For many, the idea of a mining job brings images of men covered in coal and carrying a pickaxe. This stereotype of miners is very outdated and misleading. Jobs in mining are incredibly diverse. Understanding that there are many types of mining jobs will open up opportunities for employment that many individuals need to learn about. There are a wide variety of jobs in mining that come both before and after the extraction stage.
When choosing a job in mining, we also need to look at the different methods used. Determining where you feel most comfortable working will help you decide if mining is for you. Four mining methods are commonly used; underground, open surface, placer, and in-situ. Underground mining is often used to reach deeper deposits, while surface mines are for more shallow and less valuable deposits. Placer mining is employed to sift metals from sediments in wet environments such as rivers or oceans. Finally, in-situ mining is utilized when mining uranium, which involves processing the resource and bringing it to the surface without moving rock.
Before mining can begin, the right site needs to be found. Geologists, geo-technicians, and hydrogeologists gather information on an area to decide which places need further exploration. Individuals involved in this process are also in charge of getting legal rights to the land and determining the economic and environmental impact of mining in a particular area.
Engineers in the mining field design a mine and the mining equipment. Engineers are constantly trying to improve the performance and productivity of the mine. Workers in this field can often work on and off-site to perform complex calculations and apply engineering principles to bring designs and processes to reality.
This work often includes clearing the site, breaking ground, and putting together the infrastructure to enter and exit the mine. Heavy equipment operations and hands-on work help get the area ready for mining to begin. Creating a proper work site will set the mining process up for success and improve the safety of the miners.
People involved with the operations side of mining plan and oversee the day-to-day needs of a mining project. They structure a project so that it will run smoothly for its duration. This includes monitoring the work conditions, managing waste materials, and looking after services such as labs and offices.
When the material that comes out of the mine is ready to be processed, technicians with specialized knowledge are needed to analyze it. Metallurgists would fall into this category, and their job involves separating the waste from valuables in the deposits. Lab supervisors and technicians are also needed to keep the operation efficient.
Like every company, a team to oversee the hiring, training, and payroll is very important. The HR department also ensures labor laws are being followed and that employee relations run smoothly.
Who are these jobs available to?
The education and experience level needed for these careers varies. Engineers, geologists, and lab technicians will need a higher level of education to be considered for their roles. Construction workers and miners would be hired based on their level of hands-on experience and expertise in particular areas, such as heavy equipment operation.
Where are mining jobs located?
Depending on your role in the mining industry, jobs can be found all over the United States. According to a report in 2020, the US had almost 13,000 active mines across the country. Mines are often located near mountains due to the area being more resource-rich. Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, and Alaska are home to some of North America's largest-producing surface mines.
Mining jobs can be done day or night and in all weather conditions. Good lighting will be key to your success when looking for safety equipment. ILLUMAGEAR’s Halo SL has 360° lighting to keep your work area lit. Our products currently on the market are for miners working in above-ground mines or areas that are not considered hazardous locations (HazLoc). A HazLoc is an atmosphere containing flammable gases, vapors, or combustible dust. However, we have great news for miners working in a HazLoc. An Intrinsically Safe (IS) Halo SL is currently in the testing phase. For more information about the IS Halo SL please reach out to email@example.com.
Don’t let outdated stereotypes influence your decision when looking for a job in the mining industry. No matter your interest or experience level, a wide variety of mining jobs are available to you.