A wage is an hourly rate. A salary is an annual amount. Here is information about wages, in dollars per hour, for folk who work at what we think of as quarries & gravel pits.
I have said before that while I have worked for metal and oil sands mines, for landfills and other waste disposal facilities, I would welcome an offer to work at a quarry in California. At the wages noted here, I could, as a senior (i.e., over sixty-five) do pretty well. Imagine: work in the open, in the sun & wind, and be the start of construction of houses, buildings, and patios? Could be great fun for an old man.
If you need an old curmudgeon for a quarry or gravel pit in California, call me. Specially if it is for one of those vast holes in the ground in Azusa, that fascinating place to the north-east of Los Angeles. I could easily commute up the 605 from Huntington Beach.
Enough of the private dreams of a mere blogger, let us to wages. And in future postings salaries and executive compansation. Which reminds me of a long-ago lunch with an old man who worked one of those Azusa pits and spent the whole lunch talking of his new girlfriend. But I digress. So to the topic of this posting.
CostMine recently sent me their latest: 2011 Survey Results. U.S. Aggregate & Construction Materials Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits.
The survey is compiled for responses sent out to operations around the country. 125 aggregate and construction materials operations responded.
The good news is that one hundred and eleven surveyed mines increased wages during the 12 months preceding the survey, with increases ranging from 1.0% to 5.0%. Fourteen mines showed no change in wages and none of the operations decreased wages. Forty-six mines offered their employees the opportunity to increase wages through incentive bonus plans. This is approximately half the number of mines who reported bonus plans the previous year.
In addition to standard benefit items, some companies offer employee assistance programs; safety equipment and tool allowances; paid funeral, military and jury duty leave; and a variety of other innovative benefits.
The surveyed companies offer a variety of retirement plans. One hundred and eighteen mines offered 401K or similar plans, 40 offered traditional defined contribution or defined benefit plans. Many of the companies offered more than one type of plan to their employees.
Here are some of the wages earned by those working in the U.S. aggregate & construction materials mine industry. You will have to get the full report for all the details, for what follows in my subjective pick of what I find interesting.
The range in dollars per hour for specific job titles at union operations:
- Electrician = 13.58 to 50.00
- Drill Operator = 12.60 to 29.33
- Underground Miner = 16.92 to 20.38
- Surface Laborer = 10.27 to 37.04
The wages are generally far less at non-union operations. For example the range for an electrician is 16.35 to 33.03 and for a surface laborer 9.21 to 26.05. And benefits are less at non-union mines, being 42.4% for union mine, 34.1% for non-union mines, and overall 36.4%
From what I can tell this has little to do with where the mine is. Here are the average hourly wages for a mechanic by region of the country:
- Northeast = 21.42
- Southeast = 19.05
- Midwest = 22.48
- Rocky Mountain = 24.29
- West = 25.55
What does that perennial favorite occupation, the truck driver earn? Here are numbers by type of mine:
- Limestone = 13.63
- Aggregate, Sand & Gravel, Crushed rock = 18.25
- Industrial sand, decorative stone, dimension stone = 18.69
The truck driver’s wage depends on where the mine is. Wages by region for a truck driver:
- Northeast = 19.21
- Southeast = 14.91
- Midwest = 17.26
- Rocky Mountain = 18.07
- West = 21.49
All of which tells you: go west young truck driver.
PS. I have collated all the past blog postings about mining wages, salaries, and executive compensation at this link. There is a wealth of data there.