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Thread: Would you leave the country to work?

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    Default Would you leave the country to work?

    Hello all! I seek opinions....

    I am in Alberta, Canada and my brother and I own 2 companies. Pipefinders (damage prevention) and Lineriders (Infrared and Laser leak detection). We are experiencing a huge shortage of skilled labor and simply can't find enough high grade locators for the Pipefinder business as we need. There are more jobs than people. We are considering recruiting in the US and having people comp up north for scheduled times (2 weeks in, 2 out - something like that). Our top guys make $35/hr and getting high caliber guys is almost impossible these days.

    So, if you were a high grade field locator who could be dropped into a busy gasplant (or airport etc) and could confidently pick the puzzle apart, would that be of interest, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    On a side note, it' great to see the old cablevine still plugging away. Stay safe out there, guys and gals!

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    How steady is the work in the winter months? Is this a year round commitment? Is travel covered to and from the States? Is there a set per diem that you have in mind? I just wanted to cover a few basics questions that most of us would ask. Depending on the fit, I believe there are a few adventurous souls here such as myself who would be interested in a unique opportunity like this.

    Thanks,

    James
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    At $35 an hour do you guarentee a minimum 40 hour work week? I take it that is $35 an hour in Canadian dollars which is currently $31.85 US dollars. I take it you would not be paying employers share into US Social Security so an additional 6.2 percent plus 1.45 percen to cover employer contribution for Medicare, should take us down to $29.63 US an hour. With two weeks on and two weeks off that is two weeks out of every four so effctivly that is $14.85 an hour. Then there is the cost of housing while there and travel expenses. Unless housing includes a kitchen the three daiy meals would be paid out of pocket at resturants. Year round work is a question as some areas here in US have Winter layoffs . I beleive you have something up there called snow and I have located in waist deep snow but once it got to my chest I had difficulty.

    Sounds like your best bet is four US locators shareing one job. Locators who are retired drawing Social Security but need more money and cannot work past the $17,700 yerly limit imposed by Social Security. These empoyee would also not have to pay US federal taxes on income below $17,700 so for them the hourly net income goes up quite a bit. If I were a US retiree, I qualify for early retirment here, I would consider going up and working steadly for 12 to 13 weeks until I had hit my $17.7K limit.

    As a recruiting tool you should mention Canadian beer has twice the alcohol content of US beer.
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    It is my understanding it is very hard to get a work visa to go north. It takes 3-4 months to get and if you leave for more than a short time you have to reapply

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    At $35 an hour do you guarentee a minimum 40 hour work week? I take it that is $35 an hour in Canadian dollars which is currently $31.85 US dollars. I take it you would not be paying employers share into US Social Security so an additional 6.2 percent plus 1.45 percen to cover employer contribution for Medicare, should take us down to $29.63 US an hour. With two weeks on and two weeks off that is two weeks out of every four so effctivly that is $14.85 an hour. Then there is the cost of housing while there and travel expenses. Unless housing includes a kitchen the three daiy meals would be paid out of pocket at resturants. Year round work is a question as some areas here in US have Winter layoffs . I beleive you have something up there called snow and I have located in waist deep snow but once it got to my chest I had difficulty.

    Sounds like your best bet is four US locators shareing one job. Locators who are retired drawing Social Security but need more money and cannot work past the $17,700 yerly limit imposed by Social Security. These empoyee would also not have to pay US federal taxes on income below $17,700 so for them the hourly net income goes up quite a bit. If I were a US retiree, I qualify for early retirment here, I would consider going up and working steadly for 12 to 13 weeks until I had hit my $17.7K limit.

    As a recruiting tool you should mention Canadian beer has twice the alcohol content of US beer.
    We work 7 days a week at a 12 hr day, so there is OT. Our high grade guys make well over 100k per year. I dont know of too many locators making that kind of money in the US. There is a crew house, but you're on the hook to feed yourself and get to and from there to here. US taxes and social security are your baby, but that's what accountants are for.

    Winter is extremely busy and a good time for our southern cousins to make some coin. Yes, we have snow. Our temperatures range from -40F to 100F.

    Truth is, i'm not terribly worried about the money part, as you'll make buckets more than non-oilpatch work. My worry is with ability to complete difficult jobs in adverse conditions. I've hired a lot of people who could write cheques with their mouths that their asses couldn't cover.

