The responsibilities of surface mining jobs vary between positions, with technician roles involving the operation of machinery and equipment to remove soil and extract coal deposits, while manager positions coordinate efforts and oversee different teams. Other jobs may involve planning to identify seams, safety inspectors to monitor the proper function of equipment and oversight positions to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
Surface mining refers to a process in which miners identify a mineral deposit closer to the upper layers of the earth, rather than deep underground, and remove the covering land in order to expose and extract it. Many of these jobs revolve around the use of special mining equipment and vehicles such as dump trucks, forklifts and bulldozers to expose a deposit, which may require special training or qualifications to operate the machines. Additionally, surface mining includes many coordination and civil engineering careers that focus on determining the safest and most effective methods for removing dirt and soil without harming the environment or endangering local inhabitants.
Mining operations also feature several different types of managerial roles to oversee the project, with some working with teams of miners while others with local official or corporate agents to plan and implement strategies. These companies also employ mechanics to upkeep the machines and the equipment and conduct regular inspections to check for any issues or damage. Some sites may also employ technicians to work on deposits and seams with special extraction tools rather than operating heavy machinery.