Oil Rig Jobs -It's been nine years since Stefan Polny left his job as a tech-support person to work as a floor hand on an oil rig jobs.
Today, the 28-year-old Edmonton native says he's still glad to not be cooped up in an office."I made my way in the industry from the ground up," he says.
Since his stint as a floorhand, he has steadily moved up the ranks to his current role as crew supervisor. He was also one of the first of his cohorts at Beaver Drilling to complete the rig-technician trade certification - a new credential requirement for the industry.
Polny says there's a lot he likes about working on rigs, including his two weeks on/one week off schedule during the months he's on the job."I do a lot of travelling, so the time off comes in handy," he says.But what he likes best is the company he keeps.
"There's good camaraderie and you meet lots of interesting people. We have a lot of fun out here."There's never a shortage of oil field jobs, especially when the market is booming, says Ali Seifeddine, an account manager with Cenergy, a Calgary-based executive-search agency for the oil-rig industry."There's demand for workers right across the board, from drilling to administrative personnel."
There are a lot of things to consider when looking to this type of career, he adds. "The pay is decent, but you also have to sacrifice a lot in terms of being away from family and you have to move around a lot as you follow the rig you're working on."
Rig work in Canada is predominantly land-based and seasonal, explains Cindy Soderstrom, manager of communications and corporate services for the Canadian
From G1 Association of Oil Well Drilling Contractors in Calgary. Most drilling activity happens throughout the winter months. "In the spring the rigs shut down, but then work picks up again in the fall."
The best time for anyone to apply is in the late fall season, she advises."That's when the companies bring in new people and are doing a lot of training."
For those who are interested, CAODC has extensive employment and training information on its website.
Entry-level turnover, however, can be high, Soderstrom notes.
"Rig work is not for everyone, but you can't know until you try it. I've also talked to lots of drillers out there that love working with the equipment and can't imagine doing anything else. A lot like the lifestyle, especially the time-off component. And the opportunities for advancement are enormous."
For those with global aspirations who want year-round drilling work, offshore is an alternative, says Cheryl Knight, executive director for the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada.
Entry-level people may have difficulty finding their first job on an offshore rig because of the extra technical skills required, she adds.
Perhaps the biggest demand right now is for senior crew positions, Soderstrom notes."Right now, drilling supervising is a super-hot area," Seifeddine says.
Qualified drilling supervisors have to be well-versed in rig technology and understand drilling operations from top to bottom, he explains.
Candidates can get to that level of expertise by starting out as floorhands and working their way up. But people with engineering degrees that work for oil companies can also go out and get direct experience as supervisors, Seifeddine explains.
"Right now there is a lot of work. Sometimes I have openings and not enough applications. And because these people are so sought after, they can easily pick up and go to the next rig if they don't like the job they're doing.If you are looking to get started in the oil rig industry, Alberta Oil Careers are a great place to begin. To learn more about the oil industry, check out http://www.albertaoilcareers.com.