Growth Trends for Related Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about half of the people in the mining industry directly work with the extraction and transportation of the natural resources. Mining companies also need workers to locate natural-resource deposits, plan mines and make sure the mines meet safety and environmental standards. Though some kinds of mining are in decline, there are increasing job opportunities because many employees in the mining industry are at or approaching retirement.
Before a mine can be constructed, the company must know where to built the mine. This requires a team of geologists to find new deposits. These workers use a variety of scientific instruments such as seismographs to find natural resources based on several scientific principles and procedures. When they find a likely spot, they drill for core samples to confirm the location.
Once a location for a mine has been found, a team of mine designers is gathered including mining engineers, technicians and environmental engineers. They determine whether or not the mine is commercially feasible. If it is feasible to built the mine, they draw up the plans for the mine based on the how best to extract the natural resource and how to minimize damage to the environment. They also make sure the mine complies with all government regulations.
Mechanic and Electricians
No matter what resource is being mined, there is a significant amount of machinery that must be kept in working order. Mechanics work in the mines and in the purification of the natural resource to keep the equipment running at maximum capacity. Electricians keep the mine powered.
There are several specialty occupations that fall under the category of miners. There are drill machine operators who drill into the earth. Explosives experts plant the dynamite to expose the natural resources and the loading machine operators gather the rock to be transported to the surface and refined.
Mine Safety Workers
Mine safety inspectors ensure that those working in the mine are safe. There are many federal and state laws that regulate mine safety and the safety inspector insures that those are being followed. The mine safety inspector has the power to shut down the mine until all standards are being met. Often corrections will be made by rock-dust machine operators who spray the mine to reduce dust, roof bolters who stabilize mine shafts and prevent cave ins, or brattice builders who make tunnels to make sure oxygen flows into the mine shafts.
Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."