Career Profile: Rock Splitters, Quarry

Career Profile: Rock Splitters, Quarry

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Some jobs can almost seem invisible even when they are important. Have you ever wondered where the small rocks for gravel roads or pathways and gardens come from? Many of those stones are likely the result of a rock splitter’s work in a quarry. If you enjoy working outside and are good with your hands, this could be a good job for you.

Many of the rocks that people use to line their flower beds or to construct buildings come from quarries, but they usually must be broken up before they are useful. Quarries are large rocky areas where people can find granite or other stones to use for building houses, making roads, or many other projects. Normally, the rocks are far too big to transport anywhere or to use as they are. Rock splitters need to cut the rocks down to a smaller size before anyone can use them.

Working as a rock splitter can be very hard physical labour, even with machines and tools to help make the job easier. People in this trade need to work outside in all kinds of weather, although the work may be impossible in winter, depending on the location. Stormy weather also makes the job difficult and dangerous in many cases. Work might sometimes be cancelled because of these conditions, but rock splitters often work in unpleasant weather.

The job can also be loud and physically demanding as worker use noisy machines and move large rocks around. Injuries are common, and the work can be too difficult for people as they get older. Hearing loss might also be a problem for some people, and it is important to wear any the safety gear that the managers recommend. In some cases, rock splitters might have to work at the top of cliffs, and it is important not to be afraid of heights.

Normally, rock splitters need a high school education, followed by on-the-job training. Jobs are available in the areas of mining, quarrying, and construction. The availability of jobs depends on the economy and other factors, but most of the work is in the rockier parts of Canada rather than farming regions or forests. Salaries start at about $39,000 per year and can rise to $48,000 per year. Some areas of the country tend to have higher salaries than others, and certain companies might pay more for their rock splitters than others.

You can already start to prepare for this job in high school. Courses in communication, trades, first aid, and geography are useful, and it is important to be physically fit. A certain amount of manual dexterity is also useful for handling tools. Efficiency and an ability to follow instructions can help people succeed in this job. Although rock splitters often work with other people, they should also be able to work alone.

Working as a rock splitter might not sound interesting, but it can be a very important job. Without rock splitters, other people would be unable to do their jobs. If you are strong and enjoy working with your hands, this trade might be a good choice for you.



Careers.org. “Occupation Profile for Rock Splitters, Quarry.” http://www.brec.careers.org/occupations/47-5051.00/rock-splitters-quarry

College Grad. “Quarry Rock Splitters.” https://collegegrad.ca/careers/quarry-rock-splitters.

Pathways to Jobs. “Rock Splitter.” https://pathwaystojobs.ca/career/167/Rock_Splitter

Talent.ca. “Rock Splitter Average Salary in Canada, 2023.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=rock+splitter#.

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