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Career profile Mining Assistant

Also known as Continuous Miner Operator Helper, Driller Helper, Driller's Assistant, Longwall Machine Operator Helper, Miner Helper, Powderman, Salt Miner

Mining Assistant

Also known as Continuous Miner Operator Helper, Driller Helper, Driller's Assistant

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,300 - $55,730 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Transportation
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Provide assistance to extraction craft workers, such as earth drillers and derrick operators.
  • Observe and monitor equipment operation during the extraction process to detect any problems.
  • Drive moving equipment to transport materials and parts to excavation sites.
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What does a Mining Assistant do?

Mining Assistants help extraction craft workers, such as earth drillers, blasters and explosives workers, derrick operators, and mining machine operators, by performing duties requiring less skill.

In addition, Mining Assistants duties include supplying equipment or cleaning work area.

What kind of tasks does a Mining Assistant perform regularly?

Mining Assistants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Observe and monitor equipment operation during the extraction process to detect any problems.
  • Drive moving equipment to transport materials and parts to excavation sites.
  • Unload materials, devices, and machine parts, using hand tools.
  • Set up and adjust equipment used to excavate geological materials.
  • Repair and maintain automotive and drilling equipment, using hand tools.
  • Organize materials to prepare for use.
  • Clean up work areas and remove debris after extraction activities are complete.
  • Clean and prepare sites for excavation or boring.
  • Load materials into well holes or into equipment, using hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Mining Assistants. More generally, Mining Assistants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Mining Assistant salary?

The median salary for a Mining Assistant is $37,860, and the average salary is $39,150. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mining Assistant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Mining Assistants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mining Assistants earn less than $26,300 per year, 25% earn less than $30,990, 75% earn less than $47,160, and 90% earn less than $55,730.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mining Assistants is expected to change by 23.0%, and there should be roughly 1,900 open positions for Mining Assistants every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$26,300 - $55,730
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Mining Assistants?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Mining Assistant are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Mining Assistants typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Mining Assistants typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Mining Assistant tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Mining Assistants moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Mining Assistants somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Mining Assistants somewhat value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Mining Assistants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, initiative, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Mining Assistants, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Mining Assistants need?

Working as a Mining Assistant usually requires a high school diploma.

Mining Assistants need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Mining Assistants

  • 16.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 48.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 22.0% completed some college coursework
  • 5.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Mining Assistants

Mining Assistants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, transportation, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Mining Assistants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Mining Assistants

Mining Assistants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Mining Assistants need abilities such as manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, and control precision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mining Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Critical Skills needed by Mining Assistants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Mining Assistants frequently use skills like monitoring, operations monitoring, and operation and control to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mining Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.