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
Join the Conversation
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.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.