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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Service Contract Act Directory of Occupations

23965 Well Driller

Sets up and operates portable drilling rig (machine and related equipment) to drill wells. Extends stabilizing jackscrews to support and level drilling rig. Moves levers to control power-driven winch that raises and extends telescoping mast. Bolts trusses and guy wires to raised mast and anchors them to machine frame and stakes. Assembles drilling tools, using hand tools or power tools. Moves levers and pedals to raise tools into vertical drilling position and lowers well casing (pipe that shores up walls of well) into well bore, using winch. Moves levers and pedals and turns handwells to control reciprocating action of machine and to drive or extract well casing. Pumps water into well to facilitate drilling by cooling drill bit and removing drillings. Listens to sounds of drilling machine and feels cable or brake to determine drilling conditions and to identify variations such as entering new strata or striking rock. Moves levers to adjust stroke and impact of cable tool drilling machine or changes drill bits of rotary drilling machine to fit changing conditions. Replaces drill bit with tool to collect samples of earth or rock being penetrated. Examines samples to determine nature of strata encountered or submits samples to laboratory for analysis. Records drilling progress and geological data. Splices worn or broken cable. May sharpen bits by heating them in forging furnace and hammering edges on anvil. May build up worn drill bits by arc welding, tempering bits in furnace, and by quenching them in water. May retrieve lost equipment from bore holes, using specialized retrieval tools and equipment. May fabricate well casings. May restore wells to active production.