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#66322 - 05/30/06 04:21 PM electrician and coal mining
wv-wire-wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Morgantown, WV
Hi all,

I just graduated high school and passed my journeymen test. I am starting my "red hat" (apprentice for those that don't know what red hat means) miners class june 12th.

I was just wondering if anyone here is working/has worked as a mine electrician and how you got there?

What I mean by "how you got there" is did you start as a "general miner" (laborer) or what?

Right now I'm just getting a job at Sears auto or Lowes to get me thru the classes. Then we'll see. My parents are hoping I don't like it down there but it never bothered me. They said whatever I choose will be good with them.

Samuel A Mercure

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#66323 - 06/01/06 08:17 PM Re: electrician and coal mining
hypress Offline

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 132
Loc: Charleston WV
Ihave looked into getting my mine electrician papers and this is what I found out. My experience is heavy industrial electrical work with a lot of expousure to high voltage.With that being said I would have to get my coal miners papers which is not much of a problem that makes you employeable. Then after you get a job you ask your employer to put yiu into a electical apprenticeship program it lasts one year and in that year you must attend a class and I think they told me that was 40 hrs. Then at the end of that year you can take your certification test.Even with my experience I would have to serve a apprenticeship.I have worked with a lot of mine electricians on the outside and it is a entirely different world undreground. From what I understand you are a jack of all trades underground. Electrician, millwright,rigger ,hydaulics guru ,welder and the like.I am not a career counciler but if you are graduating high school postpone going to work now and get a part time job for gas money and get some moore education . Get some more electrical and something that seems unrelatet to electrical. From what i have seen people with odd skill sets haaye an easier time finding jobs. I met a start up man that got his job because they were nooking for someone with a electronics background that could weld. Just something to think about.

#66324 - 06/01/06 09:04 PM Re: electrician and coal mining
wv-wire-wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Morgantown, WV
Thanks Hypress,

Lots of good ideas. I am trying to learn all the skills I can. And yes, I am checking on welding classes for this fall.

I went down and signed up for the redhat classes this morning. The lady told me it is actually an advanced mining course. Two months long, underground and surface mining certification, special mining electrical safety class, "in mine" training, resume' help and job interviews. $200.

I like that they give you "in mine" training so that I can find if thats what I want to get into.

Also got an interview at Sears tomorrow so looks like I might have a job in automotive. As long as they can give hours that can work with my class (which the guy who helped me fill out the appliation said shouldn't be a problem) I think I can get it.

Thanks again,
Samuel A Mercure

#66325 - 06/02/06 09:49 AM Re: electrician and coal mining
rad74ss Offline

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 154
Loc: Pryor, OK USA
Try here as a start

You will be working heavily in hazardous environments with combustible gases and dusts so read up on NEC Chapter 5 and anything you can get your hands on for Hazardous Zone training, and explosion proof equipment.

I am not sure if mines have industry specific electrical programs or if you have to start with a regular electrical liscense and work up. You will have a lot of lives depending on how well you do your work.

Good luck on your search.

#66326 - 06/02/06 05:00 PM Re: electrician and coal mining
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
While Nevada may not have much coal, we mine darn near everything else.

Our mines, due to the recent perk in commodity prices, have been working like mad; they simply cannot find enough folks to work them! The shortage, especially of electricians, has been compounded by the lack of recently discharged veterans- many are staying in the service!

A mining company will typically spend thousands of dollars training and outfitting a mine worker. Even skilled trades, such as electricians, need some specialised training. Mines are one area where the NEC does not apply, and MSHA has it's own rules.

Of particular interest are strong troubleshooting skills and familiarity with high voltage power distribution systems.


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