Coal mine operatives

Insufficient data

Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2015


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Coal mine operatives detonate charges and use cutting equipment to extract coal from coal faces, build and dismantle roof and wall supports in underground coal workings, and transport coal and other material from the coal face.


There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is provided through specialised courses. NVQs/SVQs in Process Operations (Extraction Industries) are available. There is a minimum age limit of 18 years for underground work.

Typical tasks

  • uses machine or portable drill to drill holes to required depth for blasting, bursting, release of gas or water infusion;
  • inserts and compacts appropriate explosive, primer and detonator in drilling hole and detonates charge to break and loosen coal and rock from solid formations;
  • operates heading, ripping and coal cutting-loading machines to remove material from working face and monitors conveyor carrying away loose material;
  • cleans machinery, equipment and tools and maintains refuge holes, roads and airways;
  • erects permanent and temporary wall and roof supports from dry stone material, timber and metal, withdraws supports and serviceable material/ equipment from worked out or abandoned faces;
  • stows waste in area from which coal has been removed using feed hopper or stowing machine;
  • conveys goods and materials to and from coal face and work areas, loads and unloads mine cars and transfers materials from underground and surface conveyors to bunkers, tubs and rail trucks.

Common job titles

Labourer (coal mine)
Worker, pit (coal mine)
Assistant, timberman (coal mine)
Man, job, odd (coal mine)
Operator, cutter, coal
Overman, deputy (coal mine)
Chocker (coal mine)
Bolter, roof (coal mine)
Picker (coal mine)
Canchman (coal mine)
Crusher, coal (coal mine)
Ganger (coal mine)
Tipper (coal mine)
Attendant, washery (coal mine)
Worker, mine (coal mine)
Attendant, hopper (coal mine)
Infuser, water (coal mine)
Hitcher (coal mine)
Striker, catch (coal mine)
Man, haulage (coal mine)
Byeworker (coal mine)
Stower, coal
Man, pan (coal mine)
Man, salvage (coal mine)
Worker, task (coal mine)
Headman, gear (coal mine)
Attendant, tippler (coal mine)
Screenworker (coal mine)
Worker, haulage (coal mine)
Attendant, creeper (coal mine)
Worker, salvage (coal mine)
Hand, datal (coal mine)
Attendant, aerial (mine: above ground)
Hand, screen (coal mine)
Cleaner, belt (coal mine)
Man, screen (coal mine)
Propper (coal mine)
Shearer (coal mine: below ground)
Knocker, catch (coal mine)
Deputy (coal mine)
Hand, salvage (coal mine)
Worker, screen (coal mine)
Propman (coal mine)
Man, supply (coal mine)
Haulier (coal mine)
Driver (coal mine: below ground:
Worker, piece (coal mine)
Suppressor, dust (coal mine)
Scalloper (coal mine)
Cleaner, wagon (coal mine)
Repairer, airway (coal mine)
Drawer, salvage (coal mine)
Drawer, steel (coal mine)
Cleaner (coal mine)
Officer, control, roof (coal mine)
Assistant, onsetter's
Man, haulage, face
Washer, coal (coal mine)
Examiner (coal mine)
Bunkerman (coal mine)
Assistant, borer's (coal mine)
Assistant, collier
Attendant, tipper (coal mine)
Linesman, survey (coal mine)
Stoneman (coal mine)
Transporter, cable (coal mine)
Companyman (coal mine)
Worker, colliery
Assistant, repairer's (coal mine)
Hewer (coal mine)
Attendant, loader (coal mine)
Topman (coal mine)
Worker, odd (coal mine)
Runner, wagon (coal mine)
Minder, belt (coal mine)
Cutterman (coal mine)
Drawer, prop (coal mine)
Loader, power (coal mine)
Teemer, coal (coal mine: above ground)
Contractor, stone (coal mine)
Shotsman (coal mine)
Drawer-off (coal mine)
Foreman (coal mine: opencast)
Worker, stone (coal mine)
Man, contractor's (coal mine)
Assistant, timberman's (coal mine)
Driver, shearer (coal mine)
Lighter, shot (coal mine)
Operator, flotation, froth (coal mine)
Runner, belt (coal mine)
