Hello, my names Ryan DeMattio. I live in Jefferson county, and I'm actively seeking a natural gas drilling job.  My dad works for water transport and delivers water to all the wells very frequently, its a great economic boost for him. He has talked to alot of the guys on the wells and from what they told him (77k a year starting out, great benefits, only working 6 months a year) I was interested.  I'm currently going to school at Penn State New Kensington but I would much rather be working on one of those gas wells!  One of the guys my dad talks to alot hooked me up and had me use him as a reference, he said its not IF I get a phone call, but WHEN. He said a new rig comes online every month so just wait and you will be getting a call.  I'm really excited, but I have that little guy on my shoulder saying don't do it.  Im worried that I'm going to drop out of college (I'm only a freshmen) and start on these rigs and 15-20 years from now they are all gone. Then im 35-40 years old with a family, no job, and no education.  My dad said all the guys on the rigs said they will be here for 100+ years, but I just wanted some second opinions, or if anyone could find a link that has estimations and so fourth, thanks! -Ryan

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Since the boom will last decades, why not finish up your degree then you have something to fall back on.   Can starting driving after college.   College is the best time, you should be living it up!
Well in 2 or 3 years they may have alot of the rigs up and operational. It may be harder for me to get a gas job. Plus this out of state tuition isnt cheap. I'de rather not rack up an enormous debt when I probably wouldnt use it?
Go to college. I have met people who tried working on the rigs and hated it and quit. The hours were long and there was seemly little time off and it was very dirty.

Get the job now.  Save your money and then you can go to college in a few years if need be and pay for all your education instead of having loans.  The key is to live without debt.  If you don't feel the need to go to college, then you could save enough money to buy a home, cars etc with cash you have saved from working.  Education is very important, but learning how to handle money is just as important.  By the time you have a family, you could own a home free and clear, have no debt and have a pretty nice life.  I have friends that spent tons of $$ on college and ended up with thousands in debt that took year and years to payoff.  Everyone is told if they don't go to college they will be a bum in life.  That's a lie and don't believe it.  By the way if you do want to go to college, nowadays you have to go for longer than 4 years to separate yourself from other four year graduates.  Future employers want to see why you are different then all the others they interview.  Learn to talk to people and be aggressive.  You will not fail with anything you choose. 


I would suggest you look into specialized training for oil and gas rigs.  Several schools offer that like Slippery Rock U.  They are anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, cost about 5 grand, and most get hired immediately starting at $60,000/yr.  Check out;




But the hours are long.....12-14 hr days....14 days straight....with 7-10 days off.... and the work is hard, dirty and a bit dangerous and you work in all weather.  Plus, you will have to travel and stay in motels or man camps.


If all that didn't scare you off, you can start at 60 to 70 G/yr and quickly mover up to 80-85G/yr.  I heard of one young man that started at 65G at age nineteen, has been promoted several times, and now, at age 23, will make six figures.


Damn, wish I was 25 years younger!  Good luck!



try to finish school in the computer technology field or the medical field if possible, these jobs will always offer great opportunities . A lot of jobs seem to offer great pay but sometimes the dangers more often than not are much harder on your body as you get older . I encouraged my son to go to school which I should have done for a longer time frame . The good paying industrial jobs pay you for your health in some areas. depending on your major, which you can easily change, you could have a future in a safer environment with unlimited potential . Think long about this before you quit ,it is much easier to stay in school and get your education while you are still into the learning mode ,than after you have a wife and kids , Then you do what you have to do and not what you like to do in a lot of cases. As some have said you may get ahead with the fast money but as you get hooked into the field you wont go back to school nearly as easy as it would have been to stay .If you apply yourself in college your grades will allow you to get into internships in various fields . You can be guaranteed that high scores in college will be looked at by the large corporations that pick through the various applicants . The sad thing about some that acquire good college degrees is they fail to use what they have learned when they are afraid to move away to get the best jobs .good luck whichever way you choose .
Real good replys, thanks guys! Seems just like the responses from my family and friends- split opinions.  The degree im persuing is Biomedical Equipment Technician. It's basically being a mechanic on hospital equipment, its a 2 year degree.  Now about the gas jobs, I know all about the rigs, I've gone with my dad and checked them out twice.  The company I'm applying for (Patterson-UTI) does 12 days of 12 hour shifts, then 12 days off.  I personally like that type of work, I would rather work a bunch in a short time then take a long time off.  Like I stated earlier, the starting pay is 77k a year, and I would technically only be working 6 months a year.  If I went and completed my degree I would be making around 40-50k a year starting out, and the promotional process seems alot slower than the gas rigs.  Also with school debt, its practically costing me 15k a semester here In Penn State New Ken. Thats 60k of debt. Like I stated earlier, the only bit of doubt I have is if it will last for my whole career. I know I can do the work, and I know I can be away from family (I was in the USAF and was away for 1 year).  I also love heavy equipment, so it seems like the place for me.
If that is what you have chosen just do yourself the justice of not taking any chances just to get something done quicker . That is heavy bull work at times and easy to get injured . You will be in that position to be rushed  at some point . Nobody likes your *** better than you and it still pays the same to be safe . Best wishes Mr. Oilman

