Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 47-5021 Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas
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. Include horizontal and earth boring machine operators.
Education: These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
OJT: 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.
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.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $14.51   Entry $30,189.00
Mean $19.25   Mean $40,039.00
Experience $21.62 Experience $44,970.00

The data is based on the May 2017 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2018.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
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Occupational Videos
47-5021.00 Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas