Earth drillers
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Overview
Operate a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap sub-surface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. May use explosives. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for earth drillers (non-gas/oil) are expected to grow by 20%, and should have about 2,600 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Earth drillers (non-gas/oil) are more likely to be automated than 68% of other careers.
Workforce size
Earth drillers (non-gas/oil), with 19,600 workers, form a smaller workforce than 72% of careers.
Education
Only 5% of earth drillers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by earth drillers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer earth drillers have bachelor's degrees than 83% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 56% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for earth drillers (non-gas/oil). The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most earth drillers (non-gas/oil).
This job's median $44KAll jobs' median $39K$47K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 2% of earth drillers -- that's a smaller percentage than 94% of other jobs.
Gender of earth drillers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For earth drillers, the median men's salary was Infinity% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 6% of earth drillers are minority, and 11% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of earth drillers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (11%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Earth Drillers (Non-Gas/Oil) per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 54% of earth drillers, and 54% have company-sponsored health insurance (28% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for earth drillers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of earth drillers (non-gas/oil) who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (88%)
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration (85%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (68%)
  • Consequence of Error (67%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (66%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (62%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (57%)
  • Time Pressure (41%)
  • Exposed to High Places (40%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do earth drillers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for earth drillers (non-gas/oil), and then we show how the middle (median) salary for earth drillers (non-gas/oil) compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for earth drillers (non-gas/oil) (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all earth drillers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for earth drillers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for earth drillers (ACS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where earth drillers (non-gas/oil) work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Earth drillers (ACS)
Private for-profit (87.4%)
Private not-for-profit (1.2%)
Local government (0.4%)
State government (0.3%)
Federal government (0.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (6.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (4.7%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of earth drillers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$50K$51K$36K$50K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of earth drillers (non-gas/oil) by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$44K$44K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000State governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for earth drillers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$31K$48K$42K$53K$51K$53K$60K$43K$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Earth drillers and gender

With 2% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 94% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Earth drillers
Men (98%)
Women (2%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for men. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Earth drillers have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for undefined of other jobs.

Infinity%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of earth drillers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority earth drillers than for 99% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of earth drillers
White (90% )
Black (3% )
Other (3% )
Multiracial (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Asian (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
6%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
11%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for earth drillers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$40K$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KBlackWhite
Distribution: Salaries for earth drillers by nativity
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by earth drillers (non-gas/oil)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earth drillers (non-gas/oil) typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as earth drillers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for earth drillers.

Education attained by earth drillers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for earth drillers? Below we see the distribution of earth drillers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as earth drillers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$47K$47K$52K$61K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (17%)High School (54%)Some College (18%)Associate's Degree (6%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation
1,038
Well Drilling/Driller
26
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for earth drillers

What jobs will most earth drillers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of earth drillers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Earth drillersConstruction laborersManagers (specialized areas)First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersOil, gas, and mining laborersConstruction equipment operatorsDriver/sales workers and truck driversConstruction managersGeneral and operations managersSocial and community service managersIndustrial truck and tractor operatorsChief executives and legislatorsPipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfittersGeological, petroleum, and nuclear techniciansFood preparation workers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for earth drillers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as earth drillers as well as 1% of respondents after working as earth drillers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for earth drillers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
Construction equipment operators
48,300
$0$200K$46K
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
Oil, gas, and mining laborers
19,200
$0$200K$58K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for earth drillers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as earth drillers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of earth drillers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for earth drillers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
3.4%
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
1.3%
Agricultural workers (specialized areas)
129,300
$0$200K$21K
3.1%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
3.0%
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
6.3%
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers
51,000
$0$200K$39K
4.4%
Construction equipment operators
48,300
$0$200K$46K
5.5%
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
3.3%
Installation, maintenance, and repair workers
22,800
$0$200K$39K
3.0%
Oil, gas, and mining laborers
19,200
$0$200K$58K
10.9%
Sailors and marine oilers, and ship engineers
5,700
$0$200K$42K
1.2%
Conveyor operators, and hoist and winch operators
4,100
$0$200K$40K
2.4%
Earth drillers
2,600
$0$200K$50K
34.3%
Mining machine operators
2,400
$0$200K$63K
2.6%
Riggers
2,300
$0$200K$42K
3.3%
Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers
1,800
$0$200K$46K
2.1%
Explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters
800
$0$200K$41K
2.8%
No occupation
4.7%
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for earth drillers (non-gas/oil)
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 56% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for earth drillers (non-gas/oil). This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $44KAll jobs' median $39K$44K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for earth drillers (non-gas/oil) are anticipated to grow by 20% over the next decade; only 6% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for earth drillers (non-gas/oil) is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030010,00020,00030,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most earth drillers (non-gas/oil)? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as earth drillers (non-gas/oil). You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Earth Drillers (Non-Gas/Oil) per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.10.20.30.40.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where earth drillers (non-gas/oil) earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for earth drillers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for earth drillers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Earth Drillers (Non-Gas/Oil) to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which earth drillers (non-gas/oil) earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Earth drillers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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