All You Need To Know About A Miner Career

You think about becoming a miner but want to learn more about this job before making your final career choice?

Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you everything you need to know about being a miner in the following chapters.

Not only will we talk about salaries, but you will also learn a lot about job satisfaction, future outlook, duties, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a miner or rather want to go for a different career instead.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does a Miner do?

Miners mine coal, oil, ore, gems or precious metals.

They are crucial for supplying us with enough resources so that we can maintain a high quality of life from a materialistic point of view.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Miner

  • Mining coal, ore, gems and all sorts of precious materials
  • Sorting precious materials so that they can be processed further
  • Boring holes to assess the quality of the mining ground
  • Shoveling shattered mining materials onto trucks
  • Preparing the ground so that machines can be operated in a safe and efficient manner
  • Keep mining processes running in the most efficient manner
  • Following rules and regulations related to mining
  • Making sure that high safety requirements are met
  • Minimizing the risk of accidents

What a Typical Day of a Miner looks like?

Miners usually get to work between 7 and 9 a.m.

The first thing they do is to get basic instructions from their boss so that they have a plan of what parts of the mine they have to work on this day.

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After getting those instructions, miners get to their actual work and mine many tons of precious resources with the help of heavy machines.

Miners never work alone but are always accompanied by their colleagues so that they can get support in case of emergency.

After working in this physically demanding environment for many hours, you will usually finish your workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Miner Salary 2021

Miner salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $72,000> $35.93
Top 25 %$61,000 – $67,000$30.42 – $33.45
Bottom 25 %$35,000 – $39,000$17.39 – $19.47
Bottom 10 %$28,000 – $32,000$13.89 – $15.94
Range$28,000 – $77,000$13.89 – $38.48
Average (Mean)$48,000$23.97
Median$46,000$22.88

Miner salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$28,000 – $37,000$13.89 – $18.42
Junior$35,000 – $42,000$17.46 – $20.93
Professional$40,000 – $53,000$19.48 – $26.44
Senior Professional$51,000 – $63,000$25.39 – $31.47
Expert$62,000 – $69,000$30.92 – $34.48
Top Expert$66,000 – $77,000$32.88 – $38.43

Miner salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$44,800$22.37
Alaska$45,600$22.78
Arizona$48,200$24.09
Arkansas$46,200$23.07
California$56,700$28.32
Colorado$48,600$24.28
Connecticut$45,900$22.93
Delaware$46,100$23.04
District of Columbia$48,800$24.36
Florida$50,600$25.28
Georgia$47,200$23.57
Guam$49,300$24.64
Hawaii$52,100$26.03
Idaho$48,300$24.12
Illinois$47,500$23.73
Indiana$49,100$24.54
Iowa$50,800$25.38
Kansas$46,700$23.33
Kentucky$49,300$24.64
Louisiana$47,900$23.92
Maine$51,200$25.57
Maryland$52,400$26.18
Massachusetts$50,800$25.39
Michigan$48,100$24.03
Minnesota$49,500$24.73
Mississippi$47,300$23.65
Missouri$46,700$23.37
Montana$48,200$24.09
Nebraska$45,500$22.72
Nevada$51,800$25.89
New Hampshire$53,100$26.54
New Jersey$52,400$26.18
New Mexico$48,100$24.03
New York$58,200$29.08
North Carolina$48,600$24.27
North Dakota$46,700$23.33
Ohio$49,300$24.64
Oklahoma$50,200$25.09
Oregon$51,800$25.88
Pennsylvania$48,300$24.14
Rhode Island$51,600$25.78
South Carolina$47,200$23.57
South Dakota$46,800$23.39
Tennessee$50,100$25.04
Texas$47,700$23.84
Utah$48,300$24.11
Vermont$50,400$25.18
Virginia$47,800$23.88
Washington$51,400$25.69
West Virginia$49,300$24.62
Wisconsin$48,600$24.28
Wyoming$46,700$23.34

Job Security of Miners

Miners have pretty decent job security since not many people want to work in this risky environment anymore and rather go for classical office jobs while miners are still in high demand to meet our excessive global demand for natural resources.

In turn, you will not have to worry about losing your job as a miner since you will likely find a new one pretty soon.

