24 Jobs in the Coal Industry (With Salaries and Primary Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 14, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Coal is a valuable energy resource that provides electricity for residential, commercial and industrial consumers. The coal industry provides a wide range of career opportunities in mining, transporting and processing coal for its various purposes. Understanding what coal industry jobs there are can help you decide on your next career choice. In this article, we discuss 24 jobs in the coal industry, including their national average salaries and primary duties.

24 types of jobs in the coal industry

Consider the following coal industry career paths in your job search. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Laborer

National average salary: $35,107 per year

Primary duties: A laborer completes physical work on a construction site. These professionals prepare construction sites by clearing hazards, securing locations, digging trenches and laying foundations. Laborers operate a variety of construction equipment, such as grinders, saws, cranes, bulldozers and forklifts, to accomplish their tasks.

Read more: Learn About Being a Laborer

2. Welder

National average salary: $40,046 per year

Primary duties: A welder handles high-heat equipment to fuse two or more materials together. These professionals inspect blueprints and materials to determine the most efficient and secure method for welding. Welders shape and polish completed products, along with testing them for quality and safety.

Read more: Learn About Being a Welder

3. Plant operator

National average salary: $42,437 per year

Primary duties: A plant operator manages the daily performance of a facility and ensures the safety of equipment and personnel. These operators assess plant workflow and environment to identify areas for improvement and upgrades for optimized performance. Plant operators enforce safety standards and troubleshoot potential equipment errors.

4. Conductor

National average salary: $43,839 per year

Primary duties: A conductor is a transportation professional who manages the loading and unloading of materials from freight vehicles, like trains. These professionals manage freight vehicle routes using remote control equipment to direct vehicles and optimize travel time. Conductors supervise freight teams and implement regulations to ensure safe and efficient operations.

5. Parts driver

National average salary: $45,181 per year

Primary duties: A parts driver is a distribution professional who specializes in obtaining and delivering machine parts. These drivers identify parts needed for replacements and upgrades to machinery or vehicles and secure them. Parts drivers ensure that company equipment is fully operational by anticipating necessary parts and maintaining stock.

6. Maintenance technician

National average salary: $45,526 per year

Primary duties: A maintenance technician installs, updates and repairs equipment components or whole machinery. These technicians conduct technical assessments to identify equipment problem areas and develop solutions to improve them. Maintenance technicians document equipment parts, details and maintenance activity for future reference when completing replacements and other evaluations.

Read more: Learn About Being a Maintenance Technician

7. Field service technician

National average salary: $46,059 per year

Primary duties: A field service technician is a maintenance professional who assists clients with installing and repairing their equipment, along with teaching them how to operate and maintain it. These technicians travel to their client designated locations to set up machinery and ensure that it's fully functioning. Field service technicians may perform preventative maintenance or component replacements regularly to optimize equipment performance.

8. Equipment operator

National average salary: $47,429 per year

Primary duties: An equipment operator uses and maintains heavy or industrial machinery to perform functions for demolitions, construction, paving or drilling. These operators evaluate weather and environmental conditions to ensure that they can operate their equipment safely and successfully. Equipment operators assess their machinery and components to identify and complete repairs or other necessary maintenance.

9. Driller

National average salary: $50,875 per year

Primary duties: A driller manages crews who dig wells for oil and resource collection. These professionals oversee the process of well-drilling activities to direct crews and ensure their safety. Drillers monitor well conditions such as pressure and volume for gas or fluids to determine operational safety and provide decisions on work activities.

10. Foreman

National average salary: $52,107 per year

Primary duties: A foreman manages construction projects from personnel to equipment. These professionals hire, train and supervise personnel to enforce safety and professional standards. Foremen monitor construction activity to implement workflow changes that optimize performance.

11. Underground miner

National average salary: $52,082 per year

Primary duties: An underground miner operates mining equipment in coal mines or stone quarries. These miners may use excavation, blasting or removal equipment, along with explosives, to access coal or other minerals. Underground miners separate desired materials from landmasses and safely secure them.

