The Pros and Cons of Fracking Jobs in Colorado

The growth in Colorado fracking jobs is hard to ignore. “Fracking” is a common term for “hydraulic fracturing”, which is a process by which fossil fuels, usually natural gas or petroleum, are extracted from the earth. During the fracking process, drilling from a well into hard shale rock takes place, and then that rock is cracked. This cracking releases the fossil fuels inside the shale rocks. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the cracked rocks at high pressure. Injection forces the gas or petroleum to flow out to the head of the well. Just like any other career path, fracking in Colorado has its pros and cons and should be carefully weighed before deciding to get into the business. Typical fracking jobs commonly found in Colorado include:

  • Workover Rig Pusher/Completion Hand
  • Mud Engineer / Solids Control Tech
  • Rig Up Tech
  • Rig Monitor
  • Motorhand
  • Floorhand
  • Driller
  • Field Service Technician
  • Flowback Operator
  • Wireline Operator
  • Welder / Fitter
  • Roustabout

Colorado offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, along with some of the best skiing locations. It also has become a growing hub for oil shale exploration and extraction, meaning there will be no shortage of jobs any time soon. Colorado also offers a higher state minimum wage, which is $7.78 per hour since January 1st, 2013 and is adjusted annually compared to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Aside from the higher minimum wage rate, Colorado overtime pay laws are considered to be more favorable to workers than the federal overtime laws. Under Colorado state wage law, employers are required to pay each non-exempt employee an overtime wage of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one workweek, 12 hours in one workday, and/or 12 consecutive hours, regardless of whether the work period overlaps into a second day. Colorado law requires an employer to give its employee a paid, uninterrupted 30-minute break for every five hours worked. Additionally, each employee is entitled to a 10-minute break for every four hours worked.

Just like with every other state, there are some cons associated with working there. Some disadvantages include the fact that fracking “boom towns” cause an increase in crime rate, as well as increased living costs including housing and groceries. Wage theft issues are also unfortunately not uncommon in the fracking and oilfield industry. Too often, oilfield employers fail to pay proper overtime wages – particularly to workers paid on a “day rate” or “daily-rate” by misclassifying them as independent contractors, among other tactics.

If you’re an employee in the oilfield industry in Colorado and don’t think you’re getting the overtime pay you deserve, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to get the pay that is rightfully yours. Contact the overtime pay experts at The Lore Law Firm at 1-866-559-0400 for a free and confidential review.

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