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Continuous Mining Machine Operator

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Life As a Continuous Mining Machine Operator

Career Description 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.

A Day in the Life of a Continuous Mining Machine Operator

  • Move controls to start and regulate movement of conveyors and to start and position drill cutters or torches.
  • Hang ventilation tubing and ventilation curtains to ensure that the mining face area is kept properly ventilated.
  • Drive machines into position at working faces.
  • Apply new technologies developed to minimize the environmental impact of coal mining.
  • Operate mining machines to gather coal and convey it to floors or shuttle cars.
  • Guide and assist crews laying track and resetting supports and blocking.

What a Continuous Mining Machine Operator Should Know

These are the skills Continuous Mining Machine Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Shovel Log Loader Operator
  • Continuous Mining Operator (CMO)
  • Mine Technician
  • Quarry Plant Crusher Operator
  • Continuous Mining Machine Operator

Are There Job Opportunities for Continuous Mining Machine Operators?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 12,300 jobs in the United States for Continuous Mining Machine Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Continuous Mining Machine Operator. There will be an estimated 1,400 positions for Continuous Mining Machine Operator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Continuous Mining Machine Operator are Texas, Missouri, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Georgia, Kentucky, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Continuous Mining Machine Operator Make?

The salary for Continuous Mining Machine Operators ranges between about $36,310 and $74,800 a year.


Continuous Mining Machine Operators who work in Wyoming, Alaska, or Montana, make the highest salaries.

How much do Continuous Mining Machine Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $69,080
Arizona $47,920
Arkansas $39,670
California $47,490
Colorado $60,910
Florida $49,980
Georgia $45,830
Idaho $60,040
Illinois $59,040
Indiana $54,610
Iowa $41,030
Kentucky $50,180
Maryland $37,870
Michigan $42,850
Missouri $44,670
Montana $70,310
Nevada $62,290
New Mexico $61,400
New York $45,740
North Carolina $47,330
Oklahoma $34,720
Pennsylvania $45,500
South Carolina $50,090
South Dakota $41,110
Texas $36,900
Virginia $47,030
Washington $46,810
West Virginia $54,660
Wisconsin $45,450
Wyoming $78,210

Tools & Technologies Used by Continuous Mining Machine Operators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Continuous Mining Machine Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word processing software
  • Minitab

How do I Become a Continuous Mining Machine Operator?

Education needed to be a Continuous Mining Machine Operator:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Continuous Mining Machine Operator?


Where Continuous Mining Machine Operators Are Employed


Continuous Mining Machine Operators work in the following industries:


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Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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