Coal mine operative

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.


  • 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.
  • Stows waste in area from which coal has been removed using feed hopper or stowing machine.
  • 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.
  • Cleans machinery, equipment and tools and maintains refuge holes, roads and airways.
  • Operates heading, ripping and coal cutting-loading machines to remove material from working face and monitors conveyor carrying away loose material.
  • Inserts and compacts appropriate explosive, primer and detonator in drilling hole and detonates charge to break and loosen coal and rock from solid formations.
  • Uses machine or portable drill to drill holes to required depth for blasting, bursting, release of gas or water infusion.

Typical Education Level

Level 2 NVQ; GCSE at grades A*-C

Will retirement created job openings

In the UK, 24% in this profession are aged 55 or above.* They will likely retire in the next 10 years, creating a demand for new workers

*This is based on national data


Average annual earnings

The current average wage for coal mine operative is £20,241

27 positions

Current Employment

The number of jobs in the career for the current year is 27. Job counts include both employed and self-employed persons, and do not distinguish between full- and part-time jobs.


Job Postings

Over the past year, jobs have been posted for coal mine operative roles.

How well does it pay?

Normal pay for this occupation is £20,241 per year. That is about £1,687 per month or £10.38 per hour. New workers generally start on £19,335, while highly experienced workers can earn as much as £45,358

Is it growing or declining?

This career has remained the same over the last 2 years, and is expected to remain the same over the next 4 years. Currently, 27 people are employed in the region.

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