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Continuous Mining Machine Operators
SOC Code: 47-5041.00

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 or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.

Sample of reported job titles: 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

Tasks

  • Hang ventilation tubing and ventilation curtains to ensure that the mining face area is kept properly ventilated.
  • Conduct methane gas checks to ensure breathing quality of air.
  • 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.
  • Move controls to start and regulate movement of conveyors and to start and position drill cutters or torches.
  • Reposition machines to make additional holes or cuts.
  • 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.
  • Install casings to prevent cave-ins.
  • Scrape or wash conveyors, using belt scrapers or belt washers, to minimize dust production.
  • Move levers to raise and lower hydraulic safety bars supporting roofs above machines until other workers complete framing.
  • Apply new technologies developed to minimize the environmental impact of coal mining.
  • Guide and assist crews laying track and resetting supports and blocking.

Technology Skills

  • Mobile location based services software - Fleet monitoring system software; Hitachi ZXLink; Leica Geosystems FMS

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches - Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Air exhausters - Ventilation systems
  • Belt conveyors - Belt conveyor systems
  • Boom bolters - Boom roof bolters
  • Bulk material carriers - Shuttle cars
  • Continuous mining equipment - Continuous miners; Continuous mining machine remote controls
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Grease fitting - Grease fittings
  • Grease guns
  • Hard hats - Miner's helmets
  • Jacks - Hydraulic jacks
  • Locking pliers - Channel lock pliers
  • Open end wrenches - 15/16 wrenches
  • Power drills - Hammer drills
  • Protective gloves - Safety gloves
  • Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories - Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
  • Shovels - Long handle shovels
  • Single gas monitors - Methane monitors
  • Sledge hammer - Sledgehammers
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Track bulldozers - Tracked bulldozers

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Interests

  • Interest code: RCI
    • 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.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 53% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Contact With Others - 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Consequence of Error - 62% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 59% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 36% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 53% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 34% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition - 37% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 36% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 57% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 45% responded “Important.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 42% responded “Never.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 29% responded “Every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
81%High school diploma or equivalent
10%Post-secondary certificate
5%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $26.26 hourly, $54,620 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 12,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,400

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