In recent years, however, many state governments have begun requiring continuing education credits in order to maintain a driller/contractor's license. All of the Jubilee states, except Virginia (which has a voluntary program through the association), soon will have state-mandated programs in place.
Each state has slightly different requirements. Some states allow classes in both technical and business techniques; some states allow drillers to carry hours over into the next year; some require a set number over a one year period; still others allow two years to achieve a certain goal. For drillers who operate in more than one state, just keeping track of the education requirements for licensing can become a real chore. For companies operating in states where every driller must fulfill a continuing education requirement, there can be record-keeping problems and added expense.
We now are competing in an industry that attracts engineers, ground water scientists, soil scientists, and other degree- or certification-holding individuals. Clearly, it now is in the interest of our industry's economic health and our status as a key part of the water resource delivery system for drillers to be as educated as possible. And while some may not like being told they must submit to continuing education requirements, if drillers are to become truly professional, the time has come not only to embrace continuing education, but also to encourage it among our entire labor force -- including those individuals for whom there is no mandated requirement. Education enhances both the public's perception of drillers and our own image of ourselves as professionals.