Underground Miners, Mine Service and Support Workers

(NOC 8231, 8411)

in All NS Occupations

Underground production and development miners drill, blast, operate mining machinery, and perform related duties to extract coal and ore in underground mines and to construct tunnels, passageways and shafts to facilitate mining operations. They are employed by coal, metal and non-metallic mineral underground mines and by specialized contractors in mine construction, shaft sinking and tunneling. Underground mine service and support workers perform a range of duties related to the operation of ore passes, chutes and conveyor systems, the construction and support of underground structures, passages and roadways, and the supply of materials and supplies to support underground mining. They are employed by coal, metal and non-metallic mineral mines.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 45 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Underground Miners, Mine Service and Support Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 41% of Underground Miners, Mine Service and Support Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $68,845. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$16.75

Minimum

$30.00

Median

$43.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$28,474

Minimum

$67,732

Median

$142,903

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Underground production and development miners drill, blast, operate mining machinery, and perform related duties to extract coal and ore in underground mines and to construct tunnels, passageways and shafts to facilitate mining operations. They are employed by coal, metal and non-metallic mineral underground mines and by specialized contractors in mine construction, shaft sinking and tunneling.

Underground mine service and support workers perform a range of duties related to the operation of ore passes, chutes and conveyor systems, the construction and support of underground structures, passages and roadways, and the supply of materials and supplies to support underground mining. They are employed by coal, metal and non-metallic mineral mines.

Job duties

Underground production and development miners perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Set up and operate drills and drilling machines to produce a designated pattern of blasting holes.
  • Operate diamond drills or other specialized drills such as raise boring machinery to test geological formations or to produce underground passageways.
  • Set up and operate mining machinery to shear coal, rock or ore from the working face.
  • Load explosives, set fuses, and detonate explosives to produce desired blasting patterns and rock fragmentation in underground mines.
  • Operate scoop tram, load-haul-dump (LHD) machine or mucking machine to load and haul ore from stopes, drifts and drawpoints to ore passes.
  • Perform duties required to ensure safety and to support the mining advance, such as scaling loose rock from walls and roof, drilling and installing rock bolts, extending and installing air and water pipes, operating ore loading machinery, inspecting mine shafts, operating hoists that transport people, equipment and materials through mine shafts, and constructing timber supports and cribbing if required.
  • Perform routine maintenance of mining machinery.

Underground mine service and support workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate and maintain ore chutes or conveyor systems to control flow of ore or coal in underground mine.
  • Operate construction equipment such as bulldozer, grader or backhoe to build and maintain underground passages and haulageways.
  • Construct and repair wood or metal supports and structures such as bulkheads, platforms, drift doors and chutes using construction and mining tools.
  • Attach and extend ventilation and water pipes and related mine services.
  • Assist miners in setting up and operating various drills and other mining machinery.
  • Supply and maintain backfill distribution of sand, rock or other materials.
  • Operate diesel or electric track haulage equipment such as ore trains to distribute personnel and supplies and to convey ore from ore pass to primary crusher or skip.
  • Maintain supply storage areas and maintain equipment and supplies such as explosives, drill bits, fire extinguishers, lamps and batteries.
  • Perform routine maintenance of machinery.

Sample job titles

  • blaster - underground mining
  • crusher operator - underground mining
  • driller - underground mining
  • loading machine operator - underground mining
  • mine attendant
  • mine construction worker
  • miner
  • skip loader - underground mining

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical aptitude would also be helpful. You must be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by supervisors.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Formal training followed by extended periods of specialized training as a helper or in support positions is usually provided.
  • Company licensing or certification is often required for jobs in this grouping.
  • Provincial blasting licence may be required.
  • Certificate in first aid may be required.

Other considerations

Previous experience as a mine labourer or in other mine positions is usually required. Progression to mining supervisor is possible with experience. Mobility is possible to other occupations in underground mining such as underground service and support jobs. There is mobility between employers within each of the three following sectors: underground coal mining, underground hard rock mining and underground potash, salt or soft rock mining. Mobility between these sectors is somewhat limited by differences in production technologies.

By the numbers

Quick look

195

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

3.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
50.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.1%

Cape Breton

31.5%

Northern

11.1%

Halifax

5.6%

Southern

3.7%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

70.0%

Mining (except O/G)

25.0%

Support for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction

5.0%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

31.4%

35-44

28.5%

45-54

19.7%

55-64

13.1%

25-34

5.1%

15-24

2.9%

65+

Compared to: All NS Occupations

42.3%

45-54

26.1%

55-64

18.9%

35-44

8.1%

25-34

3.6%

65+

Top levels of education

33.7%

High school

$42,846 median annual income
33.7%

Trades certificate

$64,869 median annual income
15.8%

Less than high school

$41,336 median annual income
11.9%

College certificate or diploma

$68,306 median annual income
4.0%

Bachelor's degree

$56,038 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

34.0%

Less than high school

$14,445 median annual income
31.5%

High school

$14,229 median annual income
14.3%

College certificate or diploma

$21,289 median annual income
14.0%

Trades certificate

$19,107 median annual income
4.3%

Bachelor's degree

$15,980 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Mining technology/technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development and operation of mines and related mineral processing facilities. These programs include courses in principles of mineral extraction and related geology, mineral field mapping and site analysis, testing and sampling methods, instrument calibration, assay analysis, test equipment operation and maintenance, mine environment and safety monitoring procedures, mine inspection procedures, and report preparation.

Institutions providing this program

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety Division
PO Box 697, 5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
Tel: (902) 424-5300
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Suite 1250, 3500 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Westmount, QC H3Z 3C1
Tel: (514) 939-2710
Fax: (514) 939-2714

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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