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Career and Education Opportunities for Core Drill Operators in Portland, Maine

There are many career and education opportunities for core drill operators in the Portland, Maine area. The national trend for core drill operators 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.

Core drill operators earn approximately $17 per hour or $37,120 annually on average in Maine. Nationally they average about $18 per hour or $38,240 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Mining and Extraction, people working as core drill operators in Maine earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Mining and Extraction nationally.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree 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 Portland 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.


Southern Maine Community College - South Portland, ME

Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106-1698. Southern Maine Community College is a medium sized college located in South Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,654 students and an admission rate of 68%. Southern Maine Community College has a one to two year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation which graduated one student in 2008.


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.


Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.