Forget rock ‘n’ roll, think more rocks and holes! Welcome to the professional life of a quarry manager.
You might think of a quarry as a charming/incredibly dangerous place to swim in the summer, but these open pits are actually vital for industry and construction. All kinds of useful rocks and minerals are extracted from quarries, from slate and clay to granite and limestone.
Quarry managers are in charge of the whole extraction process. These geezers (or should that be geysers?) use a combination of technical know-how and managerial skills to make sure all quarry operations are carried out in an efficient, safe and cost-effective manner.
As a quarry manager, you’ll be responsible for managing production and extraction activities, recruiting and training staff, troubleshooting any technical problems and overseeing the maintenance of equipment and vehicles. You might also be required to conduct risk assessments and health and safety inspections from time to time.
Not all of your work will revolve around on-site activities – you’ll also have a variety of administrative duties, from writing reports and updating records to procurement and budget control.
Salary & benefits
As an assistant quarry manager, you will usually earn between £21,000 and £30,000 per annum.
However, as you gain more experience, your annual salary will increase to between £40,000 and £50,000.
If you reach the very top of the career ladder, your annual income could exceed £100,000.
Quarry managers should expect long working hours. This certainly isn’t your average nine-to-five job. You will most likely work on-site half the time and in an office for the other half. You may also be required to work weekends on a regular basis.
Occasionally, you may be on-call, which means you will be asked to respond to emergency situations at the drop of a hat.
If you’ve got your heart set on becoming a quarry manager, you will need to complete a relevant degree or HND (higher national diploma) first.
According to the Institute of Quarrying, a technical qualification in a scientific subject, such as minerals engineering, geophysics, metallurgy, plant science or earth science, will get you off to a flying start.
However, you may also enter the profession off the back of a qualification in an administrative subject, such as business studies, economics or marketing. Click here for a full list of approved qualifications.
A postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject may also further boost your chances of securing an entry-level quarry management job.
Training & progression
Some large companies run structured graduate training schemes. As part of these schemes, you will train ‘on-the-job’ under the supervision of a senior quarry manager. You will also be required to attend in-house training sessions.
As you progress through your career, you may think about taking part in training courses which are run by external organisations, such as the Mineral Products Qualifications Council.
The majority of quarry managers start their career as an assistant. From there, you will develop your experience and move into a full-on quarry manager position. Initially, you might have responsibility for just one aspect of the quarry’s operational activities, but eventually you will oversee everything from the comfort of a limestone throne.