How You Can Make Big Money Working On An Oil Rig

The following article was sponsored by Making Oil Money

Yes oil has crashed. Badly. But there are still young guys right now who are making bank, traveling for large parts of the year, and spending their time off whatever way they want. The easy hiring times are over for now, but it is definitely still possible for you to get a job in the oil industry within the next year.


The advantages

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  • Nearly all-male environment

No more bullshit office politics and drama. Real male camaraderie and friendship that will last a lifetime.

  • Very physical work

Great for guys who like working with their hands, keeping physical, and experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done. One year on an oil rig and you will be a jacked beast.

  • Solid male friends

The oil industry is great for finding like-minded guys who love to travel, think differently about life, and focus on getting rich.

  • Excellent money

If you can stay focused and work your way up fast you can be making between $100,000-$250,000 a year within 3-5 years. I personally know several guys who are making this kind of money right now, are still in there twenties and get to travel for large chunks of the year.

The Dangers


  • Job Security

Oil prices have always gone up and down. Your job isn’t the most secure, hence the huge salaries, but oil as a fuel source is here to stay. Learn to ride the slow years and you will be fine.

  • Long rotations

Expect to work up to several weeks straight at a time. The longest job I have had was 28 days straight. The upside – one job like that is enough for a whole summer of traveling.

  • Danger pay

This job isn’t for the timid. Oil rigs are dangerous, oil crews are rough and the environment is harsh. From working alongside ex-cons to a night shift in freezing -40 winds, you see it all in the oil patch.

So how do you go about getting work in the oil industry this winter? This is the method that hundreds of guys have used successfully over the last few years…

1. Move

Figure out exactly where you’d like to work. For Canada it’s Alberta, still the world’s second largest oil reserve. If you live in the U.S., then Texas or North Dakota are the two most promising destinations. Entry-level jobs want guys who are already living locally – you will have to move before you apply.

2. Basic Qualifications

Having the right certifications before you start applying is crucial. These usually include a local driving license and some basic rig courses. Don’t fall for any “training course” – all specific training is done after you are hired. Instead look for only the basic courses needed. For Canada this is First Aid and H2S Alive.

3. Physical And Mental Preparation

This isn’t an ideal job for a guy who hasn’t been hitting the gym on the regular and can’t deal with being outside their comfort zone. Typically oil companies look for things like:

  • You’re in decent physical shape and can lift at least 50-80 lbs multiples times throughout the day.
  • 18 years old or over.
  • You are willing to work extremely long hours. It is not uncommon for entry-level employees to work 12-14 hours for 14 days straight.
  • You are medically fit to operate machinery. No traces of drugs or drink in your system
  • You own (or can purchase) some of the necessary protective gear such as boots, gloves, and glasses. For remote locations that also might mean owning a truck. Sometimes oil companies will provide free gear.
  • You are willing to move around a lot for work. Most rig locations are remote and usually not close to towns. You have to be able to deal with isolation and tough work conditions.
  • You are prepared for unstable employment. Many entry-level jobs fluctuate. You may have months of non-stop work followed by a month of being unemployed.

4. Some Experience And Savings

Many oil rig workers have secondary jobs in town while they are waiting for oil jobs. Jobs in construction, mechanics, bartending, driving, or general labour keeps you focused, builds a network, and stops you from running through your savings. Finding a second job allows you to prepare for oil work while also meeting a few girls before you start.

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5. Build A Network

Once you move, and even before, start building your network. Get to know guys and girls in town who have oil field contacts. Be social to everyone you meet and try to make as many connections as possible. Many oil jobs are gotten through word of mouth. The have a huge network of men in the oil patch that are willing to help like-minded guys.

6. Know The Industry

Read some books, watch online videos and read oil forums. Having a basic knowledge of the industry is a huge advantage in job interviews. Again the has expansive threads on what to expect and how to find work. Most job interviews will test for some knowledge and to see if you are actually interested in the industry.

7. Suitable Resume And Cover Letter

List all the prior experience you have where the skills translate to an oil rig. Jobs such as labourer, mechanic, construction or farm work are perfect. Your resume should be one page and only focus on things relevant to oil. Mention the qualifications and skills you have that would translate to a great oil worker. Staple a photocopy sheet to your resume that includes your driving license and all your oil certifications.

