Supervisors, mining and quarrying (NOC 8221)

About this job

Supervisors in mining and quarrying supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in mining operations of underground and surface mines and quarries.

People in this occupation:

  • work for coal, metal and non-metallic industrial mineral mines and quarries
  • should have strong leadership, communication and mechanical skills
  • should be physically fit and have knowledge of safety procedures
  • should be comfortable working both independently and in a team setting
  • must be observant, responsible and able to enforce procedures
Common job titles
  • boss, mining - level boss / shift boss
  • mine captain / foreperson / supervisor
  • mining - drilling
  • mining - motormen / women
  • mining - salvage / supply
  • mining - surface / blasters

Duties

Supervisors in mining and quarrying perform some or all of the following duties:

  • supervise, coordinate and schedule the activities of workers who extract coal, minerals and ore
  • operate underground conveyances
  • perform other services in support of underground mining or of heavy equipment operators, drillers, blasters and other workers in surface mining and quarrying
  • establish methods to meet work schedules and confer with managerial and technical personnel, other departments and contractors to solve problems and coordinate activities
  • oversee the safety of the mining or quarrying operation
  • solve work problems and recommend ways to improve productivity
  • request materials and supplies
  • train workers in job duties, safety procedures and company policies
  • recommend personnel actions such as hirings and promotions
  • prepare production and other reports
  • understand and comply with appropriate legislation, such as the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mining in British Columbia
  • make sure company policies are fulfilled

Work environment

Supervisors in this group work in mines and quarries, which can be challenging due to noise, dust and various weather conditions. The workplace is potentially hazardous since workers are around large, moving equipment and carefully handle potentially harmful chemical substances used in mining. Work is also conducted in areas that may be unstable.

Workplace safety is at the forefront and all work sites are required to follow strict safety regulations, including wearing protective clothing with reflective strips, eye and ear protection, hard hats, gloves, and steel-toed boots. In addition, training and special equipment helps to minimize risk to workers.

A small number of supervisors are self employed and part-time work is not common. However, most supervisors work full time. Shifts of 8–12 hours are common and supervisors may work more than 40 hours a week. Rotating shifts are frequent since mines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since mines and quarries are often located in remote areas, supervisors may be required to travel and live in camps for extended periods of time. However, with many B.C. mines located near communities, workers who live nearby can return home after their shift.

Insights from industry

Job opportunities are expected to arise as a result of new job creation and retirements. There will be job openings in the Oil and Gas industry, especially in provinces such as Alberta, which are experiencing shortages of workers with similar skill sets.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Recent graduates from engineering positions are often put into supervisory roles in company-sponsored "engineer-in-training" programs, which are intended to broaden their operational and human resource skills.

Supervisors have many options available to them. There are opportunities to move to other companies in search of higher-level positions. Supervisors may also become mine inspectors, full-time trainers or safety/loss prevention coordinators.

Additional resources