Digging Water Wells

By Eric Hammer

There are some jobs that just seem to be pretty "out there" and digging water wells is definitely one of them. There are a number of companies that specialize in this business they will typically provide you with on the job training to learn how to dig water wells. A number of web sites also provide information on how to dig water wells all on your own at home and these can be dug for just a few hundred dollars. However, if you are thinking of doing this for a living, these sites are not for you.

The big difference (and you can see for yourself since we referenced some of the sites below) between being a water well digger who does this for a living and doing it yourself is that the do it yourself variety is generally more of a curiosity than a practical solution to gathering water for your home. There are any number of kits available and you can even theoretically simply dig a dirt well yourself by hand until you hit the water table.

Professional water well diggers however use specialized equipment to drill for wells in much the same way as professional oil rig drillers will drill to find oil. If you want to make this a career, you’ll be working with the professional equipment.

How Much Can You Make?

The average salary for a water well digger, according to StateUniversity.com is approximately $33,000 per year. However, that doesn’t really tell the whole story. A number of people get involved in the business of digging the water wells and you’ll likely start as a helper, who is paid significantly less than a driller.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

If you have a good grasp of how water wells are dug, there are other ways that you can make extra money. For example, if you check the resources below, you’ll find an article from some homeowners who had a nightmare to go through while contracting to have a water well dug on their property. One great idea is to become a consultant, helping homeowners interested in digging wells to navigate the often confusing world of water well digging.

Qualifications / Requirements

You’ll need a high school diploma in order to become a water well digger, however beyond that, you’ll need a number of years of experience in the business in order to become a professional digger. There is quite a lot that goes into doing this and you need to understand salinity levels and how wells are dug so that they can be sustainable.

First Steps

Start by brushing up on your geology. If you flunked that course in high school, either study really hard or look into doing something other than digging water wells as you will need that knowledge for this job. Then, look for a professional water well drilling company that will hire you on as an apprentice. This is very much a learn as you go job and you’ll need to put in your time to get the experience so that you can become a professional digger yourself.


State University.Com: Water Well Driller Job Description – This is an excellent introduction to drilling water wells for a living. It details what the job entails, what kind of prospects there are and how much you can earn.

National Groundwater Association – A great resource to learn more about digging water wells, this organization works with homeowners to help them drill wells on their property.

Water Well Helpline: An Inexpensive, Do it Yourself Water Well – This is not a professionally drilled well by any means. This kind of well is also not designed to completely replace your home water connection. Instead, this is merely a way to get some kind of a water well on your property. Still, it’s useful reading to learn more about how this is done.

United States Geological Survey: Groundwater Wells – A nice web site with additional information on the science of digging water wells.

Real Estate and Water Wells: Well from Hell – Besides being a good web site for information about the business of getting a water well dug (from the homeowner’s perspective), this article also provides a cautionary tale for those considering the do it yourself route and should give you a good education on the business of water wells.

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Every Way to Make Money | Digging Water Wells