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Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators
SOC Code: 47-5042.00

Operate machinery such as longwall shears, plows, and cutting machines to cut or channel along the face or seams of coal mines, stone quarries, or other mining surfaces to facilitate blasting, separating, or removing minerals or materials from mines or from the Earth's surface. Includes shale planers.

Sample of reported job titles: Bore Miner Operator, Coal Miner, Longwall Shearer Operator, Miner Operator, Shear Operator, Shearer Operator, Underground Heavy Equipment Operator, Underground Miner

Tasks

  • Position jacks, timbers, or roof supports, and install casings, to prevent cave-ins.
  • Reposition machines and move controls to make additional holes or cuts.
  • Cut entries between rooms and haulage ways.
  • Observe indicator lights and gauges, and listen to machine operation to detect binding or stoppage of tools or other equipment problems.
  • Replace worn or broken tools and machine bits and parts, using wrenches, pry bars, and other hand tools, and lubricate machines, using grease guns.
  • Press buttons to activate conveyor belts, and push or pull chain handles to regulate conveyor movement so that material can be moved or loaded into dinkey cars or dump trucks.
  • Move planer levers to control and adjust the movement of equipment, the speed, height, and depth of cuts, and to rotate swivel cutting booms.
  • Cut slots along working faces of coal, salt, or other non-metal deposits to facilitate blasting, by moving levers to start the machine, and to control the vertical reciprocating drills.
  • Signal that machine plow blades are properly positioned, using electronic buzzers or two-way radios.
  • Drive mobile, truck-mounted, or track-mounted drilling or cutting machine in mines and quarries or on construction sites.
  • Move controls to start and position drill cutters or torches and advance tools into mines or quarry faces to complete horizontal or vertical cuts.
  • Advance plow blades through coal strata by remote control, according to electronic or radio signals from the tailer.
  • Determine locations, boundaries, and depths of holes or channels to be cut.
  • Signal crew members to adjust the speed of equipment to the rate of installation of roof supports, and to adjust the speed of conveyors to the volume of coal.
  • Remove debris such as loose shale from channels and planer travel areas.
  • Charge and set off explosives in blasting holes.
  • Signal truck drivers to position their vehicles for receiving shale from planer hoppers.
  • Monitor movement of shale along conveyors from hoppers to trucks or railcars.
  • Guide and assist crews in laying track for machines and resetting planer rails, supports, and blocking, using jacks, shovels, sledges, picks, and pinch bars.
  • Free jams in planer hoppers, using metal pinch bars.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Analysis of Longwall Pillar Stability ALPS; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Analysis of Roof Bolt Systems ARBS
  • Industrial control software - Joy Mining Machinery JOY FACEBOSS
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Air samplers or collectors - Atmospheric monitors
  • Air velocity and temperature monitors - Integrated air velocity monitors
  • Anemometers - Ultrasonic anemometers
  • Belt conveyors - Armored face conveyors; Mine conveyor belts
  • Blow torch - Burning bars; Cutting torches
  • Boring machines - Raise bores
  • Bulk material carriers - Shuttle cars
  • Combination wrenches - Adjustable combination wrenches
  • Cone crushers - Cone crushing equipment
  • Continuous mining equipment - Channeling machines; Continuous miners; Cutting machines; Roadheaders
  • Detonators - Detonation units
  • Dump trucks - Heavy dump trucks
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • Goggles - Protective goggles
  • Grease guns - Lube guns
  • Hard hats - Miner's helmets
  • Jacks - Hydraulic jacks; Screw jacks
  • Jaw crushers - Jaw crushing equipment
  • Longwall shears
  • Personal computers
  • Picks - Mining picks
  • Pneumatic hammer - Jackhammers
  • Pneumatic rock drills - Rock drilling machines
  • Power grinders - Portable hand grinders
  • Power saws - Electric chainsaws
  • Pry bars - Crowbars; Pinch bars
  • Pulverizing machinery - Grinding mills
  • Respirators - Self-rescuers
  • Rock breakers - Tractor drills
  • Scissor bolters
  • Shovels - Mining shovels
  • Single gas monitors - Methane monitors
  • Track bulldozers - Mining bulldozers
  • Track excavators - Power shovels
  • Tunneling machinery - Tunneling machines
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios

Knowledge

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • 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.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Interests

  • Interest code: R
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 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 - 97% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 82% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 63% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 53% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 60% responded “Very important results.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 47% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 60% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error - 45% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 41% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 27% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Level of Competition - 39% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 50% responded “Important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
60%High school diploma or equivalent
27%Less than high school diploma
7%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • 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.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related 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.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $25.13 hourly, $52,270 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 6,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 700

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