Mining Roof Bolter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates machinery to install roof support bolts in underground mine.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Drills bolt holes into roofs at specified distances from ribs or adjacent bolts.
  • Pulls down loose rock that cannot be supported.
  • Positions bolting machines, and inserts drill bits into chucks.
  • Performs safety checks on equipment before operating.
  • Performs tests to determine if methane gas is present.
  • Forces bolts into holes, using hydraulic mechanisms of self-propelled bolting machines.
  • Performs ventilation tasks, such as hanging ventilation curtains and tubes.
  • Dusts rocks after bolting.
  • Installs various types of bolts including truss, glue, and resin bolts, traversing entire ceiling spans.
  • Drills test holes and tests bolts for specified tension, using torque wrenches.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Whole body vibrations, such as when operating a jackhammer
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Bolt Machine Operator --
  • Bolt Man --
  • Bolter --
  • Miner --
  • Place Change Roof Bolter --
  • Roof Bolter --
  • Roof Bolter Operator --
  • Underground Miner --
  • Underground Roof Bolter --