How to Become a Coal Mining Electrician

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Technological advancements in the coal industry have increased the need for skilled professionals, such as electricians. Mining electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining a mine’s electrical systems, so they must complete specialized training and certification. Training can be completed on the job or at a college or technical school and prepares the miner for the electrician’s exam and certification. Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy provides an outline of the steps necessary in becoming certified as a mining electrician. Individual requirements may vary by state.

Complete a training or retraining program consistent with the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Title 30 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 48. These programs include information on general mining safety, as well as topics in mine layouts and operating procedures, health, safety, rescue and self-rescue measures, and miner’s rights (MSHA: “Title 30: Code of Federal Regulations 48.5”).

Complete a period of practical training in the mining industry to gain experience, combined with a period of formal training through a vocational program, Associate’s degree program, or Bachelor’s degree program. Requirements and time periods vary by state.

Complete a journeyman electrical test. A passing score will be required for certification. Information on preparing and registering for the journeyman exam is available online and through the mining supervisor.

Complete an application for electrical certification, including proof of MSHA training or equivalent experience and journeyman certification. Applications for certification are generally available through the mining supervisor and are available online in some states. A small application fee may be required.

Submit completed application to the appropriate state mining office, such as Virginia’s Board of Mineral Mining Examiners. The miner will then be eligible to sit for the electrical certification examination.