Quarry workers and related operatives

£19,240 Average salary at age 20
£39,520 Average Salary
59 Average hours per week


Quarry workers erect supports in underground workings, set and detonate explosives to loosen rocks and set up and operate drilling equipment to extract minerals (other than coal) from the ground, and operate machinery to wash, crush or separate stone and ores.

Main Tasks

  • Inspects blasting area, drills shot holes, inserts explosives and detonates charges to loosen large pieces of rock/ore;
  • Assembles drilling and cutting tools, operates controls to start machines and to regulate the speed and pressure of cutting and drilling;
  • Erects timber or metal supports to shore up tunnel and assists tunnel miner with the excavation of vertical shafts and underground tunnels;
  • Conveys goods and materials to and from the workface, loads and unloads mine cars and transfers materials from underground and surface conveyors to bunkers, tubs and rail trucks;
  • Operates agitators/vibrators to separate minerals and ensures that screened, filtered, crushed and separated material is discharged to appropriate chutes or conveyors;
  • Performs other mining and quarrying tasks not elsewhere classified including digging clay from open pits, operating high-pressure hoses to wash china clay from open pit faces and otherwise assisting miners.


There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs in Drilling Operations and Process Operations (Extractive Industries) are available at Level 2. There is a minimum age limit of 18 for underground work.

UK Prospects

10000 Workforce Size
15.38% Predicted decline 2020 - 2027
2161 Predicted Replacement 2020 - 2027

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