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Career and Education Opportunities for Core Drill Operators in Missoula, Montana

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for core drill operators in the Missoula, Montana area. About 620 people are currently employed as core drill operators in Montana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 18% to 730 people employed. 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. 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.

Income for core drill operators is about $20 per hour or $43,370 per year on average in Montana. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,240 per year. Core drill operators earn more than people working in the category of Mining and Extraction generally in Montana and less than people in the Mining and Extraction category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can study to be a core drill operator, among two schools of higher education total in the Missoula area. The most common level of education 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 Missoula 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.


The University of Montana - Missoula, MT

The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. The University of Montana is a large university located in Missoula, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,176 students and an admission rate of 96%. The University of Montana has a one to two year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation which graduated sixteen students 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.


Water Well Drillers

Licensing agency: Montana Board of Water Well Contractors
Address: 1520 East 6th Ave, Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-6643
Website: Montana Board of Water Well Contractors


Missoula, Montana
Missoula, Montana photo by Joshulove

Missoula is located in Missoula County, Montana. It has a population of over 68,202, which has grown by 19.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Missoula, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Missoula cost $89,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Missoula, down from two hundred ninety-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Missoula are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 38.0% of Missoula residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Missoula is 5.1%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.

The percentage of Missoula residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.4%, is less than both the national and state average. University Congregational Church, Unity Church of Missoula and United Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Missoula. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Missoula is home to the Health Sciences Building and the KOA El-Mar Kampground as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Fort Missoula Park. Shopping malls in the area include East Gate Shopping Center, Southgate Mall and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Missoula can choose from Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Comfort Inn Missoula and Sleepy Inn Motel for temporary stays in the area.