Electricians who work at coal mines may have to deal with more complicated work than some electricians who work in building construction. However, labor statistics data show that coal-mine electricians largely earn only average wages for the sector. Electricians who work in states with major coal-mining operations may find job opportunities that include higher salaries.
Coal mine electricians install and repair electrical systems at mines. They also troubleshoot electrical problems with mining equipment. Electricians must be able to decipher complicated wiring diagrams and set up electrical systems that meet Mine Safety and Health Administration regulations. The mean annual salary for electricians in 2010 was $51,810, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, electricians who worked in the coal-mining industry that year earned a slightly higher mean annual wage of $53,470.
Employment by Industry
The BLS lists coal mining among industries with the highest concentration of employment for electricians. The coal-mining industry also pays higher hourly wages than some other industries that employ large numbers of electricians. The bureau data show that coal-mine electricians earned a mean hourly wage of $25.71 in 2010, but electricians who worked for building equipment contractors earned slightly less at $24.79 per hour. The metal ore mining industry paid electricians an average hourly wage of $26.20 as of 2010.
Major Coal Mines
Texas is among the states that have the highest employment levels for electricians. More than 43,000 electricians worked in Texas in 2010, according to the BLS, earning a below-average annual salary at $42,720. Still, electricians in the coal mining industry may have good job prospects in Texas. The Energy Information Administration includes a few mines in Texas on its list of major U.S. coal mines based on production. Nine Wyoming coal mines are at the top of that list. Wyoming electricians earned a mean annual wage of $51,090 in 2010.
Illinois is included on the BLS list of top-paying states for electricians. Illinois electricians earned a mean annual salary of $68,430 in 2010, or an hourly wage of $32.90. The Energy Information Administration also includes two Illinois coal mines on its list of major U.S. mines. Therefore, coal-mine electricians may be able to take advantage of the state's above-average wages by seeking employment at a coal mine in Illinois.