Underground Production and Development Miners

(NOC 8231)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Underground production and development miners drill, blast, use mining machinery, and carry out related duties to extract coal and ore in underground mines and to construct tunnels, passageways and shafts for mining operations. They work for coal, metal and non-metallic mineral underground mines and by specialized contractors in mine construction, shaft sinking and tunnelling.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate -415 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 355 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. 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 Production and Development Miners most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 39% of Underground Production and Development Miners 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

$22.00

Minimum

$25.00

Median

$35.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$36,612

Minimum

$68,069

Median

$147,659

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$24.84

Median

$32.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Underground production and development miners drill, blast, use mining machinery, and carry out related duties to extract coal and ore in underground mines and to construct tunnels, passageways and shafts for mining operations. They work for coal, metal and non-metallic mineral underground mines and by specialized contractors in mine construction, shaft sinking and tunnelling.

Job duties

Underground production and development miners:

  • Set up and use drills and drilling machines to make a designated pattern of blasting holes.
  • Use diamond drills or other specialized drills like raise boring machinery to test geological formations or to make underground passageways.
  • Set up and use mining machinery to shear coal, rock or ore from the working face.
  • Load explosives, set fuses, and detonate explosives to make desired blasting patterns and rock fragmentation in underground mines.
  • Use scooptram, load-haul-dump (LHD) machine or mucking machine to load and haul ore from stopes, drifts and drawpoints to ore passes.
  • Complete safety tasks to support the mining advance like 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.
  • Maintain mining machinery.

Sample job titles

  • blaster - underground mining
  • chute blaster - underground mining
  • diamond driller - underground mining
  • drift miner
  • driller - underground mining
  • hardrock miner apprentice
  • hoist operator - underground mining
  • miner
  • mining machine operator
  • powderman/woman - underground mining
  • raise miner
  • roadhead operator
  • scooptram operator
  • shaft inspector

Skills

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

  • High school is usually required.
  • Formal training of up to six weeks followed by extended periods of specialized training as a helper or in support occupations is usually provided.
  • Experience as a mine labourer or in other mine jobs is usually required.
  • Provincial blasting licence may be required.
  • May be certified in the basic common core program or as an underground hard rock miner in Ontario.
  • Company licensing or certification is often required for jobs in this group.
  • Certificate in first aid may be required.

Other considerations

Movement to other jobs in underground mining like underground service and support roles is possible. There is movement between employers within each of the three following sectors: underground coal mining, underground hard rock mining and underground potash, salt or soft rock mining. Movement between these sectors is somewhat limited by differences in production technologies. Movement to mining supervisor is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

245

employed in 2016

91.8%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
51.8

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

20.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.0%

Cape Breton

32.0%

North Shore

6.0%

Southern

6.0%

Halifax

4.0%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

What is the age of Employment?

33.0%

45-54

29.0%

55-64

14.0%

25-34

10.0%

35-44

10.0%

65+

4.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

20.7%

45-54

19.8%

15-24

19.2%

55-64

16.2%

35-44

14.8%

25-34

Top levels of education

36.7%

Apprenticeship

$72,242 median annual income
32.7%

High school

$74,890 median annual income
18.4%

Less than high school

$41,724 median annual income
10.2%

College Diploma

N/A
4.1%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

35.7%

Less than high school

$23,463 median annual income
30.8%

High school

$19,301 median annual income
13.7%

College Diploma

$29,551 median annual income
13.4%

Apprenticeship

$31,535 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor

$17,956 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Mining Technology/Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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

Halifax, NS

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
Halifax, NS
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Westmount, QC

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.