Lewis Lix got a job on the oil rigs in Alberta the same way many young people do.
“I had a friend working the rigs. He talked to his tool push [someone who supervises an oil or natural gas drilling rig site], and I got a call, did an interview over the phone, and then a few days later, I was driving out to a drilling rig,” says Lewis.
Prior to this, Lewis had other plans. “When I got out of high school, I wanted to be a pilot. And that’s why I went to the drilling rigs. I figured I could make the money to get that done.”
Lewis made the money he needed, got his pilot’s licence and flew for a few years, but he no longer had sufficient time to dedicate to becoming a commercial pilot.
The rigs became his lifestyle.
“I met some of the most interesting, smart, hard working people I've ever met when I worked rigs,” he says.
But throughout his career on the rigs, Lewis dealt with shutdown after shutdown and, in time, started to regret the time spent away from his growing family.
“I just started racking my brain about something else I could do. It started out with a lot of long, exhaustive conversations with my family about what I can do with my future, and where's oil and gas going to be in the next 10 years.”