8. Apply For Jobs

Try to apply for as many jobs as possible. Competition with entry-level work is high. Spend a day every week canvassing oil companies in person for jobs. Applying in person is the most effective and efficient. Don’t be scared of rejection and keep going until you have the job you want.

For more info check out the full Making Oil Money eBook, sample resumes, checklists and more for finding work on an oil rig at


The author writes under the username Atlantic on the Rooshvforums. Along with others, he has helped hundreds of men find work in the Oil Industry in recent years.

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103 thoughts on “How You Can Make Big Money Working On An Oil Rig”

  1. If i’m going to work on extracting anything of value, it going to be to extract the precious kratom from the earth.
    Oh kratom…thou art my master…COMMAND ME!!!!

      1. I got laid off a few months ago. The entire industry is doing terribly in the States, with widespread layoffs and hiring freezes.
        It’s great to encourage men to think about alternative career paths, particularly blue collar work. But now is not a good time to join the industry.

        1. The author has no clue what hes talking about. I know guys that were the head dick in charge of rigs for 10+ years, the most impressive resumes ive ever seen, and they cant find anything. They have to look overseas for and they still cant find it. The rush is over. Five years ago you ate like a king, now you’re eating ramen. The smart ones payed off their mortgage 2 years ago.

        2. “It’s great to encourage men to think about alternative career paths, particularly blue collar work.”
          This a 1000x. Occupations like welding, plumbing, and electricians are not only useful from a day-job standpoint, they are skills that are useful from a societal collapse or location-independence standpoint.

        3. Not really. I know plenty of guys that have been through the early 80s bust and today. They all agree that the bust today is the worst they have seen and they see it getting even worse.

        4. Sorry to hear that. What side of the industry? If you want to email me directly I will send you a free copy and you can post up a review and see if it helps you.

        5. Im in texas in an industry tied to oil and natural gas. We compare downturns to the oil glut of the 80s. Not the 70s. The 70s was when we had an oil crisis and supply was low. The 80s is when supply was high, exceeded demand, and profits fell through the floor. Just like today…

        6. “I know guys that were the head dick in charge of rigs for 10+ years, the most impressive resumes ive ever seen, and they cant find anything.” – – – Did they suck any d*ck? Perhaps if they sucked d*ck they would have PLENTY of work! 😛 Just saying! 😛 On a more serious note, do they even know how to write a resume? Have they networked? I know Journeymen who don’t even know how to write resumes to get hired.

    1. Clearly they haven’t. The oil sands here in Canada have been laying people off en masse.

      1. Oil sands, having the highest price of extraction, is the worst hit. I wouldn’t recommend trying for work in the sands either. Other areas have better opportunity and are still hiring if you go about it the right way.

      2. Get into a TRADE. Electricians, Welders, Boilermakers, PipeFitters got PLENTY of work in the oilsands!! PLENTY!

    2. OP: Granted it is not as busy as it was. I mention that in the article
      above and through out the book but there is still lots of opportunity.
      Like any industry the guys getting laid off will tell everyone that
      there is no work. While it isn’t a guarantee, and it is tougher then the
      ‘good times’, there is still plenty of jobs going. I have had three
      friends move out here within the last 2 months, all of them have jobs
      now and are already moving up the ladder fast.
      The last few
      years anyone with a pulse could get hired, right now you need some
      knowledge and more then half a brain. Guys on this site should do just
      fine finding work. Send me an email if you have any specific questions.

        1. Yes I had a relative work out there for over 2 years. There is some good opportunity but it can be hard to get set up.
          In Canada/US I would suggest moving and then making contacts while you also work a town job. For Norway I would recommend making contacts before you arrive.
          The cost of living is very high there and if it takes a while to get work you will go through a lot of money just sitting around in town. Look for countries that operate in Norway but also in your home country. Apply to them in person about work over there and see if you can make some contacts that way.

        2. Thanks for the answer i will definetely take a look, i live in a neighboring country so it shouldnt be that big of a problem.
          I will check out your ebook as well.

