Continuing Education

Foundation Drill Rig Operator


The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • On-Campus Day - Your course activity is done in-person Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • On-Campus Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done in-person on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Day - Your course activity is done online Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Online Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

The Foundation Drill Rig Operator program at NAIT was developed in partnership with the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC) and provides you with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to safely and successfully operate a foundation drill rig for industrial, commercial or residential projects.

Until now, formal training has not been available for foundation drill rig operators. But as more regulatory bodies and employers identified the need for formalized training, we developed this program to meet the needs of industry and to improve safety and efficiency on your worksite.


In our Foundation Drill Rig Operator program, you will gain fundamental knowledge and skills that result in the following 3 key benefits:

  • Safety – Learn to identify and minimize potential risks. We will show you how to prepare for an emergency and what to do to keep yourself and those around you safe.
  • Credibility – The training you receive will make you a better operator and give you, your employer and your clients confidence in your abilities.
  • Employability and job security – Differentiate yourself from other operators by representing your improved safety, efficiency and dedication to continued personal and professional growth.

Level I and Level II of our program consist of 9 online theory courses and a total of 1500 hours of on-the-job experience. These hours must be monitored, recorded and signed off by your mentor and sponsor company.


To obtain the Foundation Drill Rig Operator Certificate of Achievement, you must:

  • successfully complete all Foundation Drill Rig Operator Level I and Level II courses, including on-the-job experience
  • have your mentor sign off the required competencies within Level I and Level II Practical Competencies Log Book
  • complete and submit a Request for Certification Form (pdf), along with the authorized Practical Competencies Log Book, to

Foundation drill rig operators may find work in: 

  • industrial, commercial and residential construction
  • mining, geotechnical and core drilling
  • aerial and underground cabling
  • boring
  • bridge and structure construction

Basically, wherever construction is underway, a foundation drill rig operator is required for the project.

Program prerequisites

For entry into the Foundation Drill Rig Operator program, you must:

  • possess a minimum of 250 hours of experience working in the construction industry in drill rig operations or related position (i.e., drilling assistant)
  • provide a letter of support from your employer
  • have an assigned mentor(s), typically a supervisor approved by the company that can vouch for your competency as a drill rig operator

Required attributes

As a foundation drill rig operator, you must be a capable decision-maker who is prepared to work independently when necessary. You will need to enjoy being part of a team and able to remain seated for long stretches of time.

To be successful in this trade, you’ll need:

  • coordination and manual dexterity
  • good vision
  • the ability to lift weight in excess of 25 kilograms
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • to communicate with ground crews verbally and with hand signals


For inquiries related to the Foundation Drill Rig Operator program, please email