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Old 03-23-2012, 11:09 AM
 
14,291 posts, read 16,120,504 times
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It seems a lot of folks seeking oil field jobs spend so much time on these threads focused on the pure excitement of the Boom they aren't getting a true sense of what they are getting into.....The how to get here, how to get into that "big money" and giving up in many cases decent jobs, homes etc. that the real trade offs aren't talked about.

We've discussed housing, we've discussed crime, the cost of living....What is your life really like day to day if you work in the Patch??

In essence... What is the reality of your life...especially working as some folks have posted, 120 hours a week???

Spouses, Chime in here too!!

What are the trade offs?? Are they worth it?? Would you suggest this type work to anyone?? What type person would be most successful, in your opinions?

I'd like the oil field job seekers to know what they are really getting into. I would hope folks would discuss the facts, that an oil field job is often dangerous, exhausting and you will have very little life after your shift.
Anyone on here that can give some words of wisdom to these job seekers?

Last edited by JanND; 03-23-2012 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:49 PM
 
154 posts, read 336,909 times
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I'll take a stab at it. My man's a driller. 7 on 7 off, 12 hr shift. That's a minimum of 84 hours/week. The pay is excellant and we do enjoy his days off. In fact I quit my 12 year job in the oil industry last December and took over a city government job that is far less demanding so I would have more time at home. The big difference between us and a lot of the people I visit with is we're from here. I bought my little 5 acre slice of heaven 15 years ago so my monthly payment is a fraction of what most are paying for a postage stamp sized lot to park a camper on. Our families are here along with lifelong friends and a huge sense of community. Not to mention the dogs. Can't forget the dogs lol. We've never really had it bad in this part of the country, jobs have always been available if you're willing to work. Forgive us if we have trouble wrapping our brains around your situations. That's the upside.
We've lost a lot of friends to the patch over the years. No amount of $ makes that any better. People like to romanticize it but the fact is it's hard, dirty, dangerous work. Moreso now that there are so many rookies out there. Sorry rookies but it's a fact. I understand that times are tough across the country but I can't imagine loading up the family and heading up here on a wing and a prayer. I do wish you all luck though.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 4,842,726 times
Reputation: 2370
My husband is driving a truck hauling frac sand and possibly water, also, if things go the way the company has been hoping.
He works three weeks on, one off. There is no shift as their company works on an on-call basis. Consequently some days he sits and some days he runs 14 hours. It works for us as when he's home he's HOME. There are no pulls on his time. And when he's up there, he's "at work." On-call is no big deal, though it would be if we actually all lived up there.

So far as the work itself, he decided within about two days that hauling frac sand in ND is MUCH easier than it was hauling buffalo. lol
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Everywhere.
377 posts, read 604,451 times
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Typical day (tour) for a rig up on a frac crew: have meeting with crew at yard, plan route to well site, gather equipment needed for well site on the trucks, pre-trip truck, travel to well site, rig up the well. Each tour could vary from 14 hrs. to 30+ hrs. Not for the faint of heart, thick skin required, and a vocabulary with lots of four letter words.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Bismarck ND
1 posts, read 25,037 times
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Depends on what you do. If you work on the rig itself, it is common to work 12 hour shifts (6am to 6pm or 6pm to 6am). Service companies on location generally have no set time for working, they just work as long as they are required to be there. Planning vacations or anything is near impossible. If you're a rig crew member then you will work something like Cinj said. 12hr shifts, week on week off or 2 weeks on 2 weeks off.

Rigs work 24hrs a day 7 days a week, so if you are a mechanic/welder/truck driver servicing rigs, you could be working anytime of the day any day of the year (including Christmas).

[Mod cut]

Last edited by ElkHunter; 03-24-2012 at 11:47 AM.. Reason: Sorry, new users cannot post links.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:22 PM
 
27 posts, read 77,496 times
Reputation: 67
Default Well...

The oilfield, the glorious oil field. Or as I like to call it. EL DORADO. The money is awesome. You can make more then you know what to do with out here, but the old adage is true. More money, more problems. That's how it is for most the guys out here. They don't know what to do with it. They blow it. They become LIFERS. They're chained to the patch. The chain is long enough to let you believe you can leave at anytime, but it whips you right back over. You ain't going no where boy! Yeah, go buy your brand new truck, get that new expensive habit, buy a house for your wife that you wont ever see, give her a credit card that you wont ever use, have you a couple of girlfriends that sit at home and spend your time. YOUR TIME. Because, that's what you should be working for out here is time, not money. When you're here you have no time, no life. You are married to the field. You better save every dime you earn if you ever want to see that glorious thing called time again. Money has a funny way of tricking you into thinking you need it. This industry will chew you up and spit you right out, and you'll blindly go back for more. Well because you have to out of chaos you've created on your "new found wealth".

If you want my advice. Stay out of the field. It will make you a jaded *******. The oil and gas industry is great for those that work in the offices in downtown Houston. The field is great for young bucks full of **** and vinegar, felons, morons, and lost souls. If you have an education behind you with somewhat of a level head stay away. Stay as far away as you can. Do not be tempted by the dollar signs. Because if you come out here thinking you're going to "pay off some debt", think again.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 4,842,726 times
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Quote:
Because if you come out here thinking you're going to "pay off some debt", think again.
Well a year later, it's worked out exactly that way for us.
We are indeed driving a new car; another '03 Focus. lol But other than that, we've paid off some debt, got the new house nearly closed in and DH is following leads on a few jobs back home. We're planning on him coming home in 4-8 months. Exactly as planned.