        1. You’re not making sense, dear. If you succumb to headlines as the definitive truth…then don’t leave your house. As I recall Microsoft, HP, and Apple were all formed during a recession. Headlines were screaming doom and gloom. Headlines don’t mean anything to the motivated. You want to work, you will go get work. You want to wallow in mediocrity and make excuses “But the news said this…” go right on ahead. If I listened to the headlines I wouldn’t have made $14,000 last month!

  2. It sounds great. Would like to get in shape. But what about the beer bellied fat slobs you often see working on construction sites in the city?

    1. I’m one of those guys. Most just eat to damn much fast food. No matter how hard you work you can get fat if you eat enough. Most of the guys eat much to much

      1. I am not very fit myself and I kinda do not want to be around people from which I would learn bad habits. That is truly an important point for me in this regard.

        1. Then it’s probably best to find a job that maximizes your independence, because most people in general have bad eating habits

        2. The up side of construction is that people expect you to do whatever you want to do. Just pack your own lunch. That is better anyway you only have 30mins

        3. What do you want to know? And what city do you live in? That matters smaller towns are not like major cities

        4. I want to know what that sentence of yours entails, that people expect you to do whatever you want to do.
          Munich. But I do not really like it here. If I was to change jobs, I would practically be free to go anywhere in the world – aside from immigration problems.

        5. Sorry I do not know the culture of construction tradesmen in Germany. But in the USA they are an independent breed. If you learn your craft and work hard they rarely care what do outside of that. Eat what you want, do what you want, so long as it is not effecting the job. There are many reasons woman do not do well in the trades. Physical strength, mechanical ability and being independent, this are all weak areas for woman. And these traits explain the culture of tradesmen.

    2. Ha plenty of fat bastards on the rigs too. Most drilling camps serve both (somewhat) healthy and greasy food so its down to the person. Many camps also have gyms that you can use after shift. It is a very physical job and a lot of guys drop a few pounds of fat for muscle.

        1. Every man is responsible for his own choices. That’s part of being a man, accepting responsibility for one’s life. Copping out to “influences made me do it” is the female answer to evading responsibility.
          I’m “influenced” in a myriad of different ways every day to make poor choices. I somehow manage to not make them, and I take responsibility if I do make a wrong choice. Part and parcel to owning a set of balls.

        2. Taking responsibility also means to acknowledge one’s weaknesses. I worked in a cubicle job for two years and that was my only social influence at the time. I went from eating okay to eating miserably. I mean, come on, do not be an ass and eat a cake with us!
          I did not have the strength to withstand, thus it is a good choice for me to be around the right type of people. I am not demanding the world to change; I am merely trying to find the place in the world that influences me in the best way.
          Which is why I am here and not on some feminazi blog. Or would you suggest that I hang out mainly with leftists to prove that I stay a man even in that environment? Or to jump off a building to prove that I am invincible?

        3. Ehh I’ve worked construction before and all the guys want to go to Wendy’s or McDonalds for lunch and you’re at the site with just one truck, what do you do then? I just started bringing my salad and smoothie. They called me a phag, but they all had dad bods.

        4. You order the salad with chicken, an iced tea. Or do what you did. Exactly correct.

        5. Acknowledging weakness does not mean succumbing to weakness. If your method of not succumbing is to avoid situations with that kind of temptation, then that’s fine. Most people just default out of laziness to whatever the crowd is doing, which is not the same as some kind of fatal flaw weakness, it’s usually just laziness (not saying this about you).
          Nobody who is fat has an excuse, in my book, with the 0.0000001% who have an actual real diagnosed medical condition.

        6. I am not talking about excuses, just causation. I grew somewhat fat in the past year. I do not expect anyone to ignore it or act as if that was not true.
          As for succumbing to weakness, well, you gotta have some strength to be fighting. I was fighting. I just lost. You may say that I could have won and you may be right, but I was not aware of such an option at the time. Frankly, there is a lot of arrogance in the whole free will thing. Making good choices requires proper control of body and mind. Which requires instruction and experience. The fucker who should have instructed me opted out. So now I try to deal with the shit the best way I can on my own. I will eventually figure it out.

