NOC 7373 – Water well drillers



Water well drillers operate a variety of mobile water well drilling rigs and equipment to drill and monitor residential, commercial and industrial water wells. They are employed by water well drilling contractors and governments, or they may be self-employed.

Mobility is possible among the various well drilling operators in this unit group.

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Main Duties

Water well drillers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Review client requirements and proposed locations for water wells
  • Operate water well drilling rigs and other equipment to drill, bore and dig for residential, commercial and industrial water wells or environmental assessment, and install well screens, casings and other well fixtures
  • Document geological formations encountered
  • Clean and disinfect wells in preparation for use
  • Perform routine mechanical maintenance work on water well drilling rigs and equipment
  • Install, test, maintain and repair water well pumps, piping systems and equipment and perform pumping tests to assess well performance
  • May provide other drilling services, such as repair or dismantling of existing water well structure, elevator shaft drilling and hydro pole drilling.

Water well drillers may specialize in a specific method of drilling, such as cable, rotary, auger, hammer or reverse circulation drilling.

Employment Requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a two- to three-year water well drilling apprenticeship program
    Two to three years of work experience in the trade combined with college or industry courses in water well drilling is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

All Titles

  • apprentice water well driller
  • cable tool driller – water well drilling
  • churn drill operator – water well drilling
  • driller, water well apprentice
  • journeyman/woman water well drillerjourneyman water well driller, journeywoman water well driller, water well driller journeyman, water well driller journeywoman
  • technician, water well drilling
  • water well driller
  • water well driller apprentice
  • water well driller journeyman/woman
  • water well drilling technician


  • Drillers – underground mining (See 8231 Underground production and development miners)
  • Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (8232)
  • Surface mining, quarrying and construction drillers (See 7372 Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction)
  • Water well drilling contractors and supervisors of water well drillers (See 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews)



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