MINERS remove coal, ore, and rock from underground mines. In underground mining, mining and loading are separate steps. Miners blast the coal from the seam and then pick it up for loading. Cutter operators run machines with a cutter six to fifteen feet long. Drilling machine operators bore blast holes in the coal face. Blasters set charges into the holes and set them off to shatter the coal. Loading machine operators drive the machines to pick up the coal. Continuous mining machine operators operate self-propelled mining machines.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $44,500 average per year ($21.50 per hour)
- A medium occupation (97,500 workers in 2010)
- Expected to decline (0.5% per year)
MINERS learn their skills on the job from experienced workers. Miners must be at least eighteen years old and be in good physical condition. Miners do not need a high school diploma to get a job. Federal law requires that all mine workers have safety and health training before they start work, and every year after that. Union contracts and some states also require safety and health training. Most miners belong to the United Mine Workers of America.