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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7373 Occupation: Water well drillers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
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.  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. 

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read notes and email about work-related topics from supervisors, engineers and co-workers. For example, read instructions for job tasks on work orders. (1)
  • Read instructions for usage and handling on product labels. For example, read instructions for using and storing disinfectants for water wells. When accidents occur, you may read about first aid treatments. (1)
  • Read memos from organizations and agencies such as health and safety councils and workers' compensation boards. For example, read memos about upcoming recertification seminars being offered by provincial ground water associations. Scan memos to learn about new procedures for setting up, maintaining and dismantling equipment. (2)
  • Read about well construction methods in hydrogeological and water well construction reports. For example, read hydrogeological reports to learn about well casing requirements and grouting methods. Note geological details such as overburden and bedrock materials. (3)
  • Read about new work procedures in trade publications. For example, read about new techniques for reconditioning wells in magazines such as the American Driller and about equipment maintenance tips in Canadian Ground Water Association's newsletter. (3)
  • Read well construction, safety and environmental codes, regulations and addenda. For example, read provincial water well regulations to determine requirements for abandoning water wells. (3)
  • Read operating and training manuals. For example, read operating manuals to learn how to maintain equipment and repair malfunctions such as fluctuating pressures on rotary drills. Read service and operating manuals in order to install and set up pumps, filters and other equipment. Read training manuals for geology, drilling systems and well construction to pass certification courses. (3)
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Writing
  • Write brief notes and comments. For example, write notes about low inventory and outstanding tasks in personal logs. Write comments about unusual drilling situations and damages to properties on daily log sheets. (1)
  • Write brief letters to customers about modifications to drilling projects. For example, self-employed water well drillers write letters and email to customers to describe additional well construction requirements such as filters to prevent sand from entering domestic water systems. (2)
  • Write descriptions and explanations on forms. For example, describe safety concerns such as steep slopes and unstable ground and outline remedial actions taken on safety reporting forms. Describe accidents and incidents such as property damage on incident-accident forms. (2)
  • Prepare job quotes and proposals. For example, self-employed water well drillers write job proposals that describe well drilling jobs and propose drilling methods, equipment and systems. They set delivery and installation dates, describe equipment and service guarantees and outline maintenance requirements. (3)
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Document Use
  • Scan signs and labels. For example, locate part numbers, model types and other data on parts and product labels. Observe hazard warnings on equipment and container labels. (1)
  • Locate data in work orders and tracking and quality control forms. For example, locate job details such as well types, sizes, materials and equipment to use in work orders. (2)
  • Use troubleshooting, safety and maintenance flowcharts. For example, use diagnostic flowcharts to troubleshoot the causes of reduced water flow from pumps. Locate procedures in safety flowcharts to manage jobsite injuries. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, find work locations and work order numbers in job lists. Find drilling speeds, air pressures, water flow settings, pipe sizes and clearances in specification tables. Locate part numbers, descriptions and quantities in material lists. Locate data such as well construction requirements, geological details and aquifer depths from tables in well records and hydrogeological reports. (2)
  • Review assembly drawings to locate assembly sequences for well pumping systems. (3)
  • Complete work orders and tracking and quality control forms. For example, fill out work orders to detail job progress, hours, materials and supplies used. Complete pump system inspection checklists to note that inspections were performed and to highlight any deficiencies. Complete well records to describe well locations, construction methods, overburden and bedrock materials, well yields, pumping rates and pump system details. Self-employed water well drillers fill in invoices and job quotes. (3)
  • Review subdivision and property drawings to locate placements of proposed water wells and features such as septic beds, underground cables and pipes. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Search the Internet for operating manuals, well records and troubleshooting procedures. Access articles from the Canadian Ground Water Association's website. (2)
  • Send and receive email and attachments. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Speak to parts and material suppliers. For example, arrange deliveries of equipment and pump parts to drilling sites. Self-employed water well drillers negotiate prices and delivery times of materials and supplies such as mud, sand, well piping, pumps and safety fencing. (1)
  • Discuss ongoing work during jobsite and staff meetings. For example, during staff meetings discuss current and upcoming jobs and receive instructions on new drilling practices and maintenance procedures. At the beginning of jobs, discuss job tasks, regulations and jobsite safety with other members of the drilling crews. Self-employed drillers may lead staff meetings. (2)
  • Discuss well drilling jobs with customers. For example, inform customers about drilling depths, geological formations encountered, and maintenance requirements. Inform customers about broken well equipment and dry wells and discuss replacement options, and property damage and repairs. Self-employed water well drillers negotiate job costs and schedules with customers. (3)
  • Provide supervisors with updates on drilling projects and seek advice for handling uncommon workplace and drilling situations. Discuss job assignments and receive instructions for well construction and equipment maintenance. (3)
  • Give instructions and provide directions to apprentices, junior well drillers and labourers. For example, water well drillers outline the selection and set-up of drilling equipment and give reasons for these choices. They give instructions and provide guidance to apprentices for operating equipment, preparing mud and grouting mixtures, drilling through difficult geological formations, and installing well pump systems. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claims for travel to remote well sites and training events. Calculate expenses using per diem amounts for meals and per kilometre rates for the use of personal vehicles. (2)
