Are things picking up now in Fort McMurray?
A lot of construction projects were on hold with the slowdown in the economy. Despite this, the labour market was not as severely affected as in other parts of the province, and with recent project and construction announcements from major oil companies, things are picking up. Demand for trades and construction work is growing, and demand for experienced workers never went away. See our Wood Buffalo Economic Update report and the Oil Sands Project Report for more info.
I want a camp job. Can you tell me which companies offer
is a hard question to answer because it depends
on a number of things—the job position, the proximity
McMurray, the contract with the oilsands company. Generally
though, the major oilsands companies that are close to
Fort McMurray do not provide camp housing for its direct
employees (e.g. Syncrude, Suncor, Shell Albian Sands), unless they have a
position that is extremely difficult to fill. The rooms
to the contractors
based on their workforce needs and the contract they
sign. Sites further away, such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), Suncor Firebag and many of the in-situ sites to the south of Fort McMurray, provide camp
housing contracts. But whether
or not every
employee gets camp housing is all dependant on the contract
and/or their collective bargaining agreement (if they
or not a job comes with camp housing depends on the company
and the job, so it's something that you have to
negotiate with the employer. Read more.
3. I want to be a labourer, make lots of money, stay
in a camp and I have no experience. Can you
get me a job?
we can't give you a job or pass your résumé onto employers,
but we can give you the names of the companies that hire
of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). We provide labour market information
for employment in the area. Finding a job is a
process and still takes time and hard work to make a
good connection with an employer.
You must do your research. Jobs generally pay more in
the RMWB than in other centres, but it may still not
be enough to pay for housing.
Housing is expensive and scarce and if you are thinking
you will find a job
immediately after you get here, you are mistaken. It
takes time to get work here too. Contrary to popular
belief, employers are not waiting at the airport recruiting.
employers in the RMWB are looking for skilled and trained
workers. There are generally not high-paid positions
for unskilled labour. Read Experience Counts: What it takes to be a labourer in Wood Buffalo for more info.
4. I am from Ontario and I have been a welder
(or pipefitter, or electrician, or carpenter...) for
20 years but I
don't have a ticket. Can I get a job?
Employers want skilled labour. They are looking for Alberta-certified ticketed journeymen and indentured apprentices or tradespeople
with their Interprovincial Red Seal. If you have your
journeyman ticket from another province than Alberta,
you can take the Interprovincial
Red Seal exam.
The major employers in the RMWB require these, and now
many contractors are also asking for the same qualifications.
You can also apply for your Qualification
Certificate Program through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.
5. I am having a hard time getting a job. Can
I just come out there and get a job in Fort McMurray?
but it's not recommended. There is work available
in Wood Buffalo, but it is still a process. Even if the
process of getting a job only take
a couple of weeks, you still need a place to live. Housing
is expensive and scarce and landlords require that you
pay damage deposit (usually worth one month's rent)
and first and last month's rent. According to a Fort
McMurray survey taken in October 2011 on apartment
rental rates, the average one-bedroom apartment is $1,694
a month. It would cost you over $5,000 just to move into
Most employers have websites and only accept résumés
through their online process. You would be no further
ahead if you went to Fort McMurray.
If you do decide to come before acquiring employment,
do as much research as you can before you come and make
sure you can afford to live here first. (Also, book
a hotel or motel before you come. At some times of year
ALL hotels/motels are booked up to a month in advance.)
It is true that word of mouth counts! Talk to as many people as you can before moving to make contacts and build your job search network.
6. What is housing like in Fort McMurray?
is expensive and scarce. Do your research before you
Are there any employers who will fly me in and
out of Fort McMurray?
but it's not as common as it was at the height of the previous construction boom. Employers used the fly-in, fly-out bonus as a way to attract and retain good staff. Cutting down on this bonus was one of the first things employers did to cut costs, and they haven't generally started offering this again. The more remote sites do offer fly-in/fly-out but often only from a few places, like Edmonton or Calgary.
8. Will employers help me with my immigration needs?
depends on the position you are applying for and the
amount of training and skills you have and whether those
skills need to be updated to meet Canadian standards.
Employers in the RMWB look for workers in their community
in the rest of Alberta, then across Canada, then outside
of Canada. Some employers have a hard time looking internationally
because work experience and references are so hard to
If you are a professional and have a university degree,
employers may be willing to help you with your immigration
needs. If there is a Canadian or Alberta association
for the field you are working in, contact them for more
information (E.g. APEGGA
– the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists
and Geophysicists of Alberta). Also, Alberta Employment
and Immigration provides a service to determine a person's
international qualifications, called International Qualification
Assessment Service (IQAS).
If you are a tradesperson, you will more likely be given
a chance at employment in Canada by getting the Interprovincial
Red Seal certification before applying.
Some employers travel to other countries to hold a recruiting
campaign. If you are hired in this way, those employers
will help you to come here. To find out about any recruiting
campaigns, contact your country's government office that
deals with employment. These campaigns are not advertised
here, so we do not hear about them until after the workers
are already in Canada.
Regardless of whether a company helps you come to Canada
or not, you should check out the Citizenship
and Immigration Canada website. This website has
all of the information you might need.
9. Is it cold up there?
average temperatures in Fort McMurray are –20º to 16.5º
C (–4.4º to 61.7º F). Look at our About
Wood Buffalo page for more information on Fort McMurray and the RMWB, or the Municipality's Newcomer website.
10. I want to move there with my family. Would my wife
be able to find a job
there too? Will my kids have things to do?
Fort McMurray is a thriving centre with all of the services
and businesses that any large city has. For employer
contacts for all areas of work, look at the Employer
Websites and choose the category of work that suits
your skills and interests. See the Newcomer information provided by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for recreation, housing, cosst of living and services. Also, look at the Resources
section for additional information on career planning,
community information, housing and business development.
Je ne parle pas anglais. Est-ce que je peux travailler
à Fort McMurray?
travailler à Fort McMurray il est important d’avoir
une bonne maîtrise de la langue anglaise. Ensuite,
il est important d’avoir une formation adéquate.
Beaucoup de gens viennent ici sans aucune formation.
C’est une très mauvaise idée. Vérifiez
également si l’Alberta reconnaît
vos certificats ou votre apprentissage (www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca).
Pour les personnes n’étant pas résident
canadien, sachez qu’il vous est impossible de
travailler au Canada sans visa de travail. Si vous desirez
des informations au sujet d'immigration (disponible
en français) SVP contactez le gouvernement à
(Cet information est pour visiter, travailler temporairement,
étudier ou immigrer.)
Il vous faut visiter les sites Internet des compagnies
et vérifier s’il y a des emplois disponibles
qui correspondent à votre formation et votre
expérience. Ce n’est pas vrai que les companies
cherchent beaucoup d’ouvrier ou conducteur sans
experience ni anglais. C’est une question de sécurité
au champ de travail. Pour l’information en anglais:
ou par couriel: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pour l’information en français contactez
l’association canadienne-française de
ou par couriel email@example.com.