Future Outlook of Miners

Not only will you enjoy good job prospects right now, but also the future outlook for miners is pretty decent.

Even though some mining jobs will be replaced by machines, there will still be a huge demand for people who are willing to work in this field and miners will not have to worry about getting unemployed anytime soon.

Working Hours of Miners

Most miners start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m. and quit their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Thus, you will have a rather short workday and will be able to meet up with your favorite people after work while many other people like consultants who have to work long hours every day will not have this luxury.

Job Satisfaction of Miners

Many miners are not happy with what they are doing for a living since working as a miner can be quite risky, physically demanding and you will still not be able to make good money from what you are doing.

Promotion Opportunities of Miners

There are barely any promotion opportunities for miners.

Once you work in this field, you will do the same things for many years or even decades without getting the chance of being promoted anytime soon.

Career Levels of Miners

  • Miner apprentice
  • Junior miner
  • Senior miner
  • Senior miner operating heavy machines
  • Senior miner with personnel responsibilities
  • Manager of a mine
  • Mine owner

Fields and Types of Miners

  • Coal miners
  • Oil miners
  • Gem miners
  • Gold miners
  • Silver miners
  • Underground miners
  • In-situ miners
  • Surface miners
  • Placer miners

Educational Requirements for Miners

Miners don’t need to get a degree.

They just need to finish high school and will be able to apply for an apprenticeship in this field while they will learn many things on the job.

How to become a Miner

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a miner
  2. Finish high school with decent grades
  3. Search for mining companies in your region
  4. Apply for a miner apprenticeship
  5. Master the job interview
  6. Sign your labor contract
  7. Work and study hard
  8. Pass the final mining exam
  9. Become a licensed miner

Character Traits you need as a Miner

  • Ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Willingness to work underground
  • Willingness to work in a rather unpleasant environment
  • Empathy for your colleagues
  • Passion for mining
  • Willingness to get dirty at work
  • Willingness to work hard with your hands
  • Persistence helps you push through difficult times
  • Patience helps you get complex projects done

Hard Skills for Miners

  • Good knowledge of how to mine metals, ore and other precious commodities
  • Expertise in prospecting is a plus
  • You should be in good physical condition
  • You should have good vision and hearing capabilities
  • Good knowledge of technical developments
  • Expertise in the use of digital technologies is a plus
  • Good knowledge of how to use mining equipment
  • Knowledge of regulatory requirements related to mining
  • Knowledge of safety standards related to mining
  • Strong problem-solving skills

Soft Skills for Miners

  • Empathy for your colleagues help you maintain a good working atmosphere
  • Patience for new colleagues who just start out with their careers in mining
  • You should be able to work in a team
  • Time management skills help you get things done in an efficient manner
  • Willingness to work in a low-wage environment
  • Ability to deal with snarky comments about your job in a healthy manner
  • Passion for mining helps you get up in the morning with a smile on your face
  • Willingness to be a small part of the bigger picture
  • You should listen closely to the commands of your boss to minimize the risk of accidents

Exit Options for Miners

Miners have pretty poor exit options.

Once they work in this field, they have barely any opportunities to get out of this industry unless they get lots of additional education since miners are pretty specialized and often don’t have the skills to work in a completely different field.

Miner – Similar Careers

  • Lumberjack
  • Woodworker
  • Carpenter
  • Metal processing worker
  • Farmer
  • Gardener
  • Roofer
  • Construction worker
  • Engineer
  • Environmental activist

Miner Career FAQs

Is working as a miner physically demanding?

Being a miner is heavily physically demanding and you need to be in good shape to do this job in the long run.

Even though you can use machines to make your life easier, you will still have to work under exhausting conditions and you should not become a miner if you are not willing to get dirty at work on a regular basis.

Is working as a miner mentally demanding?

While you as a miner have to use your brain to avoid serious accidents at work and to carry out your work in an efficient manner, you will still not have to stress your brain as financial analysts or other people who work with complex models every day.

Is it dangerous to work as a miner?

Working as a miner can be dangerous since you will be at serious risk of suffering from accidents at work and if you are unlucky, you may even lose your life sooner or later in case a mine collapses and buries you.

How long do miners stay in their jobs?

Miners stay in their jobs for many years since they are pretty specialized and have a hard time finding a job in a different industry.

