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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.

List of Earth Driller Job Duties

  • Start, stop, and control drilling speed of machines and insertion of casings into holes.
  • Drive trucks, tractors, or truck-mounted drills to and from work sites.
  • Retract augers to force discharge dirt from holes.
  • Signal crane operators to move equipment.
  • Design well pumping systems.
  • Withdraw drill rods from holes, and extract core samples.

Things an Earth Driller Should Know How to Do

Earth Drillers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Types of Earth Driller Jobs

  • Drill Runner
  • Well Drill Operator
  • Underground Drill Operator
  • Soil Sampler
  • Well Driller Helper

Are There Job Opportunities for Earth Drillers?

In the United States, there were 19,600 jobs for Earth Driller in 2016. 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. There will be an estimated 2,600 positions for Earth Driller per year.


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.

Average Earth Drillers Salary

The salary for Earth Drillers ranges between about $30,810 and $69,940 a year.


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

How much do Earth Drillers make in different U.S. states?

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

What Tools do Earth Drillers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Earth Drillers:

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

How do I Become an Earth Driller?

What education is needed to be an Earth Driller?


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


Where Earth Drillers Are Employed


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



Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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