Since both endeavors require some travel, If you repair a specific type of medical equipment like lab or imaging, then go into the sales side, you could earn as much as both the oil and repair jobs combined. Then again there are probably sales jobs in the oil and gas industry that you can earn even more. If you like what you do you will enjoy life more. Good luck

Hi Ryan, I can't help but notice, that your question hasn't really been answered. lol. Some great career advice though! I guess the reason is that nobody really knows how long the boom will last. We know one thing fairly well, the drilling aspect will eventually settle down once the wells are established. With that said, I think you need to position yourself so you are ready for when that day arrives, perhaps a management role within the industry. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to move every 2-3 years just to keep working. That's a hard line to tow...God bless the people who do it. The industry is huge and diverse in the opportunities it can offer. If I were you, and using that hindsight is 20/20 thing, I'd determine the field first and then pursue that field through initial experience (part-time/summer/full time) and then follow it up, or combine, it with the education to go as far as you can in the field. With the plethora of online degrees available, and the 12 days on/off thing, this seems doable.
Ryan Stay in school and finish that stage of your life,then if you want to go to work on a rig go for it. The oil and gas business has a lot of ups and downs I have been in the business for 30 years in several states I have seen and done alot the oil and gas business is in my blood howener you have to have knowledge to pull your self through the bad times. Thats my advice good luck Michael J Belaj


   I work in the industry and would love to tell you that it's gonna be stable employment for a lifetime. The fact of the matter is that it CAN be, as long as you're willing to travel to whatever spot on the planet has work!

  In my 6 yr's in the patch, I've met many guys who, when the seemingly inevitable downturn arrived, found themselves working overseas for many years. Not that it's a bad thing mind you, many of these men (now company men or independent consultants), have never missed a day of employment in over thirty years, although the firms they worked for over that time have been numerous. I myself have been laid off twice, as well as fired and rehired by the same company I still work for! I've moved my family twice in 4 years (though the wife tells me we're staying in PA!) and have known others to do the same.

   In just six years, I've seen raises come (not just due to a promotion) and then wages go to levels below when I started! Then raises come back again, honestly it's a very cyclical industry, and most likely will remain that way (based upon the experience of myself and others in the patch).

   While we all hope that the Marcellus and the Utica turn out to be the sort of plays we can retire on, we're still skeptical having heard the whole story before. Each new play offers talk of being THE BIG ONE until the next election and the administration changes hands and rigs soon end up laid over in the grass.

   The money is great, the time off is too, but I'd not suggest the field to a young man seeking a LIFETIME of guaranteed stable employment. Then again, I can't think of ANY JOB in today's economy that offers that, besides possibly US Senator or Representative!

   I see,you're looking at college and a career in a technical field. I'd assume your choice is based upon a degree of technical/electronic/computer/mechanical aptitude. This sort of ability is in GREAT need in today's patch. The newest, state of the art rigs are wonders of electronic, mechanical, hydraulic and computer engineering. There is ample opportunity for those who understand and can repair these systems as downtime is a very expensive proposition and the tech who can get a rig back up and running is well compensated.

   I'm not one to TELL you what to do-(unless of course you're on my crew!) but I'd suggest giving the patch a try. It most certainly is not for everyone, the hours long and hard, the work can be dirty, you work in the extreme heat and the bitter cold. Those of us with some time in the field have a saying-"it's in your blood".

  Unfortunately, the only way to test for it is by giving it a shot. There's no shame in giving the industry a try by hiring on as a floorhand and seeing how the patch fits you and you fit the patch. Floorhands come and go out here and if you stick around for three or four hitches we might even remember your name! Working hard, carrying your own weight and being eager to learn will get you far. If you find that the patch doesn't suit you, feel free to move on, it's expected out here, as I said, it's in your blood or it isn't.

  You may find the patch fits you and you the patch-just as I did. You do have the advantage here though as I didn't find it in my blood till after 40, and honestly cannot see myself working in any other field!

   If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. We're always looking for bright young men with a work ethic who we can count on to help keep us all safe and productive!





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