There is an OIL BOOM going on in the Sidney-Williston area. They are begging for workers.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:38 AM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 33,658,594 times
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Originally Posted by chester View Post
I was surprised by the comment by one of the posters that there is not much oil in MT, most is in WY. The person obviously is not very familiar with MT. There is an OIL BOOM going on in the Sidney-Williston area. They are begging for workers.
I'm not surprised at the comment. Let me explain why.

Montana has a very substantial number of wells and a very substantial number of wanna drill here wells. And, it's booming. But it's booming for Montana. It's a good boom, it will give a lot of wells and a lot of work for potential wells.

But the facts are. In Montana, for every 10,000 wells. There's 60,000 in Wyoming. But it's not good stats. The reason I say this is that in Wyoming, it's old wells, not new wells like Montana is presenting.

Wyoming has been a boom state for 30+ years with oil wells. We're only now understanding what Montana is capable of. Wyoming's wells are running out. Well, the one's that ain't capped. Back in the 70's, I was in the oil fields. When the crash of 73 came along, they made us cap 70% of our wells. To my knowledge, they are still capped. Montana, is new oil. Hell yes it's a boom. It's a good boom. Hopefully, they'll open and produce. But my bet is, they'll open and cap. Still means work for a lot of folks.

But it will never reach the boom of Wyoming. Wyoming's boom is currently held in check and will be for years.

Montana is the new frontier. I've talked to Wyomings engineers and their moving to Montana for the new front. But that's because their job of discovery is over here.

I think, Montana will look at at least 15 years of boom. That's just a number I pulled out of the back of my bloomers, but that's the boom that Wyoming had years ago. But once capped, these boys are looking for new meat.

Open up the new fields, there's work, lots of work. But once they've been opened, cap them. Let's save the local oil and gas for us. We'll buy elsewhere to save our reserves.

Now, the big thing. I hope that Montana can open these wells and still save the landscape and integrety of the land. Let's not make an eyesore out of Montana that Wyoming did.

Good jobs coming. Good work for the willing. Lots of potential for a long period. But look 40 years ahead and tell me what you see?
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