Couple of questions!
I'm currently living in Tampa, Florida, working a full time job at an airport. I was wondering about the job boom up there.
1. Is it really as good as everyone says it is?
2. Have you been affected by it?
3. How's the wheelin' up there?
Jake, I'll try to answer your questions and give some perspective. This is the third oil boom to hit the Williston Basin. The first was in 1950's, I worked in Williston during the second oil boom in the 70's and 80's. The current and third started about 3 years ago. Drilling for this one is predicted to last another 15-20 years and then maintenance and oil capturing out to 35+ years.
Most of the manual labor is extremely physical. Think of the hardest job you have ever performed, now think about doing it when it is 20-30 degrees below zero. This is roughly the normal temps during late January and early February. In August, Williston will get above 100 degrees. In 1984, during the summer there was a three week stretch of 103 or above. That same year we hit an actual temp of minus 50 degrees below zero without the wind chill calculation.
Pay is good, but you earn it. A lot of people come and leave due to the weather and work requirements. I am approaching 50 years old. I have no knees left (found that out at 32) and have four fractured vertebrae (not from accidents, just physical work) compliments of the second oil boom. I no longer work in the oil field. I would do it all over in a heartbeat though.
Housing is in high demand. Extreme shortage, but not as bad as about a year ago. Population is roughly 80% men and 20% women in Williston which is the heart of the activity. The whole western half of the state has been effected. Families are buying homes in Bismarck and commuting to Williston, Stanley, Dickinson, Watford City and Belfield. Most jobs are shift work of 12 hours and range from 5 to 10 days on and off.
My nephew, who is 25 this year, made over $225,000 dollars last year. He supervises 2-3 pipe crews. He also performs the most dangerous job you can do on a oil rig. Even though he runs the crews, he won't let anyone else do the job because he doesn't want someone to die while he is supervising. He hopes his body makes it to 45 to retire. He is saving every penny. Knowing him, he will do it.
North Dakota is a great state. Lots of good people. We welcome all. Just be prepared to work like you have never before.
Wheeling is fantastic. I do most of my wheeling in the snow and ice from December to March. Just tread lightly. We cherish the land for what it gives us: farming, ranching, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and beautiful open skies. Tons of trails and back roads thanks to the oil traffic, but do not tear up the land. Just look at some of the pictures that Jeepdon has posted. He lives next to and on one of the most beautiful areas in North Dakota near Watford City.
I'm really thinking about heading up there during the summer months just to get a sample of what it'll be like.
The weather is a pretty big factor, but if other people can handle it, I sure can.
So would I be able to get an apartment there?
Most single men are living in man camps or housing supplied by logistics companies. Most are pretty nice. Apartments are becoming more available. There was a big push to build apartments in Williston. Watford City, Stanley, Tioga, Minot and Dickinson are doing the same.
Good luck. It will be an adventure. Most jobs in the oil field are outdoors and on-site.
20yearproject explained it very well.
I'v been working in the boom for 15 months now as a field mechanic working on hydraulic fracturing equipment honestly I love my job never a boring day I learn something new everyday. Hours very long hours 15-19 a day 2 weeks straight then two weeks off, or you can work your days off if you decide. Some days do suck -50 below windchill blizzard conditions snow drifts higher than your jeep or during the summer 105 out wearing all your FR clothing PPE etc.
Most jobs are dangerous in the oilfield you just have to be smart pay attention know whats going on around you, you will learn fast what to do right and what can get you killed, a lot of company's will send you to safety training mine took three weeks before I could set foot on a frac site.
For housing you wont find apartment under $1500 but most company's provide you with dorms/camps to live in. Pay wise entry level position will pull in 80-120k a year,
Wheeling is pretty good some good trails miles and miles of two track back roads. Plus I go wheeling almost every-time in my work truck just trying to get out to a site location last week with all this snow melt I buried my service truck twice up to the frame in mud holes.
Send me a pm if your sure about coming up Il let you know where to go job fairs best company's to check out.
I generally check the ND forums quite frequently, so I don't know how I missed this!!! I guess I am just an old fart!!!! As 20yearproject stated, lots of work up here. I am a lifelong resident here, recently retired after nearly 50 years in the oilfields of ND, MT and WY. Yes, it has gotten busy up here to say the least. Some good, some bad, some ugly!!!! I live SW of a small town that was mentioned in some of the previous posts, Watford City. There is a lot of housing being built here as we speak, so that issue is quickly being resolved. Also this area for wheeling, is North America's best kept secret. We just take a dim view of going out and destroying the landscape by playing in the mud when it is too wet, and by getting off of the trails. If you do come up here, send me a PM, and we can possibly set up a get together for some wheeling when things get dried out and thawed out.
Winter time picture
Summer time picture
Hunting time picture
This little guy was about 1/2 mile from my house. Left him for seed!!!
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