Patti Faustini: How you can benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom: Part 2 (Two Sides to Every Coin).

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February 5, 2012

It’s true, there are terrific employment opportunities in the Bakken oil boom towns of eastern Montana and western North Dakota; however, there are additional considerations. Let’s take a look:

In case you missed Part 1 of How You can Benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom, here’s a quick summary of the situation:

• Over 458,00 barrels of oil a day are being extracted from 200,000 square miles of shale throughout eastern Montana, western North Dakota and Saskatchewan.
• Where there’s oil, there’s work.
• North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation (Montana is just a coat tail rider of this economic boom, but that’s another story…something to do with politics.)
• Workers, skilled and unskilled, are needed in Williston, North Dakota and Sidney, Montana, as well as the surrounding towns. Check out maps of Montana and North Dakota.

• Pizza Hut and similar places have openings and are paying $10.00-$14.00 an hour. There were several on line openings in Williston, ND as of this writing.
• Jobs requiring skills specific to the oil industry abound, as well as openings in transportation, labor, communications, technology, mechanic work, etc.
• Most reports indicate a $20 an hour average for most work; you can work about as many hours as you can stand it.


• Increase in crime rates can accompany this increase in jobs.
• Pre- boom times, Montana and North Dakota prairie towns were sparsely populated by families who’d been part of the local DNA for generations. Suddenly, these towns have been flooded with workers from all over the United States, which concerns locals. While most of the new workers are law abiding, some respect neither the law nor community standards. I suppose there’s people like that everywhere, come to think of it.

Should you go? Is it worth it? And if you go, should you take your family with you? Only you can make that call.

I hope you check back here for Part 3 of How you can benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom: RVing It. I’ll address RV life, housing challenges, and the cost of living in Bakken oil boom towns.

Happy tales,

Leave a Reply


  1. Patti faustini

    Hi Butterbean, and yes, there are two sides to booms! Maybe the key is being smart with money and plans in the boom phase so a person is in good shape for the bust!

    Happy tales,


  2. butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Patti,

    You have found your niche, girl, and it fits right in with the Chamber of Commerce work you’ve been putting out!!!!!!!! Hooray, for you!!! The area visitors centers should have some openings and the
    marinas, the ski shops, there will be new stores opening, etc…

    We live in a town that HAD an oil boom and it played out; now we have a whole lot of empty buildings, vacant lots, no jobs, housing that’s falling down, absentee owners who don’t pay their taxes… We have a drug lab/use problem, because the kids and g-kids of the elderly have returned, with their BIG CITY habits, moved in and taken over the old folks property to use for their criminal operations… The law enforcement can’t do anything because of the way the laws are written now, favoring the crooks.. The CoC and EDC are run by a few people who have the Marie Antoinette syndrome, give money to their ‘buddies’ to ‘bring in jobs’, who build BIG NEW BUILDINGS (instead of using usable existing ones) having their friends for construction, who begin manufacturing/service/
    transportation companies, that hire ‘few locals’ and then go ‘bankrupt’ in 3-5 years; leaving the tax-payers to pay for the whole thing, after the money has ‘flown’!!!!!!!!!!! One bunch moved to the next town and opened under a new name manufacturing and selling the same products!!!