Quarry Worker

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Metals & Mining

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • 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

As well as:

  • 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 (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • physical skills like strength and coordination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Quarry Worker, specific subjects are not typically required. However, having a good general education and certain skills can be beneficial for this role. Here are some subjects that can help build a foundation for a career as a Quarry Worker:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measurements and calculations commonly used in quarrying operations.
  2. Science: Knowledge of basic science concepts can be valuable, especially if you work in areas where geology, earth sciences, or environmental science are important aspects of the job.
  3. Design and Technology: This subject can introduce you to concepts of machinery, tools, and mechanical principles that are relevant to quarry operations.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with computer software is becoming increasingly important in modern quarries for data management and process automation.
  5. English: Good communication skills are valuable for working in teams and understanding and following safety guidelines and procedures.

Post School

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.

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.

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.

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:

  • have a driving licence that includes LGV for lorries, or PCV for buses, if you work with these vehicles

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

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a quarry.

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

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & 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