Continuous Mining Machine Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Continuous Miner Operators

Continuous Miner Operators 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, shuttle cars, or trucks in a continuous operation.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Continuous Mining Machine Operators 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.

  • Hang ventilation tubing and ventilation curtains to ensure that the mining face area is kept properly ventilated.
  • Conduct methane gas checks to ensure breathing quality of air.
  • Check the stability of roof and rib support systems before mining face areas.
  • Operate mining machines to gather coal and convey it to floors or shuttle cars.
Read more about what does a Continuous Mining Machine Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$54470 per year

Average hourly wage
$26 per hour

Continuous Miner Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $36310 and $44090 while the more experienced ones can earn over $64710 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
WY $38 $78,210
MT $34 $70,310
AK $33 $69,080
NV $30 $62,290
NM $30 $61,400

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Continuous Mining Machine Operator is to move to a higher paying state like WY. Right now, the highest paying states for Continuous Miner Operators are WY, MT, AK, NV and NM.

However, a higher pay at WY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WY might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Continuous Mining Machine Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Continuous Miner Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation
Read more about how to become a Continuous Mining Machine Operator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Continuous Mining Machine Operator.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
It is very easy to get into this career. Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average
Demand for this career is not growing
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

63% of Continuous Miner Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Continuous Miner Operators

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Job Description

Related career information

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