Has anyone been hired by a company outside the state they live in or outside the geographical region they live in? How did that work? Did your company provide you with room and board? Did you fly back and forth on your own dime in between projects? What happens, exactly?
Job prospects in my area…
I did this a couple of times. Once, on a pipeline survey, the company provided housing and per diem, even on the weekends. This was an ongoing project that was moving from hotel to hotel on a weekly basis. Travel was on my own dime.
Another job was an ongoing survey of a large land area. We didn’t ever move the field hq, so you were expected to find your own place. Again, personal travel wasn’t covered.
Generally, per diem and travel is based off of the location of the company hq. If you’re within a couple of hours of hq, there won’t be per diem. If you need to move to be close to the hq, housing won’t be covered and you’ll have to find your own. If you do this, I strongly recommend getting a place month-to-month. It’s more expensive, but will be cheaper than having to break a lease when the project doesn’t work out.
If the project is more than a couple hours away from the hq, housing and per diem will usually be provided. If it’s a long drive from hq, sometimes housing and per diem will be supplied over the weekend. Otherwise, they’ll go back home over the weekend. In that case, you’re on your own over the weekend. If you’re traveling out from the company’s hq, it’ll be covered to and from the project area. Sometimes, you’ll just meet at the hotel, in which case you’re on your own for travel.
Sometimes, rarely, the firm will keep a room at the hotel over the weekend to house equipment for the following week. They’ll occasionally be willing to let one or two people stay in that room to “watch over the stuff.” Basically, you get free housing for the weekend, but that’s it. It’s unpaid and there’s no per diem. I did that a couple of times, less because of the travel and more because I enjoyed exploring those smaller towns.
If a project is really long term and far away from hq, the firm will sometimes establish a field hq. In this case, the rules for being close to hq apply.
Good luck in your job search. Many firms have a “stable” of techs who have worked for them before. When I project comes up, they’ll contact that group of people first. Not everybody will be able to show up, but they’ll usually know people who are looking for work. Talk to your fellow tech friends who have jobs to see if they can put in a good word.
Also, it’s still late winter up in the north, so everybody is grasping for a limited number of jobs. I’d expect the job market to open up a little more in a month or two, although I also expect it to be a dismal autumn because of the sequester.