Just saw your post now, so not sure if you're still looking for info or not but figured I'd reply anyways. My hubby works in the industry, he actually is the field manager and is in charge of hiring/training/overseeing the field department at his company. For a long time now they've been steadily hiring as it's so busy. We live in a town of about 7000 people, so I'm not sure if that's something you're interested in or if you'd prefer to be in a larger city. So take what I say with a grain of salt, as prices get more expensive the closer you live to the big cities. As far as work for your hubby, I can only speak on what my husband's company is like. Guys generally drive up to Fort Mcmurray and work for around 11 days away, then have 3 days off. Sometimes more, sometimes less all depending on the project. They drive up together in company trucks. They stay in camps close to job-sites. Their meals are all provided for them. Most people that work up there in the oil and gas industry travel to work from another town/city and stay working away for awhile, as it's an absurd amount to rent anything up there! The work is all outdoors, their guys do anything from being a swamper (grunt-work, where most guys start out) to operating (my husband's company provides all the training) to supervising. Pay is pretty good, I would say most guys make anywhere from 80-140K a year depending on their position and experience. Employees must have a high school diploma, drivers license, plus safety tickets are an asset to getting hired as well but if they don't have them the company will arrange for them to take the courses. (first aid, WHMIS, etc.)
As far as cost of living goes, I'm not sure if you're looking at renting or buying. For renting; in the paper this week there's a few; 4 bdrm 2 back on an acreage 4 miles east of town. $1400/month includes utilities. In town, 5 bdrm house with single car garage- $995. 3 bdrm, 1.5 bath condo, 5 appliances, rent $950. 2 bdrm apartment for $700/month plus power. For buying, houses are as low as $160K for an older 2 bdrm, 1 bath home to 400+K for an executive style home, so depends on your price range. School system is good (IMO, and I have 4 kids, 3 of which are in school). There's a public elementary, middle and high school. There's a Christian school, as well as a Catholic school that goes from preschool to Gr.12. 2 preschools in town for your 3 year old. There's a few playgroups, but I don't partake so can't tell you much about those. If you live in town and are buying, you'll be paying a town bill (water/sewer/garbage), power and gas bill. We had a newer home (1300 sq ft main floor) with 6 people, with me and the younger kids being home all day. Our town bill was $100/month, power avg 150, and gas avg 100-150 depending on time of year. Most likely your bills would be a lot lower with a smaller family. Doctors are pretty good, we only have one clinic now as the 2nd one just closed due to 2 docs moving away, but we still have enough that if I call I can usually get in to see someone within a day or two. There's 2 grocery stores here, 2 hardware stores, lots of restaurants, swimming pool, big skating rink, lots of extracurricular activities for kids. Gymnastics, ball, soccer, swimming, karate, dance, scouts/brownies, plus tons other I'm forgetting.
Let me know if you have any other questions, I'm happy to help.