Oilfield labor jobs in Alberta play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry, providing essential support to drilling and production operations.
Alberta has long faced challenges in finding enough skilled labor to meet the demands of the industry and the oilfield is a physically demanding and sometimes hazardous work environment, and it can be difficult to find workers who are both capable and willing to take on these challenges.
3 Reasons Alberta Faces Oilfield Labor Shortages:
- One of the main reasons for the difficulty in finding oilfield laborers is the cyclical nature of the industry. The demand for labor tends to fluctuate along with oil prices, with more jobs available during boom times and fewer positions available during downturns. This can make it difficult for workers to plan their careers and for employers to predict their labor needs.
- Another factor contributing to the labor shortage in the Alberta oilfield is the aging of the workforce. Many experienced workers are reaching retirement age, and there are not enough younger workers coming up through the ranks to replace them. This is particularly true for tradespeople such as welders and motorhands, who require specialized training and experience to be effective in their roles.
- In recent years, the labor shortage in the Alberta oilfield has been exacerbated by an increase in competition for skilled labor from other industries. As the economy has improved, more and more workers have been attracted to jobs in sectors such as construction and manufacturing, leading to a further decrease in the pool of available labor for the oil and gas industry.
These positions are often:
- physically demanding
- require long hours
- require additional training and certificates like H2S ALIVE, FIRST AID & FALL PROTECT (among others)
but they also offer competitive pay and the opportunity to work in a dynamic and fast-paced industry.
There are many different types of oilfield labor jobs available in Alberta, each with its own set of duties and hourly pay rates. Some of the most common, and highest paying oilfield laborer jobs in 2023 in Alberta are:
- Roustabouts, who are responsible for a range of tasks related to the maintenance and operation of drilling and production facilities. These entry-level workers may clean and paint equipment, move materials, and assist with repairs. Roustabouts typically earn $19.00 to $29.00 per hour and can be found in cities like Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray.
- Floorhands assist the drilling crew on the rig floor, handling drill pipe and supporting the rig's operation. They typically earn $30.00 to $50.00 per hour (Canadian) and you can often find Roustabout jobs in Drayton Valley and Grande Prairie.
- Derrickhands work on the derrick, a vertical structure on the rig used to hoist and lower drilling tools. They maintain the derrick and assist with the rig's operation, earning $30.00 to $45.00 per hour. Derrickhand jobs are often located in Red Deer and Lloydminster Alberta.
- Motorhands maintain and repair engines and mechanical systems on drilling rigs, earning $35.00 to $55.00 per hour. Motorhand jobs can be found in cities such as Bonnyville and Medicine Hat.
- Welders are responsible for welding and repairing equipment including pipelines, tanks, and rig components and typically earn $40.00 to $125.00 per hour. Welders are in high demand in cities like Fort Saskatchewan and Cold Lake.
- Crew Supervisors oversee the work of other oilfield laborers and ensure smooth operations, earning $35.00 - $55.00 per hour and are readily available in Nisku and Sherwood Park, amongst other Alberta locations.
In addition to hourly wages, many oilfield labor jobs in Alberta offer overtime pay, housing allowances, and benefits packages. Pursuing a career in the oilfield requires hard work and dedication, but the pay and opportunities for advancement can be substantial.
It's important to be physically fit and able to handle the demands of the job, as well as willing to work long hours. With the right attitude and work ethic, you can thrive in this exciting and rewarding industry.