The great thing about working in the oilfield and construction industries is that you don’t need a lot of expensive or formal training to get your foot in the door. If you’ve got a great attitude and work ethic, you’ll likely quickly become a valued team member. The fact that jobs in these industries tend to pay well means that there can be many people vying for the same position. There are a few things you can do before your job hunt to set yourself up for success.
Before you start sending out resumes, do some research and find out what safety tickets are likely required for the positions you’re interested in. Having current safety tickets on your resume can boost your application ahead of other candidates who don’t have the same training. Having valid safety tickets means that you can get to work as soon as you’re hired (versus other candidates who may spend their first week tied up in training courses). Here’s some examples of some of the safety tickets you should consider to get the attention of the hiring manager:
1. CSTS (Construction Safety Training System): This is a basic safety certification that you’ll need before working on site. It’s a half-day, online course that will only cost you about $65.
2. First Aid: This is necessary if you will be working on any site that presents serious occupational hazards. Occupational Health and Safety legislation mandates how many employees must have first aid training depending on the size of the crew and site. Most companies will require that all field-based employees have valid first aid training to respond quickly and to minimize incidents if they happen. When selecting your training, look for Standard First Aid with Level A CPR. This is normally a two-day course and costs about $175.
3. H2S Alive: If you’ll be working on sites where there is petroleum extraction or drilling, you’ll need this certification. H2S Alive teaches you how to protect yourself and others from Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) which is a colourless poisonous gas that is sometimes released as a by-product of oil and gas drilling. When looking for H2S training, be sure to select one that specifies “H2S Alive”. There are other H2S training courses that will not necessarily meet industry standards. H2S Alive is a one-day course and costs approximately $275.
CSTS, First Aid, and H2S Alive are the three basic safety tickets that you’ll likely need before starting a job. Getting them in advance of applying for jobs will make you more likely to get hired because your employer will not only save money on training, but can also put you to work right away.
Some additional requirements to consider before embarking on your job search include: a driver’s license, steel-toed boots, and a resume. Having an unrestricted driver’s license and a good driving record is highly preferable as some employers have insurance policies that exclude employees with limited or poor driving history. Steel-toed boots will be part of your required PPE (personal protective equipment) and many employers expect you to provide your own pair.
When you’re drafting your resume, be sure to highlight experience that demonstrates your comfort with working outdoors in all weather conditions. Your experience working with heavy equipment, working in labour-intensive environments, and working as a part of a team, are all positive things to highlight on your resume that will set you apart from the crowd.