National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3


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7 - Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

These occupations include trades supervisors and contractors, construction and mechanical tradespersons, operators of transportation and heavy equipment and trades helpers. These occupations are found in a wide range of industrial sectors, with many in the construction and transportation industries.

This category includes most of the apprenticeable trades, including all those related to the construction industry. Other occupations in this category usually require completion of college or vocational education programs combined with on-the-job training. Helpers obtain training on the job site. Progression to supervisory positions or self-employed contractor status is possible with experience. There is limited mobility or transferability of skills among occupations in this category due to specific apprenticeship, training and licensing requirements for most occupations.

73 - Maintenance and equipment operation trades

This major group comprises occupations in maintenance and equipment operation trades, which usually require more than two years of apprenticeship or on-the-job training in the trade. It includes contractors and supervisors, maintenance trades and heavy equipment and transport operators; machinery and transportation equipment mechanics (except motor vehicles); automotive service technicians; other mechanics and related repairers; train crew operations occupations; crane operators, drillers and blasters; and printing press operators and other trades and related occupations, not elsewhere classified.

737 - Crane operators, drillers and blasters

This minor group includes crane operators; surface mining, quarrying and construction drillers and blasters; and water well drillers. They are employed by construction, industrial, cargo handling, railway, mining and quarrying companies; drilling and blasting and water well drilling contractors; and governments; or they may be self-employed.

7373 - Water well drillers

Water well drillers operate a variety of mobile water well drilling rigs and equipment to drill and monitor residential, commercial and industrial water wells. They are employed by water well drilling contractors and governments, or they may be self-employed.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • cable tool driller - water well drilling
    • churn drill operator - water well drilling
    • water well driller
    • water well driller apprentice

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Drillers - underground mining (See 8231 Underground production and development miners)
    • Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers (See 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers)
    • Surface mining, quarrying and construction drillers (See 7372 Drillers and blasters - surface mining, quarrying and construction)
    • Water well drilling contractors and supervisors of water well drillers (See 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews)
  • Main duties

    This group performs some or all of the following duties:

    • Review client requirements and proposed locations for water wells
    • Operate water well drilling rigs and other equipment to drill, bore and dig for residential, commercial and industrial water wells or environmental assessment, and install well screens, casings and other well fixtures
    • Document geological formations encountered
    • Clean and disinfect wells in preparation for use
    • Perform routine mechanical maintenance work on water well drilling rigs and equipment
    • Install, test, maintain and repair water well pumps, piping systems and equipment and perform pumping tests to assess well performance
    • May provide other drilling services, such as repair or dismantling of existing water well structure, elevator shaft drilling and hydro pole drilling.

    Water well drillers may specialize in a specific method of drilling, such as cable, rotary, auger, hammer or reverse circulation drilling.

  • Employment requirements

    • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
    • Completion of a two- to three-year water well drilling apprenticeship program
      Two to three years of work experience in the trade combined with college or industry courses in water well drilling is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
    • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Additional information

    • Mobility is possible among the various well drilling operators in this unit group.
    • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
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