    With the right documentation, you can come and go without issue. We have a huge skilled labor shortage and there has been flexibility in attaining foreign workers with skills.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linerider View Post
    We work 7 days a week at a 12 hr day, so there is OT. Our high grade guys make well over 100k per year. I dont know of too many locators making that kind of money in the US. There is a crew house, but you're on the hook to feed yourself and get to and from there to here. US taxes and social security are your baby, but that's what accountants are for.

    Winter is extremely busy and a good time for our southern cousins to make some coin. Yes, we have snow. Our temperatures range from -40F to 100F.

    Truth is, i'm not terribly worried about the money part, as you'll make buckets more than non-oilpatch work. My worry is with ability to complete difficult jobs in adverse conditions. I've hired a lot of people who could write cheques with their mouths that their asses couldn't cover.

    With the right documentation, you can come and go without issue. We have a huge skilled labor shortage and there has been flexibility in attaining foreign workers with skills.
    LineRider, I just went through the hiring process looking for the caliber of locator you are wanting. We don't pay 35 an hour, but our benefits with the hourly rate would entice most people. We had about 45 applicants and only one had the experience we were looking for, Unfortunately he couldn't pass the piss test.

    I also have friends who own private locating companies accross the states and they run into the same thing you are. It seems that most seasoned locators are content in opening their own company and making a run at it, or staying put.

    I think you will get a few guys who will make a run at it, but most of the time they are not trained in the style of locating you are looking for. I still have trouble with the guy we hired. He doesn't understand how to logically piece together a locate request and locate and understand what he is locating.

    Good luck in your search.

    mke
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    What all utilities are you locating ? Locating equipment provided ? Is OT paid at time and a half ? How far north are you needing locators ?

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    What type of work is going on in Alberta where there are more locating jobs than people?

    Also, you said your top guys make $35/hr. What is considered a top guy? If we are coming up from the states to help you stabilize your company and leaving our families behind, than I would expect more than what your top guys are getting. At least paid travel and per diem.
    Last edited by superman; September 18th, 2014 at 08:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    I'll come. Here are my list of demands....

    $35.00/hr - tax free.
    Paid hotel.
    Company truck.
    A helicopter with pilot to shuttle me to and from my actual home on the weekends.
    A fresh box of Tim Hortons on my hotel room table in the mornings.


    If any single one of these demands cannot be met, I can't work for you. You're just going to have to settle with second best.

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linerider View Post
    Hello all! I seek opinions....

    I am in Alberta, Canada and my brother and I own 2 companies. Pipefinders (damage prevention) and Lineriders (Infrared and Laser leak detection). We are experiencing a huge shortage of skilled labor and simply can't find enough high grade locators for the Pipefinder business as we need. There are more jobs than people. We are considering recruiting in the US and having people comp up north for scheduled times (2 weeks in, 2 out - something like that). Our top guys make $35/hr and getting high caliber guys is almost impossible these days.

    So, if you were a high grade field locator who could be dropped into a busy gasplant (or airport etc) and could confidently pick the puzzle apart, would that be of interest, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    On a side note, it' great to see the old cablevine still plugging away. Stay safe out there, guys and gals!
    Hello Linerider!

    I would like to help you, if I can. First a few questions, if I may. I need to know where we sit.

    Canada let folks in that had a prior DWI? I had one back in the 90's.

    How much did you personally make last year?

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Do yall have a Disney World close to yall ???
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    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    and NO .....I would NOT leave the country.
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Can I get first dibs on any tickets for Mike Holmes?

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    Member Linerider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    LineRider, I just went through the hiring process looking for the caliber of locator you are wanting. We don't pay 35 an hour, but our benefits with the hourly rate would entice most people. We had about 45 applicants and only one had the experience we were looking for, Unfortunately he couldn't pass the piss test.

    I also have friends who own private locating companies accross the states and they run into the same thing you are. It seems that most seasoned locators are content in opening their own company and making a run at it, or staying put.

    I think you will get a few guys who will make a run at it, but most of the time they are not trained in the style of locating you are looking for. I still have trouble with the guy we hired. He doesn't understand how to logically piece together a locate request and locate and understand what he is locating.

    Good luck in your search.

    mke
    The piss test is killing us. The best guys we ever had were in house trained from green and they either burned out or, like you're seeing, hang their own shingle. Guys that come into the oilfield from utility have a lot of trouble with the switch. We'd pay more than 35 if they guy was the Derek Jeter, Wayne Gretzky type of guy...

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    Default Re: Would you leave the country to work?

    I'm not sure about the DWI. I know that guys I know have been denied entry to the US because of convictions, but not sure it goes the other way.

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