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Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas - 47-5023.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap subsurface 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. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Blast Hole Driller
  • Diamond Driller
  • Drill Operator
  • Driller
  • Hard Rock Drill Operator
  • Highwall Drill Operator
  • Rock Drill Operator
  • Underground Drill Operator
  • Water Well Driller
  • Well Driller

SOC Occupation Groups

47-0000 Construction and Extraction Occupations
47-5000 Extraction Workers
47-5020 Surface Mining Machine Operators and Earth Drillers
47-5023.00 Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas

Related Occupations


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

Detailed Work Activities

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

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Blaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Equipment Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Horizontal Construction Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Pavements and Construction Equipment (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pavements and Construction Equipment Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pavements and Construction Equipment Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pavements and Construction Equipment Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pavements and Construction Equipment Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Quarrying Specialist (RC) (Army - Enlisted)
  • Water Well Drilling Technician (Navy - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Geothermal and Welldrilling Operator
  • Horizontal Directional Drill Operator
  • Well Drill Operator (Const)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Core-Drill Operator
  • Earth-Boring-Machine Operator
  • Foundation-Drill Operator
  • Horizontal-Earth-Boring-Machine Operator
  • Rock-Drill Operator I
  • Rock-Drill Operator II
  • Well-Drill Operator