How to become a Driller's Assistant

Drillers' assistants help move, set up and operate drilling rigs and related equipment to drill holes for such things as oil, natural gas and water, building foundations, minerals exploration and site investigation.

Personal requirements of a Driller's Assistant

  • reliable and adaptable
  • good organisational skills
  • enjoy working as part of a team
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • aptitude for mechanics and machinery
  • willing to work in remote areas under difficult conditions.

Education & Training for a Driller's Assistant

You can work as a driller’s assistant without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a driller’s assistant through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). To work as a driller’s assistant, you must be at least 18 years of age, undergo a National Police Check and pass a pre-employment medical examination and drug and alcohol clearance. Many worksites will also require you to have a heavy vehicle drivers licence and a Provide First Aid Certificate.

Duties & Tasks of a Driller's Assistant

Drillers’ assistants:

  • help move drilling rigs and equipment from site to site, set up in the new site and connect power cables or hoses for water and air supply
  • help obtain high-quality drilling core samples
  • assist drillers with all drilling processes
  • mix and test drilling fluids, chemicals and grout
  • assist with slotting, welding and inserting casing screens
  • assist with well development and pumping tests
  • operate equipment such as pumps for air, water and mud
  • carry out routine maintenance and repairs
  • clean and maintain equipment, as well as drill and camp sites.

Working conditions for a Driller's Assistant

Drillers and drillers' assistants usually work long hours on roster systems, either outdoors or underground, as members of teams or crews. The work is often manual and physically demanding. Compliance with all safety systems is essential.

Employment Opportunities for a Driller's Assistant

Drillers’ assistants are employed by drilling contractors, mining companies, oil companies, consultants and farmers. They work at construction sites, mines, and oil and gas exploration and production facilities situated offshore and onshore. Demand for drillers’ assistants varies greatly with commodity prices, general economic conditions and government policies in relation to mining, groundwater regulations and infrastructure projects. Crossover from one sector of the drilling industry to another often occurs when a sector is quiet. Many drilling contractors operate in several sectors. Opportunities exist for those with sound practical experience to move into management or supervisory roles.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1.9%

NSW NSW 29.7%

NT NT 1.7%

QLD QLD 23.6%

SA SA 3.4%

TAS TAS 3.7%

VIC VIC 9.8%

WA WA 26.2%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 95.4%

Female 4.6%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 2.7%

20-24 - 12.4%

25-34 - 26.6%

35-44 - 15.3%

45-54 - 25.9%

55-59 - 2%

60-64 - 3.4%

65 and Over - 11.2%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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