Should You Relocate to North Dakota for a Good-Paying Oil Job?


Quick Answer

While the decision to relocate to North Dakota for an oilfield job is highly personal, as of 2015, it is not likely the right one, according to CNN Money. With oil prices down, many of the employers in North Dakota are laying off employees instead of hiring.

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Full Answer

Even before the layoffs, there were many factors to consider. Workdays in the boomtown are long and intense. Many workers make their fortunes working several hours of overtime every day and only have enough time to sleep between shifts. The company builds its schedules around its own needs and not the worker's wants. The schedule is tough and workers sometimes do not find time to eat or shower. If a worker is unwilling to meet the company demands, he could easily lose his job.

The weather in North Dakota is harsh. Temperatures are often below zero and housing is scarce. Many workers find themselves sleeping in camp trailers in a retail parking lot, even with a six-figure income. A single night in a hotel often costs several hundred dollars.

Finding a job on the oil rigs generally requires experience and a good connection with someone already there. However, because of the nature of the boomtown, other high-paying jobs are available. Some fast food restaurants pay workers as much as $14 per hour, but if the population dwindles due to unemployment, there is likely to be a decrease in such service jobs.

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