Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas

Description

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.

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 in order to develop wells.
  • Design well pumping systems.
  • 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.
  • Operate hoists to lift power line poles into position.

Knowledge

Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.

Interests

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.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

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.

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.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Auger Operator
Blast Hole Driller
Blaster
Blasting Production Technician
Boring Machine Operator
Churn Drill Operator
Churn Driller
Coal Mine Bore Hole Drill Operator
Construction Driller
Core Drill Operator
Core Driller
Core Sampler
Deep Well Contractor
Diamond Driller
Drill Hand
Drill Operator
Drill Runner
Driller
Drilling Machine Operator
Drilling Machine Runner
Earth Auger Operator
Earth Boring Machine Operator
Electric Drill Operator
Explosive Bore Hole Driller
Foundation Drill Operator
Hard Rock Drill Operator
Heavy Equipment Operator
Highwall Drill Operator
Hole Digger Operator
Horizontal Drill Operator
Horizontal Earth Boring Machine Operator
Jumper
Machine Driller
Mine Equipment Operator
Overburden Drill Operator
Post Hole Digger
Post Hole Digging Machine Operator
Raise Driller
Rock Drill Operator
Shot Core Drill Operator
Stoper
Test Borer
Test Driller
Tunneling Machine Operator
Wagon Drill Operator
Wagon Driller
Wagoner
Wash Driller
Water Well Driller
Well Digger
Well Drill Operator
Well Driller

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$19.61 hourly, $40,790 annual.
Employment (2008):
17,680 employees