Roof Bolter

Keep mineshafts safe from cave-ins.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$41,000 – $62,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Roof Bolters do?

Roof bolting is an application for securing mine roofs in underground mines through the installation of roof bolts. All underground coal mine entrances must be roof bolted, according to U.S. law. And as a Roof Bolter, you’re the person who installs these roof bolts, using a self-propelled machine.

Roof bolting is an extremely dangerous, but important, occupation in mining, as roof bolts are the first line of defense in protecting Miners from a roof cave-in. And because it’s a very important part of mine operations, that makes you a very important member of the mining team.

In this job as a Roof Bolter, you operate a roof-bolting machine. First, you position a safety jack to support the roof until bolts can be installed. Then you drive the machine into position, insert a drill bit, and move a lever to drill holes. After this, you remove the bit, replace it with a bolt, and use hydraulic action to force the bolt into the hole.

The Roof Bolter is responsible for the mechanical equipment used, servicing, repairing, and testing the machinery to make sure it’s in perfect working order. You’re also expected to maneuver and navigate machines and vehicles, and have the ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls to exact positions using control mechanisms or direct physical activity. Physical exertion such as climbing, walking, balancing, lifting, and handling materials is also part of the job.

Because the job has its dangers, you must have the ability to recognize when something is wrong or likely to go wrong, and monitor and review information with Supervisors and coworkers. Particularly, you’re expected to evaluate information and use judgment to determine compliance with laws and regulations.


Should I be a Roof Bolter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Bolt Man, Roof Bolter Operator, Underground Roof Bolter

    How to become a Roof Bolter

    Most Roof Bolters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9deaaa&chl=no+college+%2887%25%29|certificate+%285%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,87,87
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