What Do Roof Bolters, Mining Do?
In order to keep people down in mine shafts safe, companies rely on experienced roof bolters to ensure that the support system is secure. Roof bolters are responsible for using various types of machinery to install bolts that support the roof within a mine. This plays a critical role in ensuring the tunnels do not collapse.Not a lot of growth is expected to occur with this particular position in the next decade. In fact, projections indicate that a decrease of 4% is going to happen every year. 180 job openings will still occur, but these will be partially offset by a number of jobs getting lost.
Roof Bolters, Mining Skills and Abilities
A familiarity with various tools and machines is required in order to do this job properly because you will be using various items in order to ensure that the roof is in place. You should also be knowledgeable of the transportation methods that take place down in mine shafts. Roof bolters also play the role of a teacher in a certain regard because you will need to inform the other workers how to safely maneuver around the support system. You are going to apply your critical thinking prowess regularly because you need to identify flaws in the system that need to be corrected. Even if nothing is blatantly wrong, you should always be searching for areas that can be improved upon. While you are installing the roof, you need to be capable of monitoring the area around you to ensure the mine is secure and that everyone is behaving properly.
Roof Bolters, Mining Duties
There are numerous smaller tasks that are associated with actually bolting down the roof. This includes drilling holes at predetermined distances. You will then need to put the bolts into place by using specialized machines and tools. Once the bolts are in place, you will need to test them out to ensure they are secure. If there is an area of the mine that does not have bolts in place yet, then you will need to make sure the proper security measures are positioned so that the mine is still safe. Plenty of additional activities will be expected of you if you obtain this job, including:
- Inspecting your work to ensure everything was done right.
- Installing auxiliary equipment.
- Moving tools and equipment to proper positions.
- Tightening the ends of bolts.
Roof Bolters, Mining Tools and Technology
The primary tools you will need to become accustomed to using will include some basic mining equipment such as:
- Portable rock drills
- Remote-control miners
- Boom bolters
- Cable bolters
- Grease guns
Education and Training for Roof Bolters, Mining
Most roof bolters are able to get a job by simply having a high school diploma or some kind of equivalent. No further education is truly necessary, but if you are offered a position, then the expectation will be that you will go through on-site training. This is an important job, and it needs to be done correctly. The training is necessary so that you know exactly what needs to get done.
Roof Bolters, Mining Salary
Various states throughout the country have a need for roof bolters, and the median yearly salary across the board is around $54,800. The amount you are able to make can vary a bit, and the highest paid roof bolters generally make over $69,000 a year.
Roof Bolters, Mining Jobs by Geography
The coal mining industry has the greatest need for efficient roof bolters, and the states with the highest levels of employment are West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Not all states have a high need for roof bolters, so conduct your own research to see if you are in a good place for this type of work.