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Quarry worker

Alternative titles for this job include Quarry operative, opencast mine worker, opencast miner

Quarry workers dig out and process rock, slate, gravel and sand from quarries or mines.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 45 a week

You could work

weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Quarry worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a mineral processing mobile and static plant operator.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got experience or qualifications in construction, mining, or operating heavy machinery like mechanical diggers.

More Information

Career tips

A relevant driving licence, for example a large goods vehicle or plant operator's licence, may give you an advantage when looking for work.

Further information

You can learn more about career options in the quarrying industry from Minerals Matter.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a driving licence that includes HGV for lorries or PCV for buses

You may need your own transport to get to work, as quarries are usually in the countryside.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • use mechanical diggers to excavate rock, clay, sand, gravel and slate
  • operate equipment like rock crushers and stone graders
  • use drilling equipment
  • maintain vehicles and machinery
  • set and detonate explosives
  • transport materials in large trucks

Working environment

You could work at a quarry.

Your working environment may be cramped, physically demanding and dusty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With training and experience, you could become a site supervisor, mineral products technician or quarry manager. You could also move into:

  • quality control
  • explosives work - shotfiring
  • health and safety inspection
  • machine and plant maintenance
  • laboratory work like testing samples

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Processing Plant Operator

  • Wage: £16,000 a year Annually
  • Location: Preston Manor Works, Chudleigh Road, Newton Abbot

Apprentice Mobile Plant Operator

  • Wage: £16,000 a year Annually
  • Location: Preston Manor Works, Chudleigh Road, Newton Abbot

Courses In England

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