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What Does it Take to Be an Earth Driller?

Position 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.

A Day in the Life of an Earth Driller

  • Drive trucks, tractors, or truck-mounted drills to and from work sites.
  • Review client requirements and proposed locations for drilling operations to determine feasibility, and to determine cost estimates.
  • Verify depths and alignments of boring positions.
  • Design well pumping systems.
  • Operate machines to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes.
  • Disinfect, reconstruct, and redevelop contaminated wells and water pumping systems, and clean and disinfect new wells in preparation for use.

What Every Earth Driller Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Earth Drillers say are important on the job.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Wagon Driller
  • Churn Drill Operator
  • Construction Driller
  • Test Borer
  • Test Driller

Earth Driller Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,600 jobs in the United States for Earth Driller. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,900 new jobs for Earth Driller by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,600 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Earth Drillers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Earth Driller are Connecticut, Wyoming, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Maryland, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Earth Driller Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Earth Drillers is somewhere between $30,810 and $69,940.

Salary Ranges for Earth Drillers

Earth Drillers who work in Massachusetts, New York, or Vermont, make the highest salaries.

How much do Earth Drillers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $38,550
Alaska $58,210
Arizona $51,990
Arkansas $54,510
California $56,080
Colorado $51,070
Connecticut $46,100
Delaware $52,960
Florida $39,360
Georgia $34,820
Idaho $56,760
Illinois $47,840
Indiana $46,750
Iowa $43,920
Kansas $52,580
Kentucky $42,670
Louisiana $47,370
Maine $40,550
Maryland $45,170
Massachusetts $61,640
Michigan $39,890
Minnesota $49,270
Mississippi $39,590
Missouri $48,560
Montana $51,670
Nebraska $41,740
Nevada $57,910
New Hampshire $53,250
New Jersey $60,610
New Mexico $48,930
New York $66,980
North Carolina $45,160
North Dakota $49,090
Ohio $44,820
Oklahoma $46,130
Oregon $55,790
Pennsylvania $42,770
South Carolina $46,110
South Dakota $44,870
Tennessee $41,830
Texas $39,360
Utah $46,170
Vermont $59,620
Virginia $46,070
Washington $54,370
West Virginia $37,100
Wisconsin $47,490
Wyoming $49,830

Tools & Technologies Used by Earth Drillers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Earth Drillers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data entry software
  • Global positioning system GPS software

Becoming an Earth Driller

What kind of Earth Driller requirements are there?

Earth Driller Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Earth Driller?

Earth Driller Work Experience

Where do Earth Drillers Work?

Earth Driller Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Earth Drillers employed by various industries.

Earth Driller Industries


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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