How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Miner: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $49,740
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute

A miner is responsible for smoothly operating heavy machinery and equipment that assist with the extraction and removal of various minerals, coal and valuable rocks from quarries and mines (i.e. surface mine, underground mine).

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What is a Miner?


The duties of a miner are numerous and can include the following tasks:

  • Utilise knowledge and quick thinking to efficiently operate mining equipment and tools like haul truck, water truck, bolter, etc.
  • Install, maintain and repair different mining utilities such as vent bags, electrical lines and water connections.
  • Under minimum supervision, keep track of situations that may be a threat to any employee or affect overall productivity.
  • Clean and prepare mining sites and quarries by digging trenches, placing braces to secure the tunnels for excavation.

Day In The Life

The day to day duties that a miner has to complete is dependent on their skill level, experience in the industry and the type of specialization they have for the mineral or ore that is being mined. Most miners have to follow certain common protocols that ensure the safety of workers while working in the mine. This can involve operating heavy vehicles, drilling machinery, loading mined natural resources onto mine cars, working on stabilizing the shaft building and reporting to senior management regarding any safety concerns.

When you start off your career as a miner, you will likely perform the role of an underground miner – one of those that enter underground mines through natural paths or vertical shafts to complete tasks related to extracting resources and keeping the structure of the mine secure. Once you are experienced enough, you may be assigned a higher role such as that of a mine shift supervisor who works above and below the ground, keeping track of safety routines being followed and looking out for potential workplace risks, to prevent any injuries or potential harm for workers.

Work Schedule

You can expect to work irregular hours in the mining industry, as it never closes down. Miners usually take on long shifts that can last between 10 to 14 days with a few days off between shifts. The isolated location of most mining and quarry operation may require you to remain in a camp setting for months far from home.  Since the average shift can last up to 12 hours, you must be of great health and have psychological strength to endure the stressful work condition for prolonged periods.

Growth Of The Job

With the rising demand for raw materials, there is greater employment in the mining industry than before. With sufficient experience, miners will move on to jobs that offer higher pay versus others at the mine. They may also continue to work in a supervisory capacity. In addition, job opportunities will be aplenty due to the need for replacing any workers that are leaving the industry or retiring in the coming years.

Typical Employers

A miner works for mining companies, tunnelling and pipeline rehabilitation contractors, industrial construction services, etc. Jobs are currently listed by top employers such as Capstone Mining, SAK Construction, S & L Industries, Westmoreland Coal Company and Luck Companies. If you possess previous work experience and are familiar with mining techniques in field operations, you will have an edge over other aspiring miners.

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How To Become a Miner

No specific requirements need to be fulfilled in order to work as a miner or quarry worker. However, having relevant skills like a heavy vehicle license will put you ahead of the competition. While some colleges provide certificate courses in mine studies or an associate’s degree, the majority of miners gain their foundational knowledge by working on the job and assisting more experienced miners in the field. In recent times, formal training is becoming a bigger priority to minimize the risks taken by workers and create better awareness on tackling safety issues. Several mining companies are now providing special coursework for their employee. Miners that are just starting out will be working in training mines before they can go work in regular mines or quarries.

In terms of valuable skills, miners have to be comfortable working in a cramped environment for long hours and have quick reflexes to deal with tough situations. Team work is another essential part of working as a miner. Finally, make sure that you are above the age requirement (at least eighteen years) in many states before taking on full-time work in the mines or office.

Miner Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Miner salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Miner's can make an average annual salary of $49,740, or $24 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $38,700 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #391 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Miners

  • 0.2%   Doctorate
  • 0.1%   Masters
  • 1.8%   Bachelors
  • 4.7%   Associates
  • 19%   College
  • 49.4%   High School
  • 24.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Miner job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 4,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Miners

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Coal mining 2,600 -100 0%
Self-employed workers 600 --- ---
Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying 400 --- ---

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