Loading and Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining
47-5044.00

Operate underground loading or moving machine to load or move coal, ore, or rock using shuttle or mine car or conveyors. Equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scraper or scoop, or machines equipped with gathering arms and conveyor.

Sample of reported job titles: Coal Hauler Operator, Equipment Operator, Load Haul Dump Operator (LHD Operator), Loader Operator, Loading Machine Operator, Miner Operator, Production Miner, Ram Car Operator, Shuttle Car Operator, Underground Miner

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Handle high voltage sources and hang electrical cables.
  • Drive loaded shuttle cars to ramps and move controls to discharge loads into mine cars or onto conveyors.
  • Pry off loose material from roofs and move it into the paths of machines, using crowbars.
  • Move trailing electrical cables clear of obstructions, using rubber safety gloves.
  • Control conveyors that run the entire length of shuttle cars to distribute loads as loading progresses.
  • Observe hand signals, grade stakes, or other markings when operating machines.
  • Examine roadway and clear obstructions from the path of travel.
  • Drive machines into piles of material blasted from working faces.
  • Operate levers to move conveyor booms or shovels so that mine contents such as coal, rock, and ore can be placed into cars or onto conveyors.
  • Clean, fuel, service, and perform safety checks on all equipment, and repair and replace parts as necessary.
  • Clean hoppers, and clean spillage from tracks, walks, driveways, and conveyor decking.
  • Oil, lubricate, and adjust conveyors, crushers, and other equipment, using hand tools and lubricating equipment.
  • Monitor loading processes to ensure that materials are loaded according to specifications.
  • Measure, weigh, or verify levels of rock, gravel, or other excavated material to prevent equipment overloads.
  • Replace hydraulic hoses, headlight bulbs, and gathering-arm teeth.
  • Stop gathering arms when cars are full.
  • Move mine cars into position for loading and unloading, using pinchbars inserted under car wheels to position cars under loading spouts.
  • Advance machines to gather material and convey it into cars.
  • Signal workers to move loaded cars.
  • Guide and stop cars by switching, applying brakes, or placing scotches, or wooden wedges, between wheels and rails.
  • Observe and record car numbers, carriers, customers, tonnages, and grades and conditions of material.
  • Read written instructions or confer with supervisors about schedules and materials to be moved.
  • Notify switching departments to deliver specific types of cars.
  • Inspect boarding and locking of open-top box cars and wedging of side-drop and hopper cars to prevent loss of material in transit.
  • Maintain records of materials moved.
  • Direct other workers to move stakes, place blocks, position anchors or cables, or move materials.
  • Push or ride cars down slopes, or hook cars to cables and control cable drum brakes, to ease cars down inclines.
  • Open and close bottom doors of cars to dump contents.

back to top

Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

back to top

Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 84% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 79% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 51% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 41% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Time Pressure — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 30% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 34% responded “About half the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Physical Proximity — 27% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 36% responded “Some freedom.”

back to top

Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related 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.
Job 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.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

back to top

Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

back to top

Worker Requirements

Skills

  • 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.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • 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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

back to top

Knowledge

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

back to top

Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 53%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 40%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 6%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

back to top

Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

back to top

Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

back to top

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • 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.

back to top

Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$27.84 hourly, $57,900 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
4,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
400
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

back to top

More Information

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top