I doubled my salary in North Dakota

The manager of a local Taco John's fast food restaurant turned minimum wage into a six-figure paycheck by moving from Idaho to an oil patch of North Dakota. Meet some of the other people who have doubled -- even tripled -- their pay in America's boomtown.

Jeremiah Salaz
Jeremiah Salaz
Home state: Nebraska
Occupation: Hydraulic fracturer
Pay: $92,000 - $130,000 per year

I came out here looking for work about three months ago and I now work in the oil fields.

I worked at a factory [when I lived in Nebraska], but once the economy took a downturn they cut our overtime. And for factory workers, that's what they bank on is the overtime.

I heard about this oil boom going on in North Dakota where everyone's making money hand over fist. Unlike a lot of people back home, I was willing to take the leap of faith to try to exceed financially what I was making before in order to have a better life -- for not only myself but for my wife and daughter.

Short-term, the goal is to make the most amount of money possible in the shortest amount of time possible. On the low end, I make $92,000 a year, and a high end of $130,000 -- and where I'm from, the only people who make that kind of money are doctors or lawyers. And I don't have a degree, so I would consider anything above double what I was making before to be awesome money.

I'm able to buy everything my daughter has ever wanted -- toys, clothes. Before, I had a Jeep Wrangler and my wife had a Jeep Wrangler. So I was able to buy a brand new Mercedes, and my wife a Mercedes

My dream is to ultimately, number one, be happy in life. If you're happy in life good things are gonna happen -- you're gonna have a happy environment to raise a family in. Out here, not only can you be happy, but you can make a lot of money.


Blake Ellis - Last updated October 27 2011: 9:55 AM ET
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Double your salary in the middle of nowhere, North Dakota

Companies are hiring like crazy: you can make $15 an hour serving tacos, $25 an hour waiting tables and $80,000 a year driving trucks. In the middle of nowhere, North Dakota.

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