Jack Caldwell - Mining Engineer - Robertson GeoConsultants

Some salaries for those working at U.S. metal and industrial mineral mines. The data were collected in the second half of 2014. These data I take from the recently issued CostMine 2014 Survey Results U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits. First some overall nation-wide averages by job title. The first number is annual salary in thousands of dollars for U.S. underground mines; the second for U.S. surface mines.

  • General Manager = 183/181
  • Mine Manager = 129/120
  • Chief Engineer = 112/113
  • Chief Geologist = 104/121
  • Environmental Coordinator = 107/87
  • Secretary = 38/45

Now take a look at salary differences at union versus non-union mines in the U.S. The first is for union mines; the second is for non-union mines:

  • General Manager = 146/173
  • Mine Manager = 115/125
  • Chief Engineer = 114/113
  • Chief Geologist = 97/117
  • Environmental Coordinator = 83/98
  • Secretary = 42/44

No surprises or significant outliers here. Except perhaps for the environmental coordinator at union mines–why do they get less than elsewhere?

Then there is the difference in salary for precious metal mines versus copper mines versus limestone mines. Here are a few:

  • General Manager = 196 vs 189 vs 136
  • Mine Manager = 142 vs 134 vs 104
  • Chief Engineer = 122 vs 110 vs 94
  • Environmental Coordinator = 56 vs 50 vs 95

This indicates that the engineering issues are less significant at limestone mines as compared to precious metal mines. Conversely the environmental issues at limestone mines are more difficult than at precious metal or copper mines. By a large percentage.

Keep in mind these numbers are averages. Obviously difficult mines pay more and bright people earn more. A few ranges for metal mines:

  • General Manager = 75 to 320
  • Mine Manager = 52 to 221
  • Chief Engineer = 77 to 165
  • Environmental Coordinator= 67 to 146
  • Secretary = 24 to 82.