I am an oilfield worker, AMA.

I was gonna type up some big thing about my experience in the oil field, but I'll just make it short.

I am about your age and wanted/needed to save around $70,000 for flight school, so I tried to wkrk in the oil field fo save that.

The short version is:

I worked in wireline with no previous experience in the oilfield or really any kind of manual labor/etc.

The work sucks. I was on call 16 on 5 off, and some people had it worse that that. You have zero life outside of work, no time or energy for the hint of a social life.

I once had a time where I got home around 11:00 pm after driving about 8 hours back to my house on my last day off only for my boss to text me as soon as I was back telling me I had to be at the shop at 3am, not only that but I found out (had to ask myself) I'd be out of town on this job for at least a week. By the time I got all my stuff packed and ready to go I got maybe an hour of sleep. I ended up riding with a different guy than my crew to a different job that happened to be in the same area, expected by my boss to all day there, and then go work at my actual job with my actual crew another 12 hours for the night shift they/we were on. Thankfully the guy at the first job realized that was insane and let me try and sleep in one of our pick up trucks. Later on that job a fellow worker and myself left with our other 2 crew members to go back to the shop and then go home. We had just finished our 12-13 hour night shift, at breakfast and drove 3-4 hours back to the shop without sleep so we could get home sooner. Once at the shop we found out our asshole manager had no communication and told me and my coworker we had to go back wkth a different crew that day (wait 2-3 for them and drive back another 3-4 hours) and work another 12 hour shift. When all was said and down the two of us had over 40 hours on the clock straight (at least 25 hours of actual hard labor) with zero sleep.

I worked around all sorts of crazy dangers like: overhead loads, heavy machinery, a cable that could (and has) snap/break and kill you easily, explosives, extremly high pressure that cpuld kill you if something went wrong, all sorts of horrible nasty things you're breathing in and getting on your skin (for example, being soaked in diesel for 12 hours at a time), and just an overall danger to your health/eyes/lungs/ears.

I made shit money (12 an hour, plus a meh bonus) for the shtty conditions and bullshit you have to deal with.

Another kicker is the vast majority of your income in that job was from overtime, which as far as I understand is taxed higher than normal hourly at around 33-35%.

The people I worked with were pretty much all "good 'ole country boys" who take pride in hating culture/anything that isn't mud, beer, hunting, horrible "country music", and chew. They were also mostly lyrics racist, sexist, and extremely crude/creepy towards women. Overall they were people I couldn't even begin to connect with and just about the polar opposite of me in every way.

I moved across the country for the job so I had no girlfriend, friends, or family around to spend time with and unwind a little. It was just constant work, stress, anxiety, and feeling lonely. If you work where you know people it probably wouldn't be so bad.

Overall you sacrifice your entire life working in the oilfield, you endanger yourself, you do shitty work, and you get burnt out really fast.

I had heard and was told I would be making a lot more money a lot faster than I was, but that has a lot to do with the company, the location, and the specific field/job of the oilfield you end up in. This ended up getting longer than I intended but

TL; DR: It sucks, you will have zero life, you will get beyond burnt out. You have a certain sort of person to put up with and deal with it. For me it wasn't at all worth it.

/r/IAmA Thread