We need Production Drillers to move, set up and operate the drilling rigs that are critical to mining production. Production Millers must be mechanically inclined, committed to following all protocols and procedures, and enjoy figuring out the best way to complete a drill pattern.

What is it Like to Work as a Production Driller in Mining?

Note: conditions vary according to employer and region.

Production Drillers work alone for hours at a time, and team up with blasters and other operation and production crews in order to meet production targets, ensure safety and minimize risks. They are responsible for looking after valuable drill equipment, work both underground or outside – sometimes in severe environmental conditions – and are required to lift up to 25 kg (55 lbs) (based on job research, 2014). In mines with a short production phase, they may work for contractors and may travel to work at different mining locations.

Why are People Attracted to this Career?

Production Drillers have physical stamina and like to work outside. They work well under pressure with minimal supervision, and enjoy challenging work that requires them to plan their actions carefully.

Job Description

  • Move, set up and operate drilling rigs and related equipment above or underground to drill holes for blasting and mineral excavation
  • Use a variety of drills and hammers including hydraulic drills, rotary, in-the-hole, and top hammer, diamond drills and other drilling machines, which can be as small as a backpack or large and mounted on a crawler or truck
  • Prepare the drill site, move and set up drill following site plans and layouts, position drills and set angles and depths
  • Start and stop drills, and coordinate with other workers on the site
  • Conduct pre-operational checks and monitor conditions by checking water flow, components, fluid levels, fittings, safety equipment, as well as depths and alignments of boring positions
  • Regulate air pressure, rotary speed, and downward pressure, according to the type of rock being drilled
  • Operate secondary equipment, such as pumps and equipment used to prevent and correct problems or make minor repairs and refuel, inspect, lubricate and replace components to maintain drill
  • Meet all drill production targets without damaging the drill
  • Read and maintain daily drill report and drilling logbook and report issues to Supervisor
  • Collaborate closely with mechanics, the production team and supervise Driller Helpers and Mine Helpers


$30.53 an hour

$48.24 an hour

Job Prospect

Demand in Mining

Limited Great

Skill Transferability Among Other Industries

Low High

Success Profile

  • Communicates using signals
  • Follows and implements procedures and safety policies in daily work
  • Stays focused
  • Visualizes three-dimensional layouts
  • Dependable, reliable, responsible and adaptable
  • Embraces new techniques and technologies
  • Good vision and manual dexterity
  • Strong risk management and trouble-shooting skills
  • Strong understanding of mechanical systems
  • Works well with minimal supervision as well as with others

Job Entry Requirements

Note: The requirements listed below illustrate what it takes to start the career and do not take into account on-the-job training given to new employees.

Fixed Requirements

  • Must be able to read and understand manuals and written instructions in language of operation
  • Two to five years of experience in production mining such as Driller Helper, Heavy Equipment Operator or Underground Miner
  • Physically fit and mobile
  • Willing to work in a diverse workplace
  • Must pass a medical and drug test
  • Proficiency in language of operation

May be Required

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Training and certification in mining production modules
  • Drill specific training (often on-the-job)
  • Undergo a criminal record check


  • Willing to relocate
  • Other languages
Scroll to top