Coal Miners

Coal miners extract coal from surface mines and underground mines. To do this, they operate complex and expensive machinery that drills, cuts, scrapes, or shovels earth and coal so that the fuel can be collected. Since coal is hard to reach, large portions of earth must be removed from the surface or dug out of mines so the coal miners can get to it. Some coal miners are explosives experts who use dynamite and other substances to remove earth and make the coal accessible. Approximately 143,465 workers are employed in the U.S. coal mining industry, according to the National Mining Association.

Quick Facts
Duties Operate complex machinery to extract coal from surface and underground mines
Alternate Title(s) Coal Mining Technicians, Drillers, Stripping Shovel Operators
Salary Range $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Poor
Work Environment Primarily Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) 66 percent of coal mining jobs are found in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
Related School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Physical Education
Experience Internship or part-time experience
  • Building/Trades
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Supervisor or Sales Representative
  • Coal Miner
  • Coal Mining Technician or Helper
  • Laborer

Related Industries

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