Drill Rig Operator

Drill lengthy holes used to run sewer, water, and gas pipes.
picture of Drill Rig Operator

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$26,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Drill Rig Operators do?

As a Drill Rig Operator, you do pretty much what your title says. But what exactly are drill rigs, and how do you operate them? Drill rigs are large drills that are used to create holes for things like water pipes, sewer lines, gas mains, and underground tunnels. These drills can range in size, so you need to be ready to work with big pieces of equipment.

This is a construction job, which means it’s done outside, in all types of weather, and around loud, big machines. All these attributes influence your work outfit, so expect to spend your days as Drill Rig Operator in a hardhat, steel-toe boots, reflective vest, and jacket if the weather is really bad.

In addition to having good fashion sense, Drill Rig Operators also need to work well with others. You start each job by talking with your customer, Drill Foreman, and any other workers on the job. You figure out what exactly needs to be done (and where), and then decide how to go about the task. You maneuver the drill into place, check to make sure the correct specifications (like depth and width) are entered, and then get to work making the hole.

After you finish drilling, you remove all equipment and clean up the space. You keep track of the drill maintenance schedule, and make sure all the regular repairs are made on time and correctly. If something breaks unexpectedly, you alert your Supervisor and arrange for it to be repaired.


Should I be a Drill Rig Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Road Machine Operator

    How to become a Drill Rig Operator

    Most Drill Rig Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:95aaaa&chl=no+college+%2852%25%29|certificate+%2848%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,52,52
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