        7. And when you figure it out, free will becomes clear to you. It’s not a free gift without pain. Nearly every exercise of free will involves pain. You know the path, you’re on the way to fixing it, ergo, there’s really nothing more to be said because you’re actually doing the right thing.

      1. Oh, I worry about myself all the time. But I got so much worries that I feel it unfair not to share them with the less fortunate – the worryless.

  3. This article is 7 years too late. Most oil guys are getting laid off left and right these days. Oil services, rotating equipment, drilling, geologists…they are all getting pinched. Baker hughes, weatherford, haliburton, all those companies are running skeleton crews.
    Texas? Lmfao….even with 10 years of drilling experience, you’re lucky if you can get work.

    1. Never worked Texas but up in Canada (where I am still drilling) there are places that are still hiring fast. Winter starts soon, which is the busiest hiring season, and while you wait to get taken on there is still plenty of construction and other industries in town that need guys.
      Are things as good as they were? No.
      Is there still jobs for a guy with no experience to make some good quick money? Yes for sure.

      1. “Is there still jobs for a guy with no experience to make some good quick money? ” – – – on the fence on this one. Rig work is INTENSE! You’re a Driller? Not a Roughneck. You’re missing a BIG part of getting and KEEPING rigwork. Don’t tell people you have future plans and don’t fall in love with your crew! Why? A lot of envious people on rigs, and a lot of politics! You can get fired just because someone wants to have their cousin or friend work your position. So don’t fall in love with your crew. Easier to find other work.

  4. “Nearly all-male environment”
    I’m uhh…not sure that’s a good selling point there buddy.
    Being exposed (as a condition to employment) to sea sausage 24 7 for months on end doesn’t particularly sound appealing, especially when there’s no choice in the matter thanks to signing the contract.

    1. Lol. Ya best to save up that cash and hit the warmer countries in the down time. Some of the bigger oil towns have some decent talent though with okay ratios in the right spots (cafes, yoga, universities etc.)

    2. And you don’t really want to fuck with a woman in the oilfield, they’re either looking rough or there to be turned out and cause trouble for the most part, I know there are a few exceptions but I’ve never seen them

    3. Wasn’t a problem in the field in the military. Men get along fine, even over time. When you go on shore leave (or whatever drillers call it) you work out your sexual energy on a bevy of women waiting on shore.

      1. Tis true, but even in a military setting there was always the possibility of running into a prime piece of pus even if it was pus from another branch. Not so on an oil rig.
        Your average females are far more likely to join the service because they know that the standard is lower for them and they can take advantage of the perks offered without putting themselves into any kind of real danger more often than not. (the exception of course being the bulldykes or common lez)
        With something like an oil rig that is run by a private company that won’t put up with their bullshit as easily as the military will, it’s far less likely that your average petite and coddled female will join because of the hard work and potential danger it involves, so any guys who sign up might have to go for months on end without seeing any tail at all.
        Guys do tend to get along just fine when females and their bullshit don’t come into play. I agree on that.

        1. “it’s far less likely that your average petite and coddled female will join because of the hard work and potential danger it involves,’ – – – You’d be surprised! 😛

        2. Not really, since i trained myself. The branch i went in had a few cute ones but that was it. I saw more of them in the Army and i wasn’t surprised. Any female who wants an easier ride joins the army 😀

  5. Yeah don’t go into the oil industry now. Maybe 3-5 years ago it was booming. But now that gas is under $2 a gallon in most of the US not even the fracking fields in ND are really hiring anymore.

  6. Real advice if you want to work oil rigs get into a related construction trade. Then you be ready and already making good money when the oil industry comes back and it will come back. A journeyman in his craft is hired first, before a man without any skills. And you may be happy where you are.

    1. Exactly. I talk about this in the book. Always have a second job back in town for when things are quiet. I have one myself and still get $20-$30 an hour for a handy construction style job between drilling jobs if I want. Edmonton in particular is having a huge construction boom right now.

    1. Smaller outfits are way better. Quicker to rise to the top and easier to get hired. Big companies only hire experience guys, slower to promote and quicker to fire. I make 2-3 times the going rate of larger companies because I work for a very small outfit. Both have some benefits but smaller companies have much more.

  7. I appreciate what the author is doing here, and many of the manly arts discussed are a lifetime investment. We spent three years getting our son qualified in most of the skills this industry was hollering for, and the industry literally evaporated. But boy can drive a 18 wheel truck, weld, frame a house, wield a maul, and drive anything with a motor, so he is doing just fine. Forgot to mention that he also learned to cook, well.

    1. Exactly. Even if you come out for a year, stack some coin, and then move on you still have a skill set that will last a lifetime. He won’t be down long. Those skills are a solid foundation for future progress.

    2. A lot of those guys laid off from the rigs could easily move into refinery turnarounds as boilermakers turning wrenches and taking shit apart and putting them together. I run a rig truck welding and once the gas industry slowed down in Colorado I just went back to refineries cause they always need work so you’ll never be hurting if you’re willing to travel.

      1. Screw Boilermakers! 😛 That job is DIRTY and the Union acts like a cartel! Pipefitters for LIFE!!! 😀 Electricians and Welders, too! Never take on a Trade that has a Union that acts as a CARTEL!!! Why? ‘Cause you can’t freelance if you are part of such a Cartel and your wages are locked to the Union agreements!!

        1. Yea fuck unions but boilermaker is an easy foot in the door and from there you can figure out if you have any talent for welding or fitting. Some people are just better off turning wrenches but I’ve seen some move up to learn other trades and do well, really just boils down to ambition and going after it and traveling

        2. There I agree with you. It is an easier foot in the door to get with the Boilermakers, and then jump ship for something better for sure! 🙂

  8. I’m not exactly a tree hugger but this method of making money isnt what neomasculinists are about. This is the shit we’re fighting. This old school crony exploitation is pure red pill outdated bullshit. This is why the feminazis and S.J.W’s complain about the patriarchy and hate men so much. This kind of greed at all costs types of industries is THE PROBLEM. Big oil in canadas tar sands put out more CO2 than U.S and CHINA COMBINED! One of the least cost effective ways to extract oil. Its takes two barrels of oil to extract three barrels. Canada is being mowed down by these greedy cocksuckers.The effects on surrounding communities are immesurable. Birth defects, learning disabilities poisoned water table etc… If you dont have a problem with this outdated and destructive way of raping the planet and poisoning the people that live there then have at it. FUCK THESE COCKSUCKERS .

      1. I always think about those environmentalist on kayaks protesting around an oil rig not realizing those kayaks are made from petroleum products. I’m all about responsible drilling but people don’t stop to think about all the things that come from it and if you stopped all together life as they know it would change drastically

    1. “Big oil in canadas tar sands put out more CO2 than U.S and CHINA COMBINED!” – – – This is a lie. Ever see the smog in Beijing? o.O “Birth defects, learning disabilities poisoned water table etc.” – – – Oilsands aren’t Chernobyl, dear. There’s this thing called SAGD, look it up.

    1. If you’re lesbian. Which I’m not suggesting that you’re not.

      1. Your use of double negatives and incorrect punctuation betrays your intelligence, friend. I wish I was a lesbian, but cunts are disgusting.

        1. Germanic languages are ok with double negatives, the 19th century prohibition against them were part of the artificial grammar de-construction and rebuilding by effete English professors.
          So anyway, I’m sure you wish you were a lesbian. You certainly seem to have your man-hate mojo going on.

        2. Double negatives are redundant, just say what you mean clearly. We’re not writing shitty poetry here.
          Just a misandrist in training 😉

        3. I have no issue with double negatives. Nor did most English speakers prior to the mid 1800’s.
          In any event, you know precisely what I meant, and you’re doing nothing but trolling. Take your fat, clown hair owning self and find the exit, if you’d be so kind.
          It’s that way ————————>

        4. I know this is surprising to you, but this is 2015.
          And in 2015 there’s a diversity of opinions. None of them are valid, but this site is free for all to post/comment on I assume.
          You have no idea what I look like, but if it helps your dwindling masculinity to imagine me as stereotypical “feminist”…be my fucking guest.

        5. ——————->
          In case you missed the direction I was pointing towards the door.
          Aside to the membership: Whose defective sandwich maker this is?

