Oil rig work/ Job
June 28, 2012 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Texas oil rig worker: ok....I will try to make this quick. Current network engineer for the past 12 years, completely burnt out. I have decided I want to work on a rig doing tough, hard, labor and work my way up from the bottom. No experience whatsoever in this realm or any manual labor. However, I'm in shape, physically strong, and a very hard worker. I'm looking ideally for an entry level (rig hand, floorhand, etc...whatever) where I work 1 or 2 weeks on and the same off, or something like that.

I've been looking for just about two months now, countless applications, calls, emails, etc....and I just can't get a bite. User on meta atchafalaya has been a huge help, but like I said I can't find anyone to give me a chance. Any other suggestions, tips, leads,etc? Sorry this is long winded just really want a chance to get on the rig and out of the office.
posted by flipmiester99 to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You know that manual labor isn't really just about physical strength, right?
posted by feral_goldfish at 10:47 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes....But it helps and especially in this job i presume, although Usually its mind over matter to get through anything.
posted by flipmiester99 at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2012

I had a friend who wanted to be a roughneck. He quit his job in the D.C. area then did a 3 month road trip\climbing trip en slow route to Oklahoma.

Showed up somewhere there and got a job.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2012

Is there a particular reason that you are only interested in physical labour on an oil rig? There are lots of differnet kinds of physical labour out there to get your out of the office.

If you're looking for something that is physical labour and pays a lot of hazard pay because it's dangerous, you could go to college and learn welding/etc and do high altitude or deep sea welding.
posted by Serendipitous at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2012

The North Dakota oil fields are hiring anyone who just shows up (for the most part -- I personally know of three people who did just this this year).

The only catch, though, is housing. Housing there is very expensive and the "dorms" are usually full, so people often sleep in their cars.

And, sure, you can make nearly 6 figures right away, but the cost of living there has increased an insane amount (especially for housing), and traveling back to your home part of the country can get expensive super fast, so suddenly the salary doesn't seem so amazing anymore...just another angle to think about.
posted by TinWhistle at 10:59 AM on June 28, 2012

Response by poster: No time for college....I have a wife and kids. The burnout has just gotten to me something fierce, i want out of the office and working in the oil field sounds fun (im weird i guess) and interesting. As well the pay is good from what i can find out. I to have heard about N. Dakota but id like to try and stay in Texas, OK, or Louisiana.
posted by flipmiester99 at 11:07 AM on June 28, 2012

My impression from the bits and pieces I know is that this isn't really the kind of job you get on the internet. You probably can look at the newspaper classified ads in the towns close to the fields, but from there you're probably going to have to show up on a certain day with everyone else and line up.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:13 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you can't find anything else close to where you want to live, have you considered Alberta? I know there's red tape involved w/r/t a work visa but based on the effort you've been putting in so far it might not be that much more.

South of where I live (and everything is south of here) there are so many shop jobs available that all you can see on the signs as you drive down the roads is "now hiring" (a friend of my husband's sent us a pic and it's pretty stunning). I'm told that the need for rig hands in the province is the same, and if our experience up here is anything to go on (our company works with and on the rigs) even the tool pushes (I guess they are called Rig Managers now) that we are dealing with lately are quite young and pretty much plucked off the street with practically zero experience. Most companies up here put you up in camp and supply (endless amounts of) food, too.

I'd avoid Fort McMurray, though-- I was recently told that there aren't enough jobs there to support the vast number of people who are just showing up because they are told they can get instant work. In fact the food banks there were in bad shape for a bit.

MeMail me if you like and I'll tap into my husband's knowledge of rig work (he was a welder on one for years).
posted by mireille at 11:18 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mireille.....I will memail you later this evening.

posted by flipmiester99 at 12:16 PM on June 28, 2012

You should also keep in mind that these can be very dangerous jobs. When I lived in Texas the oil field office my buddy worked in lost five people in a year (admittedly two of them died putting up a flag pole too close to a power line just after 9/11, but still!). Since you mention a family, I think this is doubly important information.
posted by postel's law at 12:38 PM on June 28, 2012

I notice that atchafalaya gave the good advice of showing up at the site's office. Did you drive out to the Midland/Odessa area and stop in? Eagle Ford Shale area? Barnett Shale area? What happened?
posted by Houstonian at 5:55 AM on June 29, 2012

I see your MeFi mail is disabled. If you think you're getting turned away because you're not familiar with the tools, work, and general lingo, I can help with that. If you are interested, can you send me a MeFi mail or post a throw-away email address?
posted by Houstonian at 6:16 AM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: Houstonian....I just enabled my MeFi mail. So you should be able to send me something now. I rally appreciate it. No, havent had a chance to go to Midland/Odessa/Eagle Ford/Barnett....I have a full time job M-F 8-5 so i havent really figured out a good way to do that yet.
posted by flipmiester99 at 9:27 AM on June 30, 2012

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