Hence, many miners will often stay in this field due to a lack of alternatives even though they don’t really like what they are doing.

Is it easy for miners to find a new job?

Since the demand for metals and other resources is growing at rapid speed, miners are in high demand right now and you will therefore have an easy time finding a new job in this industry.

Is it hard to switch from being a miner to another field of work?

While you will have an easy time finding a new job within the mining industry, it will be hard for you to find a job in a completely different field since you will be pretty specialized as a miner and will often lack the skills to be able to work in a different industry.

Do miners have a high social status?

Miners have a pretty low social status.

While you will still do an important job for society, you will often not get lots from appreciation of the general public compared to doctors or other people who can save lives on a regular basis.

Can you help out your family and friends as a miner?

You will not be able to help out your family and friends as a miner since you will be pretty specialized in what you are doing and while many craftsmen are able to fix things around the home and economists are able to give proper investment advice to their loved ones, you as a miner will not be able to add much value to the lives of others.

Can miners work remotely?

Miners are not able to work remotely.

Instead, they have to be present at their workplace in person and have to spend lots of time and money commuting to work and back while people who work in classical office jobs can often work from home and will therefore be much more flexible to manage their private and professional life at the same time.

Is it easy to find a partner as a miner?

Since miners are not able to make good money and are also at significant risk of suffering from serious accidents at work, they are not considered good providers and may have a hard time in the dating market while dentists and other people who work in jobs where they can make much better money and work in a safer environment will often have a much easier time in the dating market when it comes to long-term relationships.

Do miners have to work on weekends?

Miners don’t have to work on weekends.

Instead, they have more than enough time to make nice weekend trips or to spend on their favorite hobbies.

Do miners have to work on holidays?

Miners don’t have to work on national holidays.

This means that you can enjoy those days with your loved ones while other people like waiters often have to work during those times.

Do miners have to work at nighttime?

Miners don’t have to work in the late evening or at nighttime.

Instead, you will come home from work relatively early and can meet up with your favorite people while policemen or train drivers often don’t have this luxury.

Do you have to travel as a miner?

You don’t have to travel as a miner apart from commuting to work and back and while many other people who work in demanding office jobs have to do business trips on a regular basis, you will be able to stay at home with your family.

Are miner pensions good?

Since miners don’t make good money during their active careers, also their pensions are rather low.

Moreover, miners are also not able to save and invest enough money since they have to spend almost everything they make on basic things and are therefore also not able to build a sufficient retirement fund.

Are miner salaries going up?

Miner salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years and before becoming a miner, you should know that you will never be able to make really good money in this field.

Therefore, if money and luxury are really important to you, you should not become a miner but rather work in the financial or medical industry instead.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a miner?

While you will do an important job to keep our system running, you will still not have the same high social impact as teachers or professors who can really shape and alter the thought process and the attitude towards life of many people.

How long does it take to become a miner?

Since you will not need to get a college degree for becoming a miner, you can start your apprenticeship right after finishing high school at a rather young age.

Is it difficult to become a miner?

It is not difficult to become a miner since you will not need to get fancy education.

However, you should still have a passion for working in this field to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.

Do you need to be smart to work as a miner?

You don’t need to be a genius for working as a miner.

However, you should still be smart enough to follow safety instructions since you might get into lots of trouble otherwise.

Do miners have a good work-life balance?

Miners have pretty decent work-life balance since they are able to enjoy free weekends and holidays while they also don’t have to work at nighttime most often and will therefore have more than enough time to spend with their loved ones or on their hobbies.

Do miners have to work many extra hours?

Miners don’t have to work many extra hours.

Instead, you will have a rather fixed schedule and once your shift is over, you will just finish your workday and get back to work the next morning while many other people who work in demanding office jobs have lots of time pressure and often have to work many extra hours to get their work done.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a miner?

To maximize your chances of becoming a miner, you should get experience in this field rather early.

For instance, you might want to apply for an internship at a local mine while you are still at school to make some contacts that could help you get an apprenticeship in this industry later on.

Can miners work part-time?

While miners might be able to work part-time in theory, most miners still work full-time since their hourly wage is relatively low and most miners are just not able to make a living from working part-time.

Do miners work indoors or outdoors?

Miners work both indoors and outdoors.