  • Calculate amounts for job quotes and verify invoices. For example, self-employed water well drillers charge customers according to hours spent on jobs and depth drilled. They apply markups to equipment they have purchased and supplies they have used. They calculate discounts and taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule sequences of activities for well drilling and maintenance projects. For example, self-employed water well drillers establish timelines and staffing and equipment requirements for drilling projects. They set sequences of activities for small drilling crews. (3)
  • Create and monitor budgets. For example, self-employed water well drillers calculate annual budgets and monitor costs against budgeted amounts. They include costs of human resources, equipment purchases, maintenance, supplies and materials. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take measurements using rulers, tapes, gauges and graduated containers. For example, confirm depths and diameters of holes, water levels and drilling depths. Place well and pump components by measuring depths, heights and widths. Measure material quantities to prepare solutions and mixtures. Identify operating levels of equipment such as shaft speeds and air pressures using digital displays and gauges. (1)
  • Set up and solve proportional calculations and determine quantities of ingredients for sanitizing solutions and mud and grouting mixtures. (2)
  • Set up and connect ohmmeters to test cables and splices when installing and repairing equipment such as submersible pumps. (2)
  • Calculate volumes. For example, use well diameters and water depths to calculate volumes of water in wells. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare flow rates of wells and aquifers to customers' specifications to ensure that required water volumes are produced and maintained over time. (1)
  • Review equipment performance data in order to identify faulty and worn parts. For example, compare variables such as pressure, amperage, speed and flow to specifications to identify components that need replacing and adjusting. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate aquifer depths in order to prepare job quotes. Consider factors such as geological formations and the depths of aquifers listed in well records and hydrogeological reports. (2)
  • Estimate times required for water well projects. Depend on experience with similar projects and geological formations, but unexpected difficulties such as difficult rock formations can affect drilling times. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Water well drillers follow established drilling and well development procedures, with variations only in drilling sizes and time required to drill and develop water wells. They are assigned drilling jobs daily by supervisors and continue until they are completed. Self-employed water well drillers select and organize their own jobs but they have similar job task planning and organizing requirements. They are responsible for organizing their daily tasks. Water well drillers organize job tasks for labourers and apprentices. They may rotate job task assignments to maintain workers' skills. In addition, they may monitor apprentices' activities and assign tasks to meet their training and development requirements. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Choose locations for wells. Consider how easy sites are to access, how far they are from septic drainage fields, buildings and roadways and how their elevations differ from points where the water is needed. In some cases, ask customers and supervisors for approvals to drill in new locations. (2)
  • Select types of equipment to complete drilling and water well installations. Specifications in hydrogeological reports may guide your decision but other factors such as mud losses, types of bedrock, customers' water requirements, cost and past experience are critical factors in equipment choices. You may seek customers' approvals before purchasing equipment such as pumps for water well. (2)
  • Select drilling methods and techniques. For example, choose drilling muds and sands. Choose drill sizes and speeds, and choose to reduce drilling speeds and hole diameters when too close to aquifers to avoid drilling past them. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Drilling sites are hazardous. For example, steep land slopes make stabilizing equipment difficult. In some cases, speak with supervisors and other water well drillers for advice and suggestions on stabilizing the slope and the rig to ensure safe drilling. You may seek supervisors' approvals before drilling. (2)
  • Encounter dry holes when drilling. For example, no water is found after drilling to depths where water would normally be found. In some cases, discuss alternate well locations with supervisors and customers, review hydrogeological reports and ask for advice from hydrogeological engineers before continuing. You may employ the services of dowsers. (2)
  • Face equipment breakages and malfunctions which reduce water flows at existing wells and prevent the drilling of new wells. For example, the pumps are not working properly and customers' cisterns are running dry. Consult operating manuals for service and repair information. If necessary, arrange the lease and purchase of alternative equipment. (2)
  • Experience workplace accidents which result in injuries and fatalities. Inform supervisors, shut down equipment, assess injuries and administer first aid. If necessary, call emergency services to request medical advice and aid. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about drilling and well construction jobs. Find information about initial drilling methods, mud mixtures, hole diameters and geological formations by reading well records, hydrogeological reports and by consulting supervisors and more experienced drillers. (2)
  • Find information about drilling and water well equipment by studying flowcharts, assembly drawings and operating manuals and speaking to other drillers. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the suitability of labourers and apprentices when hiring drilling crew and assigning tasks. Review résumés and apprentice training plans when hiring. Consider personal observations of the performances of the workers when assigning tasks. (2)
  • Judge the safety of job sites. Inspect work sites using safety criteria such as proper clearances from hydro wires, adequate identification and containment of mechanical and chemical hazards, and proper placement and set-up of equipment. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of aquifers. Use criteria such as water clarity, yields per minute, static water levels and water recovery rates during and after pumping. In addition, consider the depths at which wells are drilled into rock beds and quality of the rock chips produced during drilling. (2)
  • Judge the condition of drilling and water well equipment when completing daily vehicle inspections and performing general maintenance tasks. Inspect equipment visually and take measurements, which are compared to specifications to determine repair and maintenance requirements. (3)
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