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Career and Education Opportunities for Core Drill Operators in Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for core drill operators. Currently, 750 people work as core drill operators in Colorado. This is expected to grow by 46% to 1,100 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for core drill operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.2% over the next eight years. Core drill operators generally 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.

Income for core drill operators is about $18 hourly or $38,190 annually on average in Colorado. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,240 annually. Incomes for core drill operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Mining and Extraction in Colorado, and not quite as good as the overall Mining and Extraction category nationally.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Thornton area, including one within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree to start your career as a core drill operator. Given that the most common education level for core drill operators is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a core drill operator if you already have a high school diploma.


Core Drill Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, core drill operators 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. They also may use explosives.

Core drill operators decide on and attach drill bits and drill rods, adding more rods as hole depths increase, and changing drill bits as needed. They also perform routine maintenance and upgrade work on machines and equipment, such as replacing parts, building up drill bits, and lubricating machinery. Equally important, core drill operators have to operate controls to stabilize machines and to place and align drills. They are often called upon to regulate air pressure and downward pressure, in line with the type of rock or concrete being drilled. They are expected to operate equipment to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes. Finally, core drill operators start and control drilling speed of machines and insertion of casings into holes.

Every day, core drill operators are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they coordinate both hands in a single activity.

It is important for core drill operators to operate water-well drilling rigs and other apparatus to drill and dig for water wells or for environmental assessment purposes. They are often called upon to record drilling progress and geological data. They also drive trucks or truck-mounted drills to and from work sites. They are sometimes expected to pour water into wells, or pump water or slush into wells to cool drill bits and to remove drillings. Somewhat less frequently, core drill operators are also expected to decide on the appropriate drill for the job, using knowledge of rock or soil conditions.

Core drill operators sometimes are asked to withdraw drill rods from holes, and extract core samples. They also have to be able to layout well pumping systems And finally, they sometimes have to layout well pumping systems.

Like many other jobs, core drill operators must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Thornton include:

  • Black Top Paver Operator. Operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.
  • Construction Supervisor. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
  • Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Company Miner. Operate machinery--such as longwall shears, plows, and cutting machines--to cut or channel along the face or seams of coal mines, stone quarries, or other mining surfaces to facilitate blasting, separating, or removing minerals or materials from mines or from the earth's surface.


Emily Griffith Opportunity School - Denver, CO

Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80204-2197. Emily Griffith Opportunity School is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,148 students. Emily Griffith Opportunity School has a less than one year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation.


Oil Monitoring Analyst: Oil Monitoring Analyst certification is designed to encourage and demonstrate an agreed upon level of competence in the field of machinery oil monitoring.

For more information, see the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers website.


Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.