Mining in the United States is big business, it has been around since colonial times, but it was during the 19th century that mining really became a major industry. Mining is particularly important to the economy in the United States because it is one of the world’s largest consumers of mineral products as well as being one of the worlds largest producers of minerals.

The United States produces huge quantities of coal, copper, iron, ore and zinc, as well as many other commodities that are exported. Around 158,000 people work directly in mining throughout the United States, as well as their being massive amounts of jobs that have been created in various other industries that support mining.

Minerals exported from the United States amount to a staggering $6 billion per year, and the United States is the world’s second largest producers of copper and gold. The United States also has the largest coal reserve in the world. Reports state as well that the average American will use around 40,000 pounds of new minerals each year.

Students and graduates entering the exciting world of mining in the United States can as a whole look forward to earning highly competitive lucrative salaries in this massive industry.

It is important to remember however that salaries can vary significantly depending on where in mining you are based in the United States, as well as what your job involves, your seniority, your qualifications, the size of the company and many other factors. It does seem however that regardless as to where you are working in the United States, as a graduate or student working in mining you can expect to earn a competitive salary.

Have a look at some of the average starting salaries that students and graduates can expect to earn in mining. Please note that all of these salaries are taken solely from the latest results of our recent salary survey.


Exploration Geologist – 60,143

Geologist – 51,584

Project Geologist – 50,000

Mine Geologist – 58,666


Mining Engineer – 63,476

Environmental Engineer – 59,000

Civil Engineer – 55,000

Mechanical Engineer – 60,000


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