Even though petroleum companies hire thousands of workers to staff vast operations in remote and coastal areas, they also rely heavily on contract labor. If you are seeking new job opportunities and have experience working as a commercial truck driver or operating heavy machinery, you can jumpstart a career as an oilfield contractor in the country's flourishing energy industry.
As a contractor, you can choose from a variety of jobs and geographic settings when you begin exploring your options in the oil and gas industry.
Types of Contractors
If you have a background in construction, manufacturing, plumbing, landscaping or any other job that requires licensed operators of industrial machinery, you can transfer those skills to the oil industry. Construction-related jobs that are essential to oilfield operations for building new facilities or de-commissioning a site include:
- Crane operators
- Cement masons
- Demolition experts
- Semi-truck drivers
- Construction managers
If you have a background in landscaping, your skills in soil remediation, weed control, wood chipping, pest control, snow removal, erosion control and turf installation are also essential.
Oil companies must adhere to strict federal and provincial environmental regulations. Cleaning up contaminated fields and restoring land are among the tasks that require help from contractors as well. You can join teams assembled by environmental cleanup firms to help haul out hazardous waste and replace contaminated topsoil and subsoil.
If you want to be an independent contractor or start your own firm, you will need to obtain equipment. Construction and industrial machinery is expensive. Consequently, many businesses, regardless of size, rely on equipment rental companies for obtaining the proper machinery for oilfield operations.
The cost of a single crane, excavator or commercial truck can top a hundred thousand dollars. Renting equipment is more cost-effective for independent operators and small firms. You only need to pay for the time that you need the machine and, if necessary, fuel and insurance.
Furthermore, you will not have to worry about maintenance costs. In addition, when you rent equipment for your contract jobs, you do not have to store the machines in between assignments.
In addition, you will not be saddled with the burden of making sure your equipment meets safety regulations and undergo routine inspections. Those obligations are the responsibility of the rental company. Click here for more info on equipment rental.
The overwhelming majority of oilfield jobs are located in Alberta, the country's "energy" province. If you love working the great outdoors and the scenery of remote areas, you can seek out contract opportunities at oilfields located far away from urban areas.
If your previous jobs were in construction, leveling land for commercial real estate projects, you can seek out contract work to make inhospitable land ready for oilfield operations with your rental equipment.
However, oil companies also need contractors at refineries and factories located closer to urban areas. In addition, some opportunities may be located offshore or in coastal areas to support rigs and vessels involved in deep water drilling.
No matter what type of contract work you seek in your quest to switch careers, you should enjoy many years of employment opportunities as Canada is a world leader in oil and gas production and the multi-billion dollar industry continues to grow. Approximately 550,000 workers are employed in the industry, helping the country harness its rich natural resources.
Depending on your skills and preferences, you could be among the first to prepare land for oil operations or join crews that clean fields and return them to their original condition after years of drilling. Once you establish contacts in the industry, develop a good relationship with a rental equipment supplier and begin completing jobs, you should be on your way to a successful new career.