Money Matters in a Mining Career

Mining conditions in South Africa - mining africa
Mining Conditions in South Africa
January 8, 2017

What you Need to Know About Compensation When you Start a Mining Career

Compensation is what you get when you do work. A mining career is just like any other career, and you can expect to be compensated by a combination of one or more of the following: a salary, benefits and incentives.

Talking About Compensation at the Interview

Discussing salary and benefits during an interview can be nerve-wracking, and often candidates are left nervous, confused, or both by the end of the interview. Because of various elements affecting compensation is not always easy to know what you can realistically expect. Research also shows that only around 36% of professionals are satisfied with what they get paid, and therefore unrealistic expectations are common. Here is a great selection of top mining careers in Affrica.

Advice to Those Starting a Mining Career

Mining careers - mine shaft
The best advice to anybody who is uncertain about compensation when they start a mining career is to acknowledge the many factors that play a role in compensation, and to do as much research as possible.

Everybody is aware that experience, level of skill and education are the most critical factors, but there are also other less obvious elements that greatly affect compensation, like:

  • Trends and Market Conditions – Salaries are heavily influenced by what is happening in the market. In good times higher salaries are paid and during bad or uncertain times companies are forced to be more frugal.
  • Area and living expenditure – The geographic location of the company is one of the most important elements that determine compensation. Because the cost of living is vastly different from area to area, and also from country to country, salaries will also be vastly different. When you live in a smaller area with cheaper housing you cannot expect to be paid the same as somebody living in an area with a high cost of living – even if you do exactly the same job.
  • Whether the company is able to pay – It all boils down to affordability. When a company is turning massive profits, the employees are more likely to be given higher compensation. Conversely, a failing company will simply not be able to afford competitive wages.
  • Skills availability – Just like an exclusive item that is in high demand often costs more, people with skills that are in demand can expect higher salaries. When there are too many people with the same skillset, salaries can naturally go down.
  • Ability to Negotiate – Companies usually have a set range they are prepared to pay in, and a candidate who is a skilled negotiator can often achieve the top end of the range, or even beyond that.
  • Legislation – Most governments have prescribed industry specific minimum wages, and compensation cannot be fixed below these levels. It is worthwhile for candidates to look into whether mining careers are affected by local government legislation.
  • Labour Unions – This is also a factor that could come into play depending on which country the job is based in. Labour unions can be involved in regulating labour supply and can also be used to negotiate better salaries.

It’s not Just about the Money, but Money is Still Important

The most important thing to remember is that life is difficult without money. Because of this job seekers should be both educated and realistic when it comes to salaries – the trick is not to sell themselves short while also not pricing themselves out of the market.


Want to find begin your mining career?

check out our mining companies in Africa.




  1. mimisco says:

    this is really interesting. kudos to you. keep it up

  2. Becky Brooks says:

    awesome info that I never knew!

  3. Oladipupo Kazeem Adewunmi says:

    Thank you so much for your idea…kudos to you

  4. Uche Opara says:

    So interesting,

  5. Murali says:

    I want to aplly excavator operator . Ifrom malaysia

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