Based on data from 120 U.S. metal and industrial mineral mines, CostMine’s new 2012 Survey Results U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits provide lots of data about wages for miners in the United States. The full survey is available from CostMine. With their permission, I note some wages in this posting. The facts I provide are selected on the basis of my personal interests and quirks—no system , rime, or reason here.
Here are some “benchmark” hourly base wages on surface mines (averages in dollars per hour):
- Electrician = 27.16
- Heavy Equipment Operator = 22.66
- Production Truck Driver = 20-91
- Laborer = 18.66
A laborer at an underground mine, on average, earns pretty much the same as at a surface mine, namely $18.58/hr. Interestingly the underground electrician earns less, namely $25.99/hr. But the underground equipment operator earns more, namely $24.90/hr. Not sure what the system, rime, and reasons for this are.
If you want to earn more, leave the industrial minerals mine and go to the metal mine. Here are some comparisons for surface mines (first the metal mine wage and then the industrial mineral wage):
- Electrician = 29.09/25.89
- Driller = 25.35/21.09
- Laborer = 20.41/17.64
Now averages are one thing and only a small part of the bigger picture. The range tells us how well some folk are doing. Here are some ranges and averages for underground metal mines:
- Electrician = 15.75 to 35.25 with an average of 26.48
- Miner = 15.45 to 36.00 wiht an average of 25.35
- Underground Laborer = 13.00 to 27.03 with an average of 18.55
I hope that you are waging out at the top of these ranges. Not sure what you are to do if you are not: live long and get more experience; move to another mine; strike; get the union moving. It all depends; but keep in mind near half will always be above the average and near half will always be below. Life is a game of striving, luck, and chance. Mining is better than Vegas as an income generator. Let me know where you are in the rankings and let us build a bigger picture.