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Details for Continuous Mining Machine Operators


Operate self-propelled mining machines that rip coal, metal and nonmetal ores, rock, stone, or sand from the face and load it onto conveyors or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.


  • Determine locations, boundaries, and depths of holes or channels to be cut.
  • Drive machines into position at working faces.
  • Move controls to start and regulate movement of conveyors, and to start and position drill cutters or torches.
  • Move levers to raise and lower hydraulic safety bars that support roofs above machines until other workers complete their framing.
  • Observe and listen to equipment operation to detect binding or stoppage of tools and other equipment malfunctions.
  • Reposition machines to make additional holes or cuts.
  • Start machines to gather coal and convey it to floors or shuttle cars.
  • Guide and assist crews laying track and resetting supports and blocking.
  • Install casings to prevent cave-ins.
  • Repair, oil, and adjust machines, and change cutting teeth, using wrenches.


  • Realistic - 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.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Related Careers

  • Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas
  • Helpers--Extraction Workers
  • Loading Machine Operators, Underground Mining
  • Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators
  • Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
  • Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
  • Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators
  • Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas
  • Shuttle Car Operators
Wages for this career
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