The biggest reason why life on an oilfield is so attractive is because it pays very well. But what does that really mean? Sure it sounds like fun and payday can be rewarding but lets take a look at what makes life challenging working on one. Sometimes these oil field men will call these places, “Man Camps”, as there are literally no women.
First, someone who works in the oilfield spends majority of their time there so many people live in small houses, or have room mates that share the space ideally. However, many companies can not afford to house their workers in fancy homes. Some have to find their own housing and will stay in a horse trailer, an abandoned container, or even in the back of their pick up truck. There is no such thing as arriving to work at 8am and leaving by 5pm. Working on the oilfield, means 90 hours plus rain or shine. Sometimes more, maybe less depending on what you are doing. But as every oil field veteran knows, there is a harsh tradeoff, beyond the grueling labor. Some men work hundreds of miles from their families, others live in primitive conditions or face the real risk of being maimed. Its basically a work, eat, sleep routine. When its time to go home, its just sleep time.
But the lure of big checks is still bringing waves of workers. In Dimmit County, population 10,000 before the boom, more than 1,000 oil field jobs were added in 2011. Around the 20 Eagle Ford Shale counties, at least 7,000 jobs have been added in two years.
The average for a truck driver in the oil field is about $25.00. Many non oil companies pay less, so the reward is definitely great for many of these men but sad for the wives and families back home. My wife doesn’t like the hours, but she’s happy for what I bring home. I expect to make over $100,000 this year. The oil field is a great place.
A common stereotype that is often heard is that on their off time or break time you can these men siting, smoking or even drinking singing songs. Companies are now far more safety-conscious and less tolerant of misbehavior. Most do background checks, provide training and have zero tolerance for drug use or alcohol abuse. Still, some who have no education or degrees can make up to $160,000.00 per year. You can see how that is truly rewarding among many folks.