The objective of the Geo-Drilling apprenticeship is to provide drillers with a dedicated Higher Certificate in Science qualification (National Framework of Qualifications Level Six). The apprenticeship is a two-year programme which combines ‘on-the-job’ work experience with academic study. Apprentices will work with their employer’s for 41 weeks and attend classes at South East Technological University (SETU- formerly IT Carlow))  4 days a week for 11 weeks.

Drilling is a fundamental activity which underpins the Irish geoscience sector, which is a multi billion-euro industry in its own right. Drilling contributes vital support services and technical knowledge to wider society by supporting the delivery of critical infrastructure. The overall direct impact of the sector is €1.5 billion euro with an indirect impact of €1.8 billion. The sector supports 24,700 jobs when combining direct and indirect employment.

The need for this qualification was identified by the drilling industry in partnership with Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), SETU-IT Carlow and the Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (IMQS).

The apprenticeship is delivered by SETU  and the lead industry partner is Geoscience Ireland. The Geo Drilling Apprenticeship is a two-year programme combining work experience with academic study. Trainees will work with employers for 41 weeks and attend classes 4 days a week for 11 weeks.


Information                    Information for Apprentices

Information for Employers

Occupational Profile  Occupational Profile


For the Geo Drilling apprenticeship, the employer pays the apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship. The rate of pay is agreed between the employer and the apprentice.

Student Contribution

Apprentices pay a pro-rata registration fee if their off-the-job training takes place within a Higher Education Institute. The payment of the pro-rata registration fee is made by the apprentice directly to the Institute. For further information see ‘Student Contribution’

Further Information

For more information on apprenticeships contact the apprenticeship section in your local Education and Training Board (ETB). For contact details of your local ETB select your county here

Further information is also available from the industry lead for this apprenticeship:

For further information contact

e  mail: joe.mongan@geoscience.ie