Life at the Oil SandsHow to get there?

Some companies fly you in, at no cost to you. From Fort McMurray, there are special busses that take you to your camp site. The distance to the camp from Fort McMurray can range from 20 to 150 km. Most of the camps are under security surveillance 24/7, thus only those authorized can enter the camp.

What to expect with a camp job?

Most fly-in employees will be assigned to single rooms with private TV/DVD, internet, and shared washroom facilities. All rooms and meals are provided free of charge. All employees pick up a pre-packaged lunch in the cafeteria prior to going on shift, besides breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. The food is plentiful and varied to accommodate most dietary needs.

Most of the camps have all the amenities. Rooms are cleaned daily and there is laundry service on site. The majority of jobs can be remote, but can offer above average and industry standard pay in addition to room and board and other numerous facilities on site, such as gym, internet, medical center, games room etc. All these are offered by the employer in addition to salary/wage and at no additional cost to the employee. As an employee of a large oil company it might be possible, with acquired experience, to move around to different facilities in various parts of the world. Thus offering great career and travelling opportunities to persons who enjoy variety and change of scenery.

On each camp site you will find a list of comprehensive rules governing occupants at each camp. Occupants who choose to ignore rules are subject to immediate removal from the camp. Employees should bring personal grooming products, tobacco, etc., from home as access to these items may be very limited or non-existent.

Employees can also expect to see various animals such as bears, wolves, mosses, etc. in close proximity to roadways, the camp accommodations, and around work sites. Instructions and training on how to handle possible animal encounters will be given, but always keep your distance and don't provoke the animals. Most of them are used to the daily activities that occur around the oil sites and will ignore you and carry on with their business. Also expect to see the occasional beautiful northern lights.

Hiring Process

Employers in the Alberta oil industry are looking for skilled and semi-skilled workers to work in oil fields - sometimes in remote areas. There are a few basic qualifications that can help you find an oil job in Alberta. Those qualifications include: flexible working schedule [ie. two weeks on, two weeks off], willingness to work away from home for short periods of time, willingness to learn/improve one's skill.

Generally, employers are looking for workers with at least a high school (or equivalent) level of education. If you are a skilled worker with a specific trade, such as welding, you should also have trade certificates or other qualifications. Having a specific trade will give you an advantage, but training for labour positions will be provided.

Depending on what particular job type you are pursuing, there are other skills that you may need to have. In general, it is helpful for anybody looking for jobs in the Alberta oil sands to have the following skills:

 Proficient English language ability

 Good problem solving

 Competent math and arithmetic ability

 Good safety skills

 Good mechanical skills

 For some jobs, you may also be required to have a valid Driver's License, or license to operate a heavy vehicle

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