The mining industry is a labor-intensive profession. It requires long hours, remote locations and some of the most dangerous conditions possible. The financial benefits, however, are astonishing.
Mining salaries in the sector can vary depending on the location, size of the company, years of experience and education of an employee. With that in mind, we rank the top 10 highest paying mining jobs in the industry.
10.) Operators/ technicians/ miners
Salary: $150,000 to $165,000
From excavator operators to geological technicians, these positions are in constant demand. Underground miners have the ability to earn more than $150,000 a year compared to surface miners, whose annual salary ranges between $50,000 and $85,000. The salary for technicians can range anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, with operators earning upwards of $165,000 per year.
Surveyors are a vital part of mining operations. They assist companies in measuring underground and open-cut mines, helping to maintain a proper mine plan by updating layouts and keeping records. The pay is also quite nice.
Senior level and chief surveyors can make anywhere from $80,000 to $160,000 per year, while entry level positions typically earn between $55,000 and $130,000 a year.
8.) Mine supervisors/ mill superintendents
Like any supervisor position, these jobs offer great compensation. Annual salaries for Mine Supervisors (operations/maintenance) are $168,000 per year while underground and open pit supervisors rake in between $70,000 and $165,000 a year. A Mill Superintendent at a processing plant can make upwards of $168,000 a year.
7.) Occupational health safety and environmental professionals
As two major components of the mining industry, health safety and environmental professionals get paid like it. An OHS officer is paid between $50,000 and $115,000 per year, while a top level OHS can earn upwards of $190,000.
A Geophysicists studies the Earth using gravity, magnetic, electrical and seismic methods. Their role is paramount in the mining industry as they conduct surveys to locate minerals or ground water. A Senior Geophysicist can earn anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 a year, putting it at number six on our list.
The role of a Metallurgist is focused mainly in the extraction and processing of various metals. Just starting out, a Graduate Metallurgist can earn $50,000 to $90,000 per year whereas a Senior Metallurgist can make close to $220,000a year. The more experience you have, the more money mining companies will pay.
The mining industry typically employs two types of geologists: Mine Geologists and Exploration Geologists. The average pay range for a Graduate Mine Geologist begins at $50,000 with the potential of topping out at around $230,000 per year. An Exploration Geologist, which is responsible for resource discovery and evaluation, can earn between $90,000 a year to $160,000.
Number three on our list is the highly respected Engineer position. The profession, which can range from a Planning Engineer to Civil and Electrical Engineer, can bring home anywhere from $70,000 a year to $240,000 and more. It simply depends on the company and size of operations at hand. Salaries for drill and blast engineers, and materials and handling engineers range between $150,000 and $230,000 a year.
2.) Project Controls and Site Managers
Salaries for Project Controls Manager and Site General Manager range between $200,000 and $350,000 per year, making it one of the best paid managerial positions in the industry. Other key position such as drilling operations managers, technical services managers and mine managers earn anywhere from $200,000 to $280,000 a year.
1.) Project director/ drilling operations director
The title of highest paying mining job goes to… project directors and drilling operations directors. These positions can earn more than $400,000 per year, making it by far the most lucrative job in the industry.
The project director is responsible for the overall planning, direction and execution of projects, providing leadership and experience in all stages of operations. If you want to get paid this is the occupation for you.