        6. She sure ain’t mine. Mine is a real lady, doing productive things, and would never in a million years be trolling on a man-o-sphere website.
          She leaves that to the more pathetic members of her gender. No offense, Tina.

        1. Then funny how I see examples, day in and day out, that prove women cannot function without men (female delusions to the contrary notwithstanding). I believe my own eyes more than the bleating of feminists on the net and the propaganda on the nightly news.
          Until you “strong, independent women,” in numbers proportionate to men, start roofing your own houses, fixing your cars, digging ditches, being high voltage power linemen, firefighters, infantry soldiers, doing concrete work, coal mining, etc., etc., etc., then just STFU.
          The only thing you are genetically programmed to “take care of” is babies and a good man. Anything else you eff up.

        2. Just because (traditionally) women don’t go into those field, that doesn’t mean we can’t take over them. I’ve lived on my own and I’ve done perfectly well. I don’t drive a car, but other than that I’ve been able to take care of everything.
          If you’re not physically strong, like myself, then you must resort to other methods of getting shit done. Jars can be opened with hot water, investing in a ladder/step stool and carrying around pepper spray…viola! We CAN take care of ourselves, but you all just want to feel needed. Sad how you look for such validation.
          I don’t wipe asses or noses, thanks.

        3. You take care of yourself with inventions made by MEN!!!! o.O WOW! You’re soooo independent! 😛

        4. One man made them. Not you. The usage of an invention by one smart man doesn’t mean that I, personally, need to live with a man.

        5. MEN made the inventions, dear. MEN! MEN are the ones who maintain roads, sewage systems, electrical grids, oil rigs. It’s from the LABORS of MEN that you even have a safe and functioning society! Majority of taxes that fund Social Services comes from the PAYCHECKS OF MEN!

        6. “Just because (traditionally) women don’t go into those field, that doesn’t mean we can’t take over them.”
          Actually, yes, it does mean women can’t take them over. Women pass up on these jobs because they can’t meet the daily requirements both physically and mentally, and they know it. So, they end up becoming secretaries tee hee!

  9. I work in the oil sands for a vac truck and fluid hauling company. The oil sands is much more steady, reliable, year round work than conventional drilling and there is way more variety in the jobs available. That being said, over the past year we have gone from a crew of around 35 to under 10, and those that are still here are not getting anywhere near the kind of hours that we used to. This year I will make half of what I did last year. My friends who work in drilling and seismic have been laid off for almost a year now, and most have moved on. Those that are working are taking hefty pay and benefit cuts. Obviously there will be exceptions, but to the inexperienced guy this article is targeting, it’s definitely a couple years too late.

  10. The oilfield is a feast or famine type deal. Smart guys can do well, but most blow their money on whores and booze. Several generations of my family worked in the oilfield. It really depends on the mindset……if you have financial goals set, great. Most dont….Fancy pickups, rifles, vacations……well, that’s a reason why most oilfield hands are broke.
    It’s a cold blooded business, and folks get laid off in a heartbeat, no doubt about it. That’s why it’s important to save your money, and realize that this job is temporary. Good idea to be able to do other things….I was a service plumber, and it was easy to find a job. Most young men aren’t that smart, and spend all their money.
    Another thing is this……young guys with money in their pockets are usually fleeced like sheep. Don’t want to get in trouble? Direct deposit, don’t drink, and leave the whores alone Otherwise, you’re busting your ass for nothing. You can make up sad stories…..sick grandma, etc.

  11. Hey Joe, nice article, though I feel it has bad timing. I used to be a field engineer (mechanical, piping and instrumentation) on an oil sand construction site, but now it seems there’s no work. What would you suggest? Right now I’m doing a small time job unrelated to the oil industry in Quebec, and making half, if not a third of what I was making before.

    1. “What would you suggest? ” – – – Get into a TRADE. Like Plumbing, Electrician, Welding or Pipefitting.

        1. You can, in the meanwhile get into a Trade. Desk Jockies are the first to get laid off. They take up cubicle space and it’s hard to quantify their contribution. Tradesmen have daily values of the progress of their contribution. Get into a Trade. I met a Mechanical Engineer doing rigging with a rope access team. He ain’t getting laid off anytime soon.

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