Heavy Equipment Operator
Specialize in operating massive construction machinery, like bulldozers.
In many ways, mining has changed very little throughout its history. The precious metals, ores, stones, and gems that we admire and rely on are still hidden under rock-hard layers of earth. To bring them to the surface, mining companies rely on large machines and workers who are willing to spend their days underground.
Today’s Underground Miner, however, has a variety of choices compared to the Miners of yesteryears, who had to make do with pickaxes and buckets. Most jobs now rely on computerized and high-performance equipment, but, as an Underground Miner, you can choose which tasks to focus on.
For example, a Loading Machine Operator loads the loose debris into a mine cart or onto a conveyor belt for transport out of the mine. A Drilling Machine Operator drills holes for explosives. A Shot Firer fills holes with explosives, which are ignited to loosen the Earth’s grasp.
There are three main types of mining processes used by today’s Underground Miners. Conventional mining involves cutting, drilling, and using explosives to access the materials. Continuous mining does not use explosives, but relies on a constant flow of cutting, scraping, loading, and moving of materials. Longwall mining involves ripping long sheets of coal or other materials from the mine’s walls.
So, whether you decide to become a Fire Boss who evaluates all the safety features of the job site, or a Cutting Machine Operator, your work brings coal, stone, rock, ore, and other materials to the surface for the rest of us to use.