Just back from Chile. Long, grueling flights, and airport lounges. The benefits, few as they are, included the chance to read Stephen Greeenblatt’s The Swerve. It is the story of the recovery of Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, a long poem in Latin from the BC era. I have ordered both the original Latin version and two translations. For this is of the things I believe. I leave you to read more if you are curious.
I returned to a comment noting that I had posted nothing in a recent posting on Canadian mining salaries about what chemists at mines earn. Thus this post seeks to redress that failure.
I provide salaries from the 2012 Survey Results of Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits from CostMine.
The average salary for a chemist at a Canadian mine is reported to be $81,300. In the eastern region of the country the average is $73,100; in the western region it is $85,700. That is probably the result of the oil sands mines.
At surface mines the ranges of the salary for a chemist on a mine in Canada is $51.500 to $120,400. The range on underground mines is $53,000 to $108,000. Oil sands mine classify as surface mines, thus the greater upper salary.
My thesis of the skewing effect of oil sands mines, is proven by these averages for the salary of a chemist/assayer on Canadian mines:
- Metal Mine = $81,400
- Diamond Mines = $58,300
- Fossil Fuel Mines = $88,800
Keep in mind that these salaries for those chemists who are scientists by training. Chemical engineers earn a great deal more on Canadian mines. The range is $94,700 to $177,000. Obviously the upper range is for those on oil sands mines.
Thus the message: chemists do well at mines, although not as well as I would expect. But chemical engineers do far better. Expand that science degree into an engineering degree and double your salary.
To return to Lucretius and the nature of things: he wrote of Epicurius’ theory that all is atoms, life is it, pleasure is good, religion is myth, and evolution explains things. Science is superb, the highest point of human intellect, but at the end of the day we have to make things.