6 Mining Careers with Higher-Than-Expected Salaries
Ex-NFL superstar Deion Sanders famously stated: “If you look good, you feel good, if you feel good, you play good, if you play good, they pay good.”
Surprisingly, that logic can be applied to the mining industry.
For employers, salary is usually based off criteria like experience and qualifications of an employee, size of the company, and region they're operating in. If a candidate meets or exceeds a company’s prerequisites the doors of opportunity are significantly expanded. And if you work well, mining companies are more than willing to pay well.
If it’s all about the benjamins for you these are the six positions you need to start applying for immediately.
1. Trade and Skilled - $100,000 and up
Operators, technicians and miners fall under this category. Depending on the company and the region of work this number can change dramatically. Case in point: Jumbo operators in Australia earn roughly $165k per year, while operators in other parts of the world only bring in $111k.
Training, education and working conditions also factor into pay. If you have the experience and are willing to submit to the hazardous conditions, working underground is the way to get paid. Reports suggest underground miners in various parts of the United States and Canada earn in excess of $150,000 per year.
2. Health and Safety - $110,000 and up
The mining industry is striving to make operations as safe and environmentally-friendly as possible. This means professionals in the occupational health, safety and environmental sectors are going to reap the financial benefits.
The average annual salary of an environmental officer ranges between $60,000 and $115,000. A top level occupational health and safety professional, however, will earn close to $190k a year.
3. Metallurgist - $220,000 and up
Metallurgist are one of the highest paid employees in the mining industry. A Graduate Metallurgist right out of the gate will earn between $50,000 and $90,000 per year. Their ability to study the properties of metals and their knowledge of extraction, casting alloying and heating treatment of metals are music to an employer's ear. That's why salaries for the position range the $220k and up category!
4. Geologist and Geosciences - $200,000 and up
If you’re looking to enter the mining industry as a Geologist there are typically two categories: Mine Geologist and Exploration Geologist. The role of a Mine Geologist is to ensure that mining occurs in the right places and sampling is carried out accurately. The Exploration Geologist is responsible for resource discovery and evaluation. Nevertheless, both professions pay generously and salaries range from $90,000 to $230,000 per year.
5. Engineers - $230,000 and up
The mininig industry may be experiencing tough times but engineering salaries are flourishing. In fact, engineering positions rank the third highest paid jobs among the industry. Senior Engineers can expect to earn upwards of around $230,000 per year.
6. Management - $250,000 and up
If you want to make it rain in your mining career, management is the way to go. Working as a General Manager, Project Controls Manager or Site General Manager will earn you a salary in the $250,000 - $350,000 per year range.
The two highest profile positions on a mining project are typically a Project Director and Drilling Operations Director. The Project Director provides the strategic leadership to the project while the Drilling Operations Director provides the overall planning, direction and execution of drilling operations for the mining company.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.