CostMine has just sent me the new Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefit 2009 survey and report. Here are some numbersI found interesting about wages.

The survey reports on data from 34 mines across Canada, 20 underground and the remainder surface.

Clearly if you want the highest wage on any mine, anywhere in Canada, you need to be an electrician. They are consistently the top wage earners regardless of where the mine is (eat or west), surface or underground, union or non-union, metal or fossil fuel, big or small. I know that son of very old friends in Vancouver works in the movie industry as an electrician and he owns his own apartment in Lower Lonsdale and drive a new yellow Porsche.I wonder how many electricians in mines across Canada can afford that?For they earn an average of $32 an hour with a range from $28 to nearly $50 an hour.

In reality the range for mechanics and heavy equipment operators is also pretty much between $30 to $50 an hour, although the averages drop a little, by a dollar or two.

At the other end of the scale is the labourer: he/she earns an average of $23.63 in surface mines and $22 in underground mines. The range is from about $18 to $30 an hour. I notice, however, the mill labourers earn $23.35 an hour. So now you know if you are getting a decent wage. Although it is by no means as simple as that. For wages vary by regionand commodity. Let us look at wages for electricians again:

  • East Surface: $29.08
  • West Surface: $33.08
  • East Underground: $28.81
  • West Underground: $34.55
  • Metal: $31.75
  • Diamond: $31.89
  • Fossil Fuels: $32.82.

These numbers represent an increase of between 3.5 and 4.5 percent from last year.

As for union versus non-union–my eye-ball survey indicates that in all categories and places you earn about $2 anhour more in a non-union mine.

I hope these numbers are of interest and or use. But please before you make a serious case about any point, see the copious detail in the originals. Please do not rely on my summary for anything other than the picture perspective.