Dinker (coal mine)
Stripper (coal mine)
Operator, slusher (coal mine)
Worker, development (coal mine)
Filler, tub (coal mine)
Attendant, landing (coal mine)
Filler (coal mine)
Firer, shot (coal mine)
Man, machine (coal mine)
Man, surface (coal mine)
Switchman (coal mine)
Worker, shift (coal mine)
Latcher (coal mine)
Attendant, landsale
Cutter (coal mine)
Digger, coal (coal mine)
Tipplerman (coal mine)
Bunker (coal mine)
Loaderman, power (coal mine)
Man, utility (coal mine)
Trimmer (coal mine)
Shifter (coal mine)
Truckman (coal mine)
Attendant, car, mine
Screener (coal mine)
Foreman, working (coal mine)
Worker, general (coal mine)
Attendant, coal
Filler, coal
Attendant, tipper (coal mine: above ground)
Attendant, depot (coal mine)
Dismantler (coal mine)
Man, market (coal mine)
Panner (coal mine)
Stemmer (coal mine)
Packer (coal mine)
Bunkerman (blast furnace)
Dumper (coal mine)
Assistant, shotfirer's (coal mine)
Supplier, timber (coal mine)
Borer, methane (coal mine)
Drawer (coal mine)
Developer (coal mine)
Extractor (coal mine)
Brakesman (coal mine)
Attendant, rope (coal mine)
Wageman (coal mine)
Driller (coal mine)
Drifter (coal mine)
Assistant, banksman's (coal mine)
Conductor, paddy
Getter (coal mine)
Worker, ground, above (coal mine)
Foreman (coal mine)
Filler, conveyor (coal mine: below ground)
Maker, manhole
Worker, underground (coal mine)
Scraper (coal mine)
Worker, transit (coal mine)
Emptier, wagon (coal mine)
Attendant, journey (coal mine)
Helper, collier's
Fireman (coal mine: below ground)
Hanger-on (coal mine)
Assistant, collier's
Officer, salvage (coal mine)
Operator, loader, power
Fixer, girder (coal mine)
Patrolman (coal mine)
Hand, washery (coal mine)
Gummer (coal mine)
Washer, hand (coal mine)
Repairer, road (coal mine)
Worker, contract (coal mine)
Spragger (coal mine)
Transporter, supplies (coal mine)
Official (coal mine)
Operator, disc (coal mine)
Drawer, timber (coal mine)
Brusher (coal mine)
Trimmer, face (coal mine)
Cutterman, coal
Controller, conveyer (coal mine)
Bumper (coal mine)
Hand, haulage (coal mine)
Picker, stone (coal mine)
Timberer (coal mine)
Cleaner, spillage
Worker, face (coal mine)
Clipper (coal mine)
Worker, ground, under (coal mine)
Rider (coal mine)
Cleaner, lamp (coal mine)
Overman (mining)
Collier (coal mine)
Screener, coal
Stower (coal mine)
Hand, brow (mining)
Miner (coal mine)
Machinist (coal mine)
Machinist, cutting (coal mine)
Sorter, coal (coal mine)
Worker, surface (coal mine)
Leader, girder (coal mine)
Manipulator, tub (coal mine)
Presser, filter (coal mine)
Minder, turn (coal mine)
Man, waste, assistant (coal mine)
Hand, surface (coal mine)
Drawer, waste (coal mine)
Machinist, boring (coal mine)
Patrol (coal mine)
Borer (coal mine: above ground)
Beltman (coal mine)
Cutter, coal (coal mine)
Foreman, plant, cleaning, dry (coal mine)
Inspector, belt (coal mine)
Miner, coal
Operator, cleaner, dry (coal mine)
Beltman (coal mine: above ground)
Tracker (coal mine)
Foreman, traffic (coal mine: below ground)
Header (coal mine)
Changer, rope (coal mine)
Waterman (coal mine)
Man, waste (coal mine)
Worker, repair (coal mine)
Loader, conveyor (coal mine)
Man, button, colliery
Fitter, chock (coal mine)
Cutter, machine (coal mine)
Foreman, coal
Machinist, loading, power
Attendant, paddy (coal mine)
Grader (coal mine)
Linesman (coal mine)
Man, pit (coal mine)
Trimmer, coal (coal mine)
Borer (coal mine)
Setter, prop (coal mine)
Operator, switch (coal mine)
Loader (coal mine)
Miner, coal, opencast
Helper, collier
Holder, stall (coal mine)
Man, infusion, water
Man, heading, hard
Worker, slurry (coal mine)
Putter (coal mine)
Handyman, nos (coal mine)
Filler, truck (coal mine)
Shifthand (coal mine)
Landsaler (coal mine)
Chargeman (coal mine)
Driftman (coal mine)
Sinker (coal mine)
Leader, timber (coal mine)
Man, timber (coal mine)
Repairer (coal mine)
Loader, timber (coal mine)
Worker, waste (coal mine)
Ripper (coal mine)
Drawer, chock (coal mine)
Stower, power
Tunneller (coal mine)