Here is a brief survey of wages – are you earning enoughand salaries in Canadian mines in 2006. Hope this helps you in getting the 2007 remuneration you deserve and merit. The information comes via kind favor of Jennifer Leinart of Cost Mine whose compilation Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits 2006 Survey Results provides all the data you could ever need.
Surface mine electricians are doing best. Their salary range is $22.50 to $41.35. Mechanics do pretty well with a range of $14.70 to $41.35. And so do heavy equipment operators who start at $13.50 but can also earn as much as the top-paid electrician and mechanic. One almost begins to pity the drill operators with an average hourly wage of $24.84, the truck driver at $21.61, and particularly the laborer who starts at $8.50 and can earn upto $24.58 for an average of $18.07. I mean, $8.50 is probably a lot less than the average grocery store shelf stocker. No wonder the mines say they cannot find workers.
The average wage at underground mines is almost identical to average wages at surface mines. Strangely, underground mines pay electricians and mechanics in the upper wage brackets less than surface mines. Is that because it is generally warmer in underground mines than surface mines? For example the upper limit for an electrician is only $32.00, for the mechanic only $31.46. The key person in an underground mine, the MINER, earns an average of $25.04, with a range of $17.00 to $31.46. They deserve this and more.
Mill equipment operators and mill laborers don’t do too badly with average wages of $23.35 and $18.65 respectively. At least there is an incentive to progress in the mill to earn more. The issue is whether you should leave the mill and become an electrician.
Turning now to salaries, we see the mine’s general manager in the eastern region of Canada getting an average of $159,900 a year, and in the western region $165,500. That is pretty good when you consider that some general managers are getting as much as $265,500 a year. Makes all those years as a poor student worth it. Although as a friend remarked about a university meeting he attended last week: the student are rich; they all arrived in smart cars; and none of them scoffed the free snacks as we used to when we were poor, starving students.
The upper salary range for mine managers is $165,000 ( although the lower range is a pittance at $78,000). For the chief/senior engineer the upper figure is $99,200 with a low of $68,000. That is more or less comparable to United States salaries for senior engineers. I was surprised to see that metallurgists, on average, get $73,300, geologists $68,7000, environmental coordinators $74,400, and accountants $65,600. At least the ranking is kind of fair, with environmental coordinators above accountants and geologists. Although I recall the days when the geologist was by far the most important person on the mine. And keeping all these folk in order as always, the secretary gets an average of $39,500 with a range from $23,000 to $54,000. Good for them.
Please keep in mind that I have barely scratched the surface of the vast amount of information in Jennifer’s compilations. I give these numbers for general interest and fun. They are intended for the curious. Please don’t use them to set people’s wages or salaries. Rather get the complete set of information from Jennifer. But if you can use these numbers to increase your take home pay, go ahead and good luck.