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Career profile Mining Machine Operator

Also known as Bore Miner Operator, Continuous Miner, Continuous Miner Operator (CMO), Continuous Mining Machine Operator, Continuous Mining Operator (CMO), Heavy Equipment Operator, Loader Operator, Mine Technician, Mine Utility Operator, Miner Operator

Mining Machine Operator

Also known as Bore Miner Operator, Continuous Miner, Continuous Miner Operator (CMO)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$38,870 - $80,110 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Equipment Maintenance
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Production and Processing
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Conduct methane gas checks to ensure breathing quality of air.
  • Hang ventilation tubing and ventilation curtains to ensure that the mining face area is kept properly ventilated.
  • Check the stability of roof and rib support systems before mining face areas.
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What does a Mining Machine Operator do?

Mining Machine Operators operate self-propelled mining machines that rip coal, metal and nonmetal ores, rock, stone, or sand from the mine face and load it onto conveyors, shuttle cars, or trucks in a continuous operation.

What kind of tasks does a Mining Machine Operator perform regularly?

Mining Machine Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Conduct methane gas checks to ensure breathing quality of air.
  • Hang ventilation tubing and ventilation curtains to ensure that the mining face area is kept properly ventilated.
  • Check the stability of roof and rib support systems before mining face areas.
  • Operate mining machines to gather coal and convey it to floors or shuttle cars.
  • Drive machines into position at working faces.
  • Reposition machines to make additional holes or cuts.
  • Move controls to start and regulate movement of conveyors and to start and position drill cutters or torches.
  • Determine locations, boundaries, and depths of holes or channels to be cut.
  • Observe and listen to equipment operation to detect binding or stoppage of tools or other equipment malfunctions.
  • Repair, oil, and adjust machines, and change cutting teeth, using wrenches.

The above responsibilities are specific to Mining Machine Operators. More generally, Mining Machine Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

What is a Mining Machine Operator salary?

The median salary for a Mining Machine Operator is $56,920, and the average salary is $58,340. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mining Machine Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Mining Machine Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mining Machine Operators earn less than $38,870 per year, 25% earn less than $46,190, 75% earn less than $69,830, and 90% earn less than $80,110.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mining Machine Operators is expected to change by 5.9%, and there should be roughly 1,900 open positions for Mining Machine Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$56,920
Typical salary range
$38,870 - $80,110
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.9%

What personality traits are common among Mining Machine Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Mining Machine Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Mining Machine Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Mining Machine Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Mining Machine Operators strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Mining Machine Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Mining Machine Operators moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Mining Machine Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Mining Machine Operators, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Mining Machine Operators need?

Working as a Mining Machine Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Mining Machine Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Mining Machine Operators

  • 11.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 53.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.2% completed some college coursework
  • 6.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Mining Machine Operators

Mining Machine Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, production and processing, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Mining Machine Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Mining Machine Operators

Mining Machine Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Mining Machine Operators need abilities such as control precision, arm-hand steadiness, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mining Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Critical Skills needed by Mining Machine Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Mining Machine Operators frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and equipment maintenance to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mining Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.