July 14, 2014 0 Comments Experience Working in Alberta's Oilfield

Month 5 in Edmonton

It has now been the fifth month that I’ve moved to Edmonton, ever since I left the oil patch back in March because of an incident with a co-worker and questionable financial prospects with that company.

I began a construction role that initially wasn’t bad- fed me a good $5000-6000/month and got to stay in town. I began working on my Class 1 license as soon as I could, with intentions to go back to the patch to do oilfield hauling.

Unfortunately it was very vulnerable to the weather – as soon as it rained, I had no work. Eventually then I also had issues with a crazy dozer operator and another issue and I was out of work there.

At that point financially I began to go down the hole, as income grinded to a halt. I failed my Class 1 Road Test as my parking skills were mediocre and I made a few small errors on the road, and I obviously had no income to continue. It cost about $850
to test ($200 approx. for one-time permit, 2 hours of test preparation, 2 hours test time). I sold my camera to help sponge the financial hit, but even so I was in a tough spot.

3 days later I found a temporary job at a circus as part of the parking crew. The wage was low, but the people were easygoing and socialable. I also got to meet a few girls, which was normally a rare occurrence in the places I’ve worked. I worked there for a week, and then found a new concrete finishing job today with potential trucking opportunities once my Class 1 is done. The wage is similar to my construction one, so I’m expecting a similar income. However, though work slows down in the winter, it is still ongoing so it’s a step forward from construction as I do not have to worry about completely losing work.

For now my goal is to finish my Class 1 as soon as possible without completely depleting the remainder of my financial resources. Then I’d have 2 options: (a) stay and gain trucking experience and relax in Edmonton, or (b) immediately try to get back into oil and start making money

Social life is okay here- there is people to meet, but they aren’t extremely open. It still seems like you have to know them somehow for them to really want to keep in touch. As for activities, there are some bars and restaurants around. There are the mall rides, pool, and water slides, but haven’t had the chance to check them out yet.