Earth Driller, Water Well

Earth drillers operate a variety of drills, such as rotary, churn and pneumatic, to tap sub-surface water for the creation of water wells. This report looks at what is required to run one’s own business as an earth driller only.
License required by 51 states
13th most burdensome licensing requirements
3rd most widely and onerously licensed occupation

All 50 states and D.C. require water well earth drillers to obtain licenses. On average, these laws require $356 in fees, over two years (837 days) of education and experience, and about two exams—the 13th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied here. And because water well earth drillers are also licensed everywhere, the occupation is the third most widely and onerously licensed.

License requirements vary widely across states. While 41 states require education or experience, the time required ranges from one to over six years. The number of required exams also varies widely, from zero in four states to five in Utah. Fees follow a similar pattern: Arizona and Nevada require over $1,000, but Illinois, Michigan and Nebraska require $50 or less.

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Nevada 51 $1,178.25 2,190 - 6 years 3 0 18
2 Maryland 51 $750.00 2,190 - 6 years 3 0 18
3 Virginia 51 $460.00 2,203 56 clock hours 6 years 1 0 18
4 Arkansas 51 $750.00 1,825 - 5 years 2 0 18
5 Connecticut 51 $371.00 1,825 - 5 years 3 0 0
6 South Dakota 51 $200.00 1,825 - 5 years 1 0 0
7 West Virginia 51 $565.00 1,460 - 4 years 4 0 18
8 California 51 $579.00 1,460 - 4 years 3 0 18
9 Hawaii 51 $615.00 1,460 - 4 years 2 0 18
10 Minnesota 51 $325.00 1,460 - 4 years 2 0 0
11 Maine 51 $268.00 1,460 - 4 years 2 0 0
12 New Jersey 51 $350.00 1,095 - 3 years 1 12 0
13 Arizona 51 $1,031.00 1,095 - 3 years 3 0 18
14 Mississippi 51 $620.00 1,095 - 3 years 4 0 21
15 Washington 51 $188.40 1,265 32 Continuing Education Units 5400 clock hours 1 0 0
16 Vermont 51 $290.00 1,095 - 3 years 3 0 0
17 Massachusetts 51 $275.00 1,095 - 3 years 1 0 0
18 New Hampshire 51 $185.00 1,095 - 3 years 1 0 0
19 Tennessee 51 $557.00 730 - 2 years 3 10 18
20 Michigan 51 $40.00 730 - 2 years 2 12 18
21 Utah 51 $350.00 730 - 2 years 5 0 21
22 South Carolina 51 $417.00 730 - 2 years 3 0 18
23 Colorado 51 $230.00 730 - 2 years 3 0 21
24 Georgia 51 $725.00 730 - 2 years 3 0 0
25 Louisiana 51 $470.00 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
26 New Mexico 51 $200.00 730 - 2 years 2 0 20
27 Kentucky 51 $315.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
28 Missouri 51 $90.00 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
29 Iowa 51 $450.00 730 - 2 years 2 0 0
30 Delaware 51 $180.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
31 Florida 51 $150.00 732 12 clock hours 2 years 1 0 18
32 Wisconsin 51 $100.00 731 6 clock hours 2 years 1 0 20
33 Oklahoma 51 $550.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
34 Illinois 51 $50.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
35 Alabama 51 $275.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
36 Texas 51 $267.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
37 Idaho 51 $260.00 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
38 North Carolina 51 $250.00 546 - 18 months 1 0 18
39 Oregon 51 $170.00 365 - 1 years 1 0 18
40 Montana 51 $375.00 365 - 1 years 1 0 0
41 North Dakota 51 $300.00 365 - 1 years 1 0 0
42 Wyoming 51 $440.00 0 - - 3 0 18
43 Nebraska 51 $37.50 0 - - 2 0 19
44 Indiana 51 $125.00 0 - - 1 0 18
45 D C 51 $654.50 0 - - 0 0 0
46 New York 51 $150.00 0 - - 2 0 0
47 Rhode Island 51 $200.00 0 - - 1 0 0
48 Kansas 51 $135.00 0 - - 1 0 0
49 Alaska 51 $300.00 0 - - 0 0 0
50 Ohio 51 $250.00 0 - - 0 0 0
51 Pennsylvania 51 $88.00 0 - - 0 0 0