We need Surface Miners because it is their responsibility to extract ore and minerals from the ground. Problem solving, enjoyment of hands-on work, and comfort with heavy machinery are all important for success in this challenging career at the front line of a mine site.

What is it Like to Work as a Surface Miner in Mining?

Note: conditions vary according to employer and region.

Surface Miners spend most of their time at the mine.  They are exposed to challenging working conditions, such as in confined spaces, at heights and near open holes. They must be willing and able to climb ladders and steel ramps on the surface.

Why are People Attracted to this Career?

Surface Miners like working both independently and within a team. They work with sophisticated equipment and machinery, and with new technologies, and are well compensated for their efforts.

Job Description

Extract rocks, ore and minerals from the ground and use heavy equipment and machinery to blast and move rock containing minerals and metals.


$28.00 an hour

$48.24 an hour

Job Prospect

Demand in Mining

Limited Great

Skill Transferability Among Other Industries

Low High

Success Profile

  • Takes care in following procedures, especially with hazardous materials, equipment and machinery
  • Visualizes three-dimensional layouts
  • Embraces new techniques and technologies
  • Enjoys operating heavy equipment and machinery
  • Understands and respects established safety procedures, legislation and regulations
  • Enjoys hands-on work
  • Patient, flexible and adaptable
  • Resourceful and independent
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong risk management skills
  • Works well with others

Job Entry Requirements

Note: The requirements listed below illustrate what it takes to start the career and does not take into account on-the-job training given to new employees.

Fixed Requirements

  • Physically fit and mobile
  • Must be able to pass a medical test
  • Must be able to pass a drug test
  • Willingness to work in a diverse environment
  • Proficiency in language of operation

Regional Requirement

  • Apprenticeship training up to two years may be required as determined by the province/territory of employment

May be Required

  • High school diploma or equivalent


  • Willingness to relocate
  • Other languages
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