Directional Driller / Career

Overview of Occupation

Income Bracket: $80,000 – $100,000+

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is used in new installations of underground utility services such as water, sewerage, drainage, gas, electricity and telecommunications. The use of trenchless or ‘no-dig’ techniques in pipeline installation minimizes the need for surface excavation and significantly reduces the impact on traffic and the community. Trenchless projects begin with site investigation and condition surveys using purpose-built locators and other high-tech equipment and processes.

Alternative Titles: Directional Drill Operator (Trenchless Technology Artisan)

Education and Training: One path to becoming a Directional Driller is through on the job training. You can also become a Directional Driller through a traineeship or apprenticeship (also known as Australian Apprenticeship). Traineeships/apprenticeships involve a combination of on and off the job training. At this stage there is no educational prerequisite required to enter into a traineeship/apprenticeship, but usually you will have completed a minimum of Year 10.The formal qualification on completion of a traineeship/apprenticeship is Certificate III in Civil Construction (Trenchless Technology). This is a nationally recognized qualification.

Employment Opportunities: This is a growth sector of the civil construction industry so there are plenty of jobs for skilled operators.

Range of tasks performed in the occupation:

  • Setting up and operating highly specialised directional drills
  • Plan reading and surveying
  • Monitoring electronic guidance and locating equipment during the drilling phases
  • Adding or removing drill rods
  • Carrying out minor maintenance and repairs, including lubrication and cleaning

Personal Requirements

To be successful in this occupation you should:

  • Be physically fit
  • Be able to work in a team environment
  • Be practical
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be able to accept change and adapt to new technologies
  • Enjoy working outdoors
  • Be able to work in confined spaces