Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
47-5021.00 - Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas

Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap sub-surface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. May use explosives. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.

Sample of reported job titles: Blast Hole Driller, Blaster, Blasting Production Technician, Drill Operator, Driller, Hard Rock Drill Operator, Highwall Drill Operator, Overburden Drill Operator, Rock Drill Operator, Well Driller

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Regulate air pressure, rotary speed, and downward pressure, according to the type of rock or concrete being drilled. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Verify depths and alignments of boring positions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor drilling operations, checking gauges and listening to equipment to assess drilling conditions and to determine the need to adjust drilling or alter equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Start, stop, and control drilling speed of machines and insertion of casings into holes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select the appropriate drill for the job, using knowledge of rock or soil conditions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate controls to stabilize machines and to position and align drills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select and attach drill bits and drill rods, adding more rods as hole depths increase, and changing drill bits as needed. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Drill or bore holes in rock for blasting, grouting, anchoring, or building foundations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate machines to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Drive or guide truck-mounted equipment into position, level and stabilize rigs, and extend telescoping derricks. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform routine maintenance and upgrade work on machines and equipment, such as replacing parts, building up drill bits, and lubricating machinery. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Drive trucks, tractors, or truck-mounted drills to and from work sites. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record drilling progress and geological data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Retrieve lost equipment from bore holes, using retrieval tools and equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assemble and position machines, augers, casing pipes, and other equipment, using hand and power tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Pour water into wells, or pump water or slush into wells to cool drill bits and to remove drillings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate water-well drilling rigs and other equipment to drill, bore, and dig for water wells or for environmental assessment purposes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform pumping tests to assess well performance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Document geological formations encountered during work. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Withdraw drill rods from holes, and extract core samples. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Retract augers to force discharge dirt from holes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Place and install screens, casings, pumps, and other well fixtures to develop wells. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Disinfect, reconstruct, and redevelop contaminated wells and water pumping systems, and clean and disinfect new wells in preparation for use. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review client requirements and proposed locations for drilling operations to determine feasibility, and to determine cost estimates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe electronic graph recorders and flow meters that monitor the water used to flush debris from holes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Signal crane operators to move equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect core samples to determine nature of strata, or take samples to laboratories for analysis. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Fabricate well casings. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air compressors — Portable air compressors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Backhoes — Backhoe-equipped tractors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cargo trucks — Work trucks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Combination wrenches — Adjustable combination wrenches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conventional truck cranes — Truck mounted cranes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Core drills — Air rotary drills; Core drill rigs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Densitometers — Mud balances See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Depth indicators — Water level meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Diesel generators — Alternating current AC generators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Downhole fishing poles — Pipe retrieval fishing tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drill collars — Drilling collars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forklifts — Field forklifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grease guns — Lube guns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grouting pump — Grout pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammer drills — Downhole hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hydraulic rock drills — Cable tool drills; Earth drilling machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory bailers — Water sampling bailers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Levels — Precision levels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Logging instruments for water wells — Water logging tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Makeup tongs — Drill pipe tongs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mud mixers — Mud guns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mud pumps — Mud pumping equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Plaster or mortar mixers — Mud mixers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Remote reading thermometers — Handheld remote thermometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rotary drills — Mud rotary drills; Rotary drilling tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sand control screens — Desanders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Shale shakers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Skid steer loaders — Bobcats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Slings — Chain slings See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Soil core sampling apparatus — Power augers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Submerged arc welding machine — Submerged arc welding tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Trenching machines — Trenchers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Viscosimeters — Marsh funnels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water analyzers — Water test kits See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water pumps — Truck-mounted water pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water samplers — Water monitoring samplers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Well testing downhole tools — Downhole well testing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Drill holes in earth or rock. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Fabricate parts or components. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assemble products or production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect equipment or tools to be used in construction or excavation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Position construction or extraction equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean equipment or facilities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain drilling equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Determine appropriate locations for operations or installations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor extraction operations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record operational or environmental data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate drilling equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure work site dimensions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate pumps or compressors. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Install drilling equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Signal equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect geological samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Select construction equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Remove debris or vegetation from work sites. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Decontaminate equipment or sites to remove hazardous or toxic substances. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare excavation or extraction sites for commissioning or decommissioning. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 95% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 83% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 93% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 82% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 76% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 12% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 24% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 14% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 19% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 27% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 19% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 21% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 77% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 16% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 17% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 25% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 18% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 18% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to High Places — 16% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 20% responded “Not important at all.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 19% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 16% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 22% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 23% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 16% responded “Fairly important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
46   High school diploma or equivalent Help
28   Less than high school diploma
15   Post-secondary certificate Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

back to top

Interests

Interest code: RIC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $20.93 hourly, $43,540 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 20,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 9,000
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top