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Understanding the Natural Gas Job Boom in Wyoming

Jun 21, 2008
The natural gas industry in Wyoming is booming and job postings aren't hard to find. If you have training and/or experience in construction, can drive a truck, or are a skilled tradesperson, you can find many opportunities in the natural gas industry.

The fact that there are lots of jobs available is the good news. The bad news is that you can find a job in Wyoming readily enough, but finding a place to live is challenging, to say the least. Some companies will provide funds to rent a motel room for a short period of time (up to six weeks) to allow workers some time to find alternative accommodation and other companies house workers in "man camps" near the work site.

Any apartments available for rent are going at a premium price ($1,000.00 per month or more). It is recommended that if you decide to take an oil job in Wyoming that you make sure you have a place to stay before you arrive or that you have your name on a waiting list for rental accommodation. (Local real estate agents can help you with this.)

Opportunities for construction workers (roustabouts) in Wyoming natural gas fields pay well. You will need a high school diploma and one year of working experience to qualify for one of these positions, which start at $60,000 per year and go into six figures. In return for that salary, you will be expected to put in 60 hours per week.

If you don't have previous experience in this area, many employers are willing to train applicants. The work involves general labor, operating equipment, installing fencing, and piping. Applicants must have a good command of the English language and pass a pre-employment drug and alcohol test.

Operators who can drive a water truck in the oil fields are also in demand. If you have a couple of years of experience driving a heavy truck, you are qualified for this type of position. You will be working a 40-hour week, and earning a minimum of $20.00 per hour.

Your training as an electrician can also help you find employment in Wyoming. Wages start at $20.00 per hour with a minimum of four years experience, and you will be required to provide your own tools.

Welders and mechanics can also find numerous employment opportunities working in the oil and gas industry in Wyoming. If you are working in a shop, you are looking at a wage rate of between $12.00 and $15.00 per hour. Once again, you will be expected to provide your own tools.

If this type of work appeals to you, how can you find out about available openings? If there is a specific company you are interested in working for, such as Shell, Exxon, Halliburton, or Questar, you can check their web site to see what types of work are available. In addition to the large companies, smaller companies who provide services related to pipelines, road building, trucking, communications, and more all need workers.

Checking the classified ads of local newspapers is a good way to find out who is hiring, and what positions are available. If you don't live in the immediate area, online versions of the papers are available.

Oil job boards and industry web sites are also good places to look for work in Wyoming. Another option is to conduct some research to find out about local companies who may need someone with your qualifications. You may find available jobs posted on company web sites that are not listed on job boards. Just as with any other job search, do your homework and find out something about the companies you are applying to before you submit your resume.
About the Author
With the unemployment rate creeping up it's important for people to know that oilfield jobs in the U.S. are available. Oil jobs pay well, provide benefits, and stability. Some positions, such as petroleum engineering jobs, require significant education while roughneck jobs do not.
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