Hence, you should not be afraid of working outdoors during times of bad weather and if you don’t want to work in this manner, you should rather go for a classical office job instead of aspiring to a mining career.

What does the workplace of a miner look like?

Miners will often work in mines underground and you will have to work under rather unpleasant conditions.

Not only will it be quite hot, but the air will be rather sticky and working as a miner is therefore pretty exhausting.

Do you have to look good for working as a miner?

Your looks don’t matter as a miner at all since you will not have contact with clients.

Moreover, you will also get quite dirty at work on a regular basis and instead of looking good, you should have a real passion for this kind of work to stay happy with it in the long run.

Is a miner career beneficial for your private life?

Being a miner is not greatly beneficial for your private life since you will have to work in a pretty risky environment while you will still not be able to make good money.

Consequently, your spouse may start to cheat on you sooner or later to find a better deal.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a miner?

You don’t need a college degree for becoming a miner.

Instead, you just need a high school diploma to start an apprenticeship in this field.

Do you need to be certified to work as a miner?

Apart from completing your apprenticeship and passing a final exam, you also don’t need further certifications to be able to work as a miner.

In fact, what’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you have a real passion for this job to get to work with a smile every day.

How much does it cost to become a miner?

Since you will not need to go to college, you also don’t have to spend lots of money on tuition as many other people have to do.

Instead, you can even start making money from a rather young age during your miner apprenticeship.

Is being a miner a good career?

Since you will have to work in a rather risky job under pretty unpleasant working conditions while you will still not be able to make decent money from what you are doing, being a miner cannot be considered a good career when taking all relevant factors into account.

Is it easy to start your own business as a miner?

It is almost impossible to start your own business as a miner since you would have to invest enormous amounts of money on machinery and land upfront.

Hence, if your dream is to work self-employed, you should rather go for a career as a digital marketer or another job where upfront costs to start a business are pretty low.

Can miners teach themselves?

While miners are able to teach themselves up to a certain extent, they still need to get lots of instructions from experienced colleagues to be able to carry out their work in a safe but yet efficient manner.

Do miners make good money?

Miners are not able to make really good money.

In fact, most miners complain about their relatively low salary and are barely able to cover their basic expenses from what they are doing.

Is it ever too late to become a miner?

Since working as a miner is physically demanding, you should start your career in this field relatively early since you might no longer have the power to work in this field during your 40s or even 50s and your overall level of employability will also be much higher at a younger age.

Do miners have to quit their careers early?

Many miners also have to quit their careers early since they suffer from serious physical health issues due to the physical nature of the job.

In turn, many miners who have to quit their jobs get into serious financial difficulties since they are no longer able to pay their bills.

What is the most challenging thing about working as a miner?

The most challenging part about being a miner is that you have to work in a risky environment and follow strict safety instructions while you will still have to get lots of work done and if both goals conflict, you will often not be able to get the desired workload done during your workday.

You will also have to work under extreme conditions and this can really stress your nerves in the long run.

Can you provide for your family by working as a miner?

Since you will not be able to make good money from your job as a miner, you will also have a hard time providing for your family.

In fact, your spouse may have to work as well to cover your expenses.

Will miners suffer from old-age poverty?

Many miners will also suffer from old-age poverty since their pensions will be pretty low and they are also not able to set enough money aside for retirement purposes during their active careers.

Can miners retire early?

Most miners are not able to retire early since they don’t make enough money during their active careers and still have to work until they reach official retirement age or even longer.

Do miners get a fixed or variable salary?

Miners get a fixed salary most of the time.

Hence, you will have a pretty stable income while salespersons and other people who work on commissions will have to deal with huge income swings over time.

Can you get rich as a miner?

It will be almost impossible to get rich as an employed miner.

Thus, if money is really important to you, you would have to start your own business in this field or rather go for a career as an investment banker or judge instead.

Do miners need a second job?

Many miners need a second job to pay their bills.

This is especially true for miners who live in expensive regions where rents are pretty high and a miner salary would not be enough to cover their expenses.

Do you get continuous training as a miner?

You will get instructions from your boss on a regular basis so that you can carry out your work in a safe but yet efficient manner as a miner.

Do you get sick pay as a miner?

Most miners don’t get paid in case they get sick.

