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Guide to Mining in the United States

December 15, 2017 by Barrett Pryce | 2 minutes to read

Guide to Mining in the United States

According to National Mining Association, 158,000 miners are employed by the mining industry.

That figure ignores the universe of mine contractors, mining consultants, mineral & aggregate refinery operations, mine equipment service workers, and other mine support personnel.

See injury, illness, and fatality statistics for non-metal, metal, and coal mining operations in the United States for 2016:

Total Injuries Injury Rates (per 100K) Fatalities Fatality Rates (Per 100K)
5,606 2.17 26 0.010
Source: 2016 Department of Labor Health & Safety Statistics for Mining

Average Annual Wages By Mining Job

General and Operations Managers $102,750
Purchasing Managers $93,670
Engineers $86,770
Mine Geological Engineers $91,010
Environmental Engineers $85,060
First Line Supervisors of Production $68,900
Explosives Workers $68,900
Plant and System Operators $58,460
Surveyors $63,140
Electricians $60,730
Roof Bolters $56,780
Mine Shuttle $56,830
Car Operators $56,390
Rail Transportation Workers $47,810
Conveyor Operators and Tenders $47,810
Continuous Mining Machine Operators $52,370
Mining Machine Operators $52,050
Extraction Workers $50,810
Excavating, Loading Machine, Dragline Operators $45,660
MSHA Safety Training Specialists ?

Notice in the table above, the safety role is forgotten; perhaps falling as it so often does to an “experienced miner” or “competent person”—a miner who has been on the job for several years and who has completed MSHA Part 46 or MSHA Part 48 safety training requirements.

The old rule required a miner to receive new miner training within 12 months or to accumulate 12 months of mining experience within the previous 36 months to be considered an “experienced miner.” The new rule requires that a miner both receive new miner training and have 12 months of mining experience to qualify as an “experienced miner.”

Alternatively, there are many MSHA training providers and independent consultants who deliver mine safety training as a service, often on-location at specific mine sites.