Rock-Drill Operator

Shatter rock and prepare blast sites to pulverize hillsides.
picture of Rock-Drill Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$27,000 – $62,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Rock-Drill Operators do?

Earth is scientifically interesting, magical, historical, and gorgeous. It encompasses human, animal, and plant life, and provides the means to sustain that life. Oceans, mountains, and deserts all play a role in the survival of humanity.

And earth is a lady who has many hidden gems, too. Whether it be reserves of million-year-old oil, gold, or salt, humans delve beneath the surface to access those materials. Rock-Drill Operators are star players to the mining and construction crews that blast through hillsides and scour the sub-earth terrain.

As a Rock-Drill Operator, you run the machinery that busts through cemented layers of earth. Although you’re called a Rock-Drill Operator, you actually handle a variety of drills in order to get the job done.

And that job varies depending on the project. You might drill holes so that Blasters and Explosives Engineers can design a network of explosives deep within a hillside. This technique is commonly used during the construction of roads, bridges, or buildings. For other projects, you might focus on accessing minerals buried within the soil.

Regardless of the project and the resulting product, your job is much like the job of other Construction Workers and Miners. You use your passion for working outdoors to operate, maintain, and repair your rock drill. In addition, you ensure that the right drill bit is inserted into the chuck, and you change it out as necessary. Then you maneuver the drill, controlling the speed and depth, until you tap into the soil, liquid, or gas you’re looking for.

Should I be a Rock-Drill Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Hard Rock Drill Operator, Reciprocating-Drill Operator, Rock Drill Operator, Rock-Drill Operator II See More

    How to become a Rock-Drill Operator

    Most Rock-Drill Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9rdaaa&chl=no+college+%2874%25%29|certificate+%2821%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,74,74
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