A work camp is a housing/living accommodation that employers provide to their workers, so this isn't like the "summer camp " working with kids type of job. Most of the time it is shift type of work, where a worker could work for say two weeks and be off for one, or work three weeks and be off for two, and other shift arrangements. These types of jobs are often from the following sectors:
- Heavy Equipment Operators
One of the most popular locations for work camps is Alberta, but they are available in other provinces too. According to the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce there is quite a labour shortage there, this is actually a problem which other Canadian Regions face as well. There was a report done by the Government of Alberta in 2011 called Alberta's Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook which predicts that over the next decade Alberta could experience a labour shortage of up to 114,000 workers. Alberta contains oil sands where the dirt actually contains oil which is extracted from it. Just looking at the dirt you would think it just looks like topsoil, but when you add it to hot water, you can see that the oil and water separate - the sand and water will drop to the bottom and the oil stays at the top. Back in 2006, CBS' 60 minutes did a segment about Fort McMurray's Oil Sands.
CBS 60 Minutes Alberta Oil Sands Clip
Often, the employer pays for your flights and you don't have to worry about paying for food because it is provided. Some camps have amenities such as coffee shops, workout facilities, satellite television, wifi - every camp is different. A small camp can have as little as 30 people a big one can have as many as 2500 people.
The camp job is not for everyone, the loccations tend to be very remote which can be hard for some people to adjust. Also, it can take a toll on your family life - you're away from them for long periods of time and you spend a lot of time travelling. My partner once had a camp job up in Yellowknife working as a mechanic on their Ice Road, he enjoyed it financially but he said that after awhile he just felt like cattle being herded in the airport. This is not to discourage you from getting a job like this, they are just things to consider, every job has its pros and cons.
Below are some resources which may help you with searching for a camp accomadation job, you can check out their websites:
- PTI Group
- Compass Group (ESS Support Services)
- Fort McMurray Employer Websites (the websites are organized by Occupation)