Pay Rates for Federal Mine Inspectors

by Brenda Scottsdale

You have to have pay careful attention to detail, be calm in a crisis and able to work in close quarters to be a successful mine inspector. These federal employees work for the Mine Safety and Health Administration inspecting underground and surface mines ensuring that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. The federal government pays mine inspectors an hourly wage, according to a set grading structure. They are eligible for overtime and receive health, retirement and vacation benefits.

Federal Pay Rates

The federal wage system for all employees, including mine inspectors, ensures all employees performing the same functions receive the same pay. The American Federation of Government Employees’ union negotiates pay rates. There are 15 grades with 10 steps per grade in the system. Federal mine inspectors' starting salaries begin at grade GS-7. At GS-7, step one, the annual salary is $33,979, or $16.34 per hour, and at step 10, the salary annual salary is $44,176, or $21.24 per hour.

Geographic Location

Pay differs by geographic location. For the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama area, for example, GS-7, step-one pay is $40,534, or $19.49 per hour, which is comparable to the $40,282, or $19.37 per hour, paid to employees in the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area. In the Detroit-Warren-Flint area, Michigan's rate at this level is somewhat higher, at $42,165 annually, or $20.27 per hour, and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, California area is at $43,208 annually, or $20.77 per hour.

Average Earnings

The national average salary for federal mine inspectors in 2013 was $82,199, or $39.52 per hour, according to the Internet salary survey website Salary Expert. In a random sample of six cities, averages included Miami, $82,095; Dallas, $87,010; New York, $105,576; San Francisco, $110,409; Houston, $82,316 and Washington, $102,532. The average earnings for those in the bottom 10 percent in these six cities was $66,321, or $31.89 per hour, while the average earnings for those in the top 10 percent was $66,321, or $58.38 per hour.

How to Apply

The Mine Safety and Health Administration require applicants to pass a basic math-skills test and writing assessment. You can prepare for the test by reviewing basic high school geometry, algebra and brushing up on basic grammar rules. Note appropriate work experience on your application, such as performing inspections, knowledge of safety regulations, work with construction crews or union experience. If you pass the basic-skills tests and have some relevant experience, the MHSA may choose to interview you, using the structured interview questions covering areas such as your knowledge of mine safety and health, planning and problem solving.

About the Author

Brenda Scottsdale is a licensed psychologist, a six sigma master black belt and a certified aerobics instructor. She has been writing professionally for more than 15 years in scientific journals, including the "Journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior" and various websites.

Photo Credits

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