If you want the oil field to be temporary, you have to keep your eye on the prize, but that is true with anything, really...


(To scheduling, DH is home whenever he wants, really. We sit down with a calendar every few months and schedule in his next few vacations home. He's never had his requested time home turned down...)

Last edited by itsMeFred; 05-14-2013 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:23 AM
 
2,241 posts, read 3,420,047 times
Reputation: 1640
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCHTX View Post
The oilfield, the glorious oil field. Or as I like to call it. EL DORADO. The money is awesome. You can make more then you know what to do with out here, but the old adage is true. More money, more problems. That's how it is for most the guys out here. They don't know what to do with it. They blow it. They become LIFERS. They're chained to the patch. The chain is long enough to let you believe you can leave at anytime, but it whips you right back over. You ain't going no where boy! Yeah, go buy your brand new truck, get that new expensive habit, buy a house for your wife that you wont ever see, give her a credit card that you wont ever use, have you a couple of girlfriends that sit at home and spend your time. YOUR TIME. Because, that's what you should be working for out here is time, not money. When you're here you have no time, no life. You are married to the field. You better save every dime you earn if you ever want to see that glorious thing called time again. Money has a funny way of tricking you into thinking you need it. This industry will chew you up and spit you right out, and you'll blindly go back for more. Well because you have to out of chaos you've created on your "new found wealth".

If you want my advice. Stay out of the field. It will make you a jaded *******. The oil and gas industry is great for those that work in the offices in downtown Houston. The field is great for young bucks full of **** and vinegar, felons, morons, and lost souls. If you have an education behind you with somewhat of a level head stay away. Stay as far away as you can. Do not be tempted by the dollar signs. Because if you come out here thinking you're going to "pay off some debt", think again.
I think it's unfortunate people view the oilfield this way.

This is my husbands career, we are now over 6 years in this line of work. I'm fairly certain my husband is married to me, not his job. He enjoys his work though. He worked for a few years doing office work and production work and he hated it. He is good at what he does, sure he works a lot but you learn to adjust or you don't. Some families can't handle it, but some thrive in this kind of lifestyle. It really depends on who you are as a person.

We have time, we have lives, we have paid down our debts, we are buying a home, we are doing things that most people can't do without a college degree. My husband isn't the school kind of guy and he's found a line of work where he excels and is happy. He isn't a moron by any means, he's worked his way up and has been offered on more than one occasion an engineering position without the engineering degree. He's not a felon, and he's not a lost soul.

Not every line of work is for everyone. Clearly the oilfield isn't for you, but that certainly doesn't mean what you've said is applicable to everyone.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:08 AM
 
143 posts, read 344,971 times
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My husband hauls salt water (night shift) and works 5 on 1 off. He came out here 3 years ago. We both had OK jobs back home, a paid off mortgage and 3 grown children. We were lured here initially by the money (double what we made back home) but mostly came here because we were ready for a change and we found the people here and the conservative values to be of liking.

Despite the high cost of living, we have found little ways to ease that pain. A large freezer in the garage and trips outside the patch to restock now and then have saved us plenty. We purchased a home and tweeked the floor plan a tad to accommodate 2 rooms with a shared bath to be rented. The rent generates funds to make our mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and utilities. We did not sell our home in WI, we rented it. We will keep that as a rental and it will subsidize our retirement down the road. Our jobs are close to our home so we fill our gas tanks maybe twice a month.
I have a medical back round but took a service job as a waitress. After spending the past 8 years behind a desk I was eager to work with the public. I make more money waitressing here than I ever could here in a medical or dental office. Most importantly, I get to meet interesting people from everywhere across the country.

The downside of being here for us is the lack of trees and the wind. Even with the windows closed, I could dust 3 times a day! We lived in WI our entire lives but I must say that the winters here are more brutal, again, it's the wind. Our other downside is the lack of affordable, nearby air travel. Hubby gets a week off every 4 weeks he works and with friends and family throughout the country we want to take that time to visit but when you see the airfare price you often to rethink that. Lastly and most importantly, I think the limited retail services has been the biggest adjustment for us. We were used to having a vast assortment of goods and services within a mile or two of our home. Now we have to drive 1 1/2 to 4 hours to get to a town that offers somewhat of a variety.

Our move to the oil patch was the best chance we ever took. We find it an exciting place to be and I'm glad we can be here to see it unfold. While the rest of the nation sits in gloom and doom, we see progress, opportunity and growth. It's restored our souls to see the American dream alive and well! The oil is what brought us here but the people are what keeps us here.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 26,693 times
Reputation: 16
This is what happened. I quit my job as a heavy recovery operator in phoenix and took a job operating a water tanker in the oil patch. I left Arizona november 2010. I brought as much of my life with me as I could. My girlfriend and three dogs plus two cats. We loaded a large portion of our belongings into a thirty foot fifth wheel and set out for Newtown North Dakota where I had a job already waiting.
I lost everything that I brought with me. Our first night one of the dogs was lost and another was wounded with a large gash acrossed her head. It was work 24/7. My poor girlfriend was alone in the camper most of the time. I felt pretty bad for her. She stayed a year and then left and never returned. We were together for seven years.
A little over a year later my camper burned to the ground. Industrial grade idiot caught his place on fire and it spread to others in our makeshift campground at our yard. I was left with only the clothes I was wearing.
I made quite a bit of money in my time there. I would give every penny back to have my old life again. It wasn't worth it.
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