Hence, you should have an emergency fund so in case you get sick, you will not get into financial problems and will still be able to pay your bills.

Do miners have a high level of responsibility?

Miners have a high level of responsibility since mistakes on their side could lead to catastrophic outcomes for themselves as well as for their colleagues.

Consequently, you always need to stay focused at work to avoid serious accidents.

Can miners work abroad?

Miners are needed all over the world and you will therefore also be able to work abroad.

However, salaries and overall working conditions will often be quite different from what you are used to at home and you should therefore inform yourself in this regard to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Is it stressful to work as a miner?

Working as a miner can be stressful on an emotional level since you will work in a pretty risky environment and will never know whether you will see your loved ones again or not.

Is it boring to work as a miner?

Working as a miner may become boring if you are not passionate about working in this field.

In such a case, you should choose a different career so that you stay content and motivated with your job in the long run.

Is being a miner hard?

Working as a miner is hard both on an emotional as well as on a physical level and if you are not able to deal with stress and hard work in a healthy manner, you should not become a miner but rather go for a standard office job instead.

Are miners at risk of burnout?

Since miners have to deal with lots of emotional pressure and also have high levels of responsibility at work, many of them are at risk of burnout and may also suffer from other mental health issues sooner or later.

Is there a dress code for miners?

There is no fixed dress code for miners.

However, you will still often get workwear from the mining company you work for so that you are protected against accidents in a proper manner.

What kind of miners are paid the most?

The longer you work in the mining industry and the higher your level of responsibility you have, the more you can make as a miner.

Hence, if you want to make decent money, you should aspire to lead a team of miners.

What percentage of miners are women?

Only 15% of all miners are women while 85% are men.

This is due to the fact that this job is just more attractive to men than women due to its physical nature and the rather unpleasant work environment.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a miner?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a miner.

However, it can still help to have experienced colleagues on your side who can help you push through difficult times.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a miner?

You will not be personally liable as an employed miner most of the time.

However, if you want to be 100% sure in this regard, you should consult a lawyer.

Do miners have a high life expectancy?

Miners have a pretty low life expectancy since they are at risk of suffering from serious accidents at work and may even lose their lives at a rather young age.

Do miners suffer from sleeping problems?

Since miners don’t have to work at nighttime, most of them also don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their jobs since they are able to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.

What states are best for working as a miner?

Since miner salaries are pretty low across states, you should choose a state where living costs are pretty low so that you can make a living from your mining career and don’t need to get a second job.

Who do miners work with?

While miners have contact with their colleagues on a regular basis, you will not have contact with clients at all and if you are a rather extroverted person or a salesperson type, you might not become happy with your level of social interaction at work as a miner but may rather want to become a consultant instead.

Is working as a miner cool?

Working as a miner is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.

However, you should still do what’s best for you instead of caring about the opinion of others.

Can you start a side hustle as a miner?

Since you will have lots of leisure, it will also be pretty easy for you to start a side hustle as a miner.

However, you will still have to learn some additional skills to provide value to people if you want to make serious money from your side hustle since you will often not learn many valuable skills as a pitman that are needed outside this industry.

Do you have to be creative as a miner?

You don’t need to be creative as a digger.

Instead, you will do the same things over and over again and instead of being creative, it is much more important that you know what you are doing so that you don’t put your own life or the lives of your colleagues at work.

Do miners suffer from being overweight?

Since miners get lots of exercise at work and burn enough calories, most miners don’t suffer from being overweight but are in really good shape instead.

How employable are miners?

Miners are in high demand right now and since our demand for resources is growing at rapid speed, miners will also be pretty employable in the near future.

Are miners happy with their jobs?

Most miners are not happy with their jobs since they have to work under extreme conditions and are also at risk of suffering from serious accidents at work while they are still not able to make good money from what they are doing.

Is working as a miner exciting?

Working as a miner can be exciting since you will work in a rather exotic environment and will see things other people will never be able to see during their entire lives.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a miner?

You will not be able to have a significant positive impact as a miner since mining is usually pretty harmful to our environment and may also lead to resource depletion in the long run.

What are the pros and cons of working as a miner?

If you still want to become a miner, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a miner career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/726601/leading-united-states-mining-companies-based-on-revenue/

https://www.statista.com/topics/6980/mining-in-the-united-states/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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