How much money do Miners make?

In light of the recent Mining Incident I have a question. How much do Miners make? For one thing it seems like you would have to pay someone a lot of money to do such a dangerous job, but then again I don’t think there are a lot of people waiting in line to do this kind of work. How much does a regular miner make? What about the equivalent of a foreman? Is there any special skills needed for this line of work besides being a tough bastard?

No great source on this, but pretty decent breadwinner wages. Something like $30 an hour. This has come up before, try a board search.'s+wage&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us

According to America’s Career

Mining Safety Engineers in the United States have a median wage of $70,000/yr or $33/hour.

Continous Mining Machine Operators in the United States have a median wage of $39,100/year or $18.80/hour. Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators have a similar wage distribution.

“Helpers - Extraction Workers” (I’m not sure what that entails) have a median wage of $27,400/year or $13.19/hour.

And Earth Drillers, except oil and gas, have a median wage of $33,800/year or $16.23/hour

I guess the answer is that how well you do depends on what you do in the mine.

It seems hard to believe they can fill the ranks at the lower end of the pay range, it seems those are really dangerous, dirty jobs and someone could make more doing something easier and more fun.
This is a non union mine. A faceman makes 6.50 an hour. Average rate 15-20 an hour. Most make from 5.50 to 7.00 an hour.

That is ridiculously low pay, I made more than that working at CompUSA and Officemax.

Are you familiar with where coal mines are generally located?

There are very, very, very (I could go on a bit here) few easy, fun jobs in southwest VA coal country (or in any other coal producing area I can think of).

One would think they would rather join the armed forces or move somewhere else to get better pay.

Something I’ve wondered: does anybody know if mine owners have to provide medical care for any problems caused by coal dust or “mine lung” after the person no longer works for them? (At one point very few miners worked to retirement age because if they lived that long their lungs gave out from the dust or they suffered excruciating headaches due to mine related conditions- Loretta Lynn’s father was one of the more famous who died of this.)

A buddy of mine is an underground gold miner in Nevada. He makes a decent hourly wage plus a bonus based largely on the price of gold. The last couple of years have been very good.

There’s a government backed health program called the Combined Benefit Fund that is funded mostly through certain fees on mine companies (I’m really, really simplifying here) that provides health care benefits to retirees before Medicare kicks in. IIRC, there’s also a special black lung program that is separate, but I’m not too familiar with the details.

The important point is that the incidence of black lung disease has dropped tremendously from past decades, mostly because of new safety and health regulations. I actually went down in a longwall mine operation in Pennsylvania a few years ago, and I was actually surprised how much fresh air there was moving through the mine.

At the mine I went to, I was told that wages ranged from $35k to $75k for longwall operatators. I kind of wonder if wevets’s numbers also included surface mining operations, and it could be those wages are less because the risks are substantially less, too.

I work in Nv for barrick gold co. I make $26 a hour and I get a 4 to 5 k for being safe and a lot of extras. I work 10-12 hours a day and I work 7 days and get 7 off. And all the over time I want.
It is the easyest job and in no way is it it is funny how every one thinks mining is un safe or hard it is very safe. we have nice equipment with xm radio ac and heat.Most new miners in open pit mines at barrick start out a $19-20 a hour and more. And move up fast. The pay is even better for under ground miners they make around $30 a hour and a nice amount of extra money for being safe. There are a lot of differnt jobs in mining.

Oh and the only thing you need to get a mining job is a 20 hour msha class. That costs about $150. My shift leader makes $120k a year and hasnt went to collage. If you are thinking about a mining I would do it. You will find it is a grate job that any one can do.

Thanks, Staylor, that is an interesting and informative view of mining!

Geez, what is it with the ‘grate’ number of zombie threads as of late?

Hard rock miners in northern Canada are typically unionized. In a town situation (as opposed to fly-in) they make about $30 to $35 an hour. (1$US = 1$Canadian, give or take a few cents). Rule of thumb, an hourly rate times about 2000 hours is the annual rate - so $30/hr is $60,000 roughly.

The ones at the front lines, so to speak - stope workers such as drillers, and tram operators - can make a bonus rate based on what percent above normal production rates they do. A good miner can make bonuses in the range of 25% to 100% of their regular wage, so about 50%. The story I heard was that the good ones tended to hold back. If you consistently made high percentages, the company was motivated to re-examine their “standard production rate” and raise the targets.

Plus there were shift premiums, overtime oppportunities, and such. When prices of commodities went sky-high, some companies had profit-sharing plans also. As a result, an energetic worker who was willing to take on significant overtime could make sometimes make well over $100,000 which, for a someone who may or may not have a high school education, is good. They also offered the opportunity to train as mechanics, welders, and other skilled trades on the job.

OTOH, the miners in Sudbury, Ontario IIRC a few years ago went on a year-long strike. Company propaganda would say “these uneducated workers make up to $150,000 with benefits!” ignoring the fact that the typical, non-bonus employee would only get $60,000 for a dangerous job… and when times are tough, they would happily lay these guys off and let them get by on UIC payments of $450 a week for several months.

Whereeas in good times, the demand for trained and capable hard rock miners is high and times could be very good. unfortunately, the resource industries tend to be very cyclic.

this does not even consider the issues around underground coal, which tends to be in economically depressed areas of the country (like the USA), tends to be the only game in town, and the workers are thus motivated to work for a lot less in a far more dangerous job.

A lot of mines, especially copper, and oils sands and coal in the west, nowadays are huge open pit mines, and the majority of the work is open-air monster truck work.

In most Canadian provinces, workers compensation boards provide coverage for any work-related injuries, including chronic diseases. When I worked up north, a lot of old miners were getting partial disability claims for “white hand”, where holding a vibrating drill for hours a day, year round, would injure the bood vessels in the hands. Another common complaint was hearing loss; in earlier times, hearing protection rules were sporadically enforced. the company’s health department complained that younger miners more likely attributed their hearing loss to weekends in loud nightclubs, but compensation tended to pay up anyway.

Ive got some friends who are miners and if I remember correctly (mining under the city) its something ridiculous like $40 per foot mined.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks earnings for a number of occupations. Here a link to their national data for May 2011:

Click on Construction and Extraction Occupations and scroll down to get to the mining jobs.

Continuous Mining Machine Operators for example made on average a bit under $50k annually as reported in May 2011.

Is that “ridiculous” as in “a lot” or “not a lot,” as I have no scale for these things. I don’t know if one foot is three hours of work, or a half hour of work, how hard that work is, or what even a foot means in this context, as mines aren’t one-dimensional.