Career summary

Details for 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

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

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.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Skills

  • 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.

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