7372 – Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction | Canada NOC |

7372 – Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction

Drillers in surface mining, quarrying and construction operate mobile drilling machines to bore blast holes in open-pit mines and quarries and to bore holes for blasting and for building foundations at construction sites. Blasters in this unit group fill blast holes with explosives and detonate explosives to dislodge coal, ore and rock or to demolish structures. They are employed by mining, quarrying and construction companies and by drilling and blasting contractors.


Index of titles

Example titles

Air-track drill operator – construction

Blaster – quarrying

Blaster – surface mining

Blaster (except underground mining)

Construction blaster

Construction driller

Core drill operator – construction, surface mining and quarrying

Diamond drill operator – surface mining and quarrying

Driller – quarrying

Driller – surface mine

Driller – surface mining

Drilling machine operator – construction

Foundation drill operator

Foundation drill operator – construction

Open-pit blaster

Open-pit driller

Quarry driller

Rotary drilling machine operator

Rotary drilling machine operator – surface mining and quarrying

Seismic prospecting driller

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

Drive and operate tracked or truck-mounted rotary drilling, air-track or other drilling machines to bore large blast holes to specified depths at staked positions in open-pit mine or quarry

Operate drilling machines to drill blast holes in rock at road or other construction sites

Operate tracked or truck-mounted drill equipped with auger or other attachment to drill holes for building foundations or pilings

May measure location and stake out pattern of holes to be drilled, load blast holes with explosives and detonate explosives to dislodge coal, ore or rock.


Read instructions or diagrams, lay out drill pattern and determine depth and diameter of blast holes and conduct field tests to determine type and quantity of explosives required

Assemble or direct other workers to assemble primer charges using selected detonators, fuses, detonating cords and other materials

Load explosives in blast holes by hand or direct movement of bulk explosives trucks to load holes

Connect electrical wires, detonating cords or fuses into series and connect series to blasting machines; press handle or button to detonate charges

Handle, store and transport explosives and accessories in accordance with regulations and ensure that safety procedures are observed

May operate air-track, rotary, down-the-hole or other drilling machines to drill blast holes or may direct drilling of blast holes.

Employment requirements

Completion of secondary school is usually required.

On-the-job training is provided.

Experience as a heavy equipment operator may be required for drillers.

Experience as a blaster helper in surface mining and quarrying or construction may be required for blasters.

Provincial blasting licence is usually required for blasters.

Trade certification for blasters is compulsory in Nova Scotia.

Additional information

Drillers and blasters often perform both drilling and blasting activities.

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.


Oil and gas well drillers (in 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers)

Supervisors of construction drillers and blasters (in 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews)

Supervisors of surface mining drillers and blasters (in 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying)

Underground mine drillers and blasters (in 8231 Underground production and development miners)

Water well drillers (7373)