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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

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

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

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software Hot technology
  • Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Skills

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

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • 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).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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

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Detailed Work Activities

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

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Work Context

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

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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 orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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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

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Credentials

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

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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.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • 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.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $21.27 hourly, $44,240 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 20,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Much faster than average (14% or higher) Much faster than average (14% or higher)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 7,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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