What is a Waterwell Drillers’ License

Home 5 Waterwell 5 What is a Waterwell Drillers’ License

In all Australian states and territories most waterwell drillers are required to have licenses.

This ensures all bores are constructed to a minimum standard, and that drillers comply with local requirements or regulations set in place to protect Australia’s groundwater. 

The state and territory governments are responsible for issuing waterwell drillers’ licenses and need to be the first point of contact when applying for a license.

Co-operation and consistency in approach and process is managed by the National Uniform Drillers’ Licensing Committee (NUDLC).

Image courtesy of Bostech

To earn a waterwell drillers’ license, applicants must:

  • pass a written examination
  • complete any state/territory requirements.
    (These may include evidence requirements, practical interviews or completion of additional coursework)

State regulators assess each applicant’s theoretical knowledge (from the results of the examination) and practical experience when they review the application.


License classifications

(The following license classifications are relevant to WA, NT, SA, Qld, ACT, Vic, and Tas. For information on NSW license classes, please contact NSW State Authority)

Under the current system, waterwell drillers’ licenses are classified according to the type of aquifers and are endorsed with the drilling methods that are used. This ensures the skills, knowledge and experience of a driller match the groundwater protection requirements.

The classifications are:

  • Class 1: restricted to drilling operations in single non-flowing aquifer systems (water table aquifers).
  • Class 2: in addition to operating in class 1 conditions, permits drilling operations in multiple non-flowing aquifer systems (confined aquifers).
  • Class 3: in addition to operating in class 1 and 2 conditions, permits drilling operations in flowing aquifer systems (artesian aquifers).


Further details about how to apply can be found here.


Otherwise, if you’re ready to apply, download the form below:

WA APPLICANTS:  Download the WA Drillers License Exam Application form here

NATIONAL APPLICANTS: Download the National Drillers License Exam Application form here


Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive regular insights, event information, news and stories regarding the drilling industry.