12. Floorhand

National average salary: $53,556 per year

Primary duties: A floorhand is an oil rig professional who works outdoors to maintain equipment. These professionals may collect samples or disconnect pipes to ensure safe working environments. Floorhands work long hours to provide support for other oil professionals.

13. Pipefitter

National average salary: $58,378 per year

Primary duties: A pipefitter installs and maintains mechanical pipe systems. These professionals may specialize in pipe systems for heating and cooling systems, power stations, offshore installations or refineries. Pipefitters test and troubleshoot piping parts to identify problem areas.

14. Millwright

National average salary: $56,605 per year

Primary duties: A millwright is a trade professional who assembles, maintains and dismantles equipment. These professionals evaluate equipment blueprints to successfully install or repair them. Millwrights operate cranes or forklifts to transport equipment from one location to another.

Read more: Learn About Being a Millwright

15. Industrial electrician

National average salary: $62,744 per year

Primary duties: An industrial electrician installs and repairs electrical equipment. These electricians test and troubleshoot equipment issues to perform repairs or parts replacements. Industrial electricians perform preventative maintenance, including cleaning circuit boards or oiling machinery.

Read more: Learn About Being an Electrician

16. Control panel technician

National average salary: $62,985 per year

Primary duties: A control panel technician is an operational professional who specializes in handling equipment through remote controls. These technicians monitor equipment functions and use control panels to dictate machinery movements and processes. Control panel technicians evaluate equipment performance and environment to maintain safety standards and conduct maintenance as needed.

17. Roustabout

National average salary: $66,641 per year

Primary duties: A roustabout is a labor professional who handles oil rigs, construction equipment and other various laborer roles. These professionals provide support to physical labor crews and can perform floorhand and rig supervisor roles. Roustabouts may complete wells, drills, oil field work or chemical work.

18. Geotechnical engineer

National average salary: $69,237 per year

Primary duties: A geotechnical engineer ensures the technical safety of construction projects. These engineers visit construction sites to collect data and samples to determine the stability and risk factors of a particular project. Geotechnical engineers create computer models for construction sites to test potential environmental factors that can affect construction progress.

19. Landman

National average salary: $69,237 per year

Primary duties: A landman researches land laws and ownership information to assist companies in securing land for drilling, mining or construction purposes. These professionals obtain blueprints and maps to evaluate property lines and identify what area a company can acquire and how. Landmen may contact landowners to offer them deals to gain access or ownership of the property that a company needs.

20. Truck driver

National average salary: $74,728 per year

Primary duties: A truck driver is a transportation professional who loads, secures and delivers raw materials or finished products from one location to another. These drivers operate refrigerated or dry trucks to ensure that goods remain in their original condition during transit. Truck drivers document their travel details from pickup locations, rest stops, delivery times and inventories to accurately report their work.

Read more: Learn About Being a Truck Driver

21. Data scientist

National average salary: $75,167 per year

Primary duties: A data scientist is an information technology professional who gathers, cleans, interprets and presents data to offer predictions and guidance for company decisions. These scientists generate data reports and visualizations to relay significant information in insightful methods. Data scientists analyze historical and current data to create trend forecasts and devise algorithms.

Read more: Learn About Being a Data Scientist

22. Miner

National average salary: $79,050 per year

Primary duties: A miner manages mining and transportation equipment to collect and deliver resources, such as coal or ores. These professionals use excavation machinery and explosives to gain access to and extract coal. Miners travel to underground mining locations and secure their passageways to ensure their safety.

Read more: Learn About Being a Miner

23. Geologist

National average salary: $85,011 per year

Primary duties: A geologist is a scientific professional who specializes in earth materials, rock formations and environments. These professionals survey geological sites for excavations and drilling by collecting samples and other data. Geologists create maps and reports to demonstrate the potential environmental risks of conducting construction activities in specific sites.

24. Mining engineer

National average salary: $93,310 per year

Primary duties: A mining engineer develops methods for safe and effective metal or mineral extractions. These engineers survey mining locations to evaluate landmasses, rock formations and potential access points to calculate the most cost-efficient and secure pathways to their desired materials. Mining engineers monitor mining activities to evaluate performance and adapt mining methods when necessary.

Explore more articles