Is drilling the career for you?
Are you looking for a job that pays well, gets you out of the 9 to 5 rut and allows you to develop your competencies and gain qualifications whilst on the job? If this sounds like what you are looking for, a career in drilling could be the right decision. You will work in the outdoors, alongside a team of other like-minded individuals who like a bit of adventure in their lives and to take on different challenges.
Looking for a career in drilling?
The Driller’s Offsider Job Ready Program is the perfect opportunity to get started in a new dynamic career.
This program is FREE for jobseekers, youth (under 25) and concession students!
For more information check out the flyer or visit jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/pathways
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have to travel away from home?
Quite a lot of drilling is done in remote locations that is not near major cities which means that travel is required. If for example you are living in Perth and are going to be working in the Pilbara, you will need to work on a roster system.
There are situations where you can go home each night, and this could be when working in some type of waterwell, geotechnical or civil drilling which often takes place near a major city or regional town.
If I need to work away, how long will it be for?
Who pays for the living costs when away?
How much will I get paid?
Answer: Drilling does not have its own set of employment Awards, therefore you would be covered by the industry sector you work in. These are mining, coal or civil in most applications. They all work on a base salary amount and then allowances for shift and overtime and anything else applicable. Most employers tend to bundle everything together into an annual salary which covers off on all the various requirements. There are often opportunities to earn additional salary through bonuses based around things like production and safety.
What are the work hours?
Will I get any training before I start work?
How long will I have to wait before starting qualifications?
Will I need to get drug and alcohol tested to get into the industry?
As there is a lot of large machinery being used, how safe is it working in the drilling industry?
What are the career prospects like?
People starting out in the drilling industry do so in an offsider position, sometimes also called a driller’s helper or assistant. This is where you learn how the operation works and what the different pieces of the drilling system do and how they need to be serviced and maintained. To become competent at this would likely take anywhere up to 12 months. Take a look at our video to get a better understanding of this.
Offsiders who show the right temperament and can demonstrate that they are ready to go to the next level, could transition from there into a trainee driller role.
The longer you stay in the drilling industry and gain more experience, the more your career prospects open up. Drillers have the opportunity to upskill to supervisor roles, operations management and even one day owning their own drill rig.
Can females apply?
How old do I need to be?
Are there other job roles available in the drilling industry?
Drilling companies need fitters and mechanics, electricians and boilermakers to perform rebuild, service and maintenance requirements. To start out in these roles requires undertaking a more formalised apprenticeship that can be for 3-4 years in length. Once the apprenticeship is completed, the tradesperson can then have the choice of working in a home base workshop or elect to work at the jobsite.
Those tradespeople who choose to work at the jobsite usually work the same rosters as the drilling staff. In recognition of this extra time on the job, the salaries on offer are quite a bit higher compared with those at home base. Drilling companies are often looking for tradespeople the same as they are looking for drilling staff, with them currently being in high demand.
How do I get started?
There are a few different approaches to take. You could go through one of the recruitment firms that hire drillers and offsiders. Alternatively, you could search for drilling companies in your vicinity and make enquiries direct. Currently most companies have vacancies and would be only too willing to receive your application.
You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we should be able to provide some guidance.