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Mine Electrician


Description

While we are all familiar with the use of electricity in everyday life, though few of us stop to consider its other uses. One of the many places electricity is used is the mining industry. Mine electricians repair and maintain mine equipment. This includes everything from office light switches to the electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical machinery used underground. They install, test, repair, maintain and inspect all the electrical systems and equipment, all the while complying with federal and state mine safety regulations and standards.

When new equipment comes in for use in the mine, these electricians must ensure that it will work with the old a wiring. As well, they respond to breakdowns and blown fuses, all the while protecting themselves from dangerous gases, heat, noise, and the possibility of electrical shock and mine collapse.

Industries could not function without the careful, dedicated electricians who supply the power that gets things done. Especially workers in modern mines, who use electricity to lower themselves and their tools into the mine, power their equipment, and use electric lights to see by in the cool darknesses of an underground cavern.
 
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  Interests and Skills  
Interested in working as a mining electrician? These individuals must be good at math, and have good communication and reading skills.They require mechanical abilities, as well as strength, stamina, and manual dexterity. Good eyesight, as well as normal color vision are important. Mine electricians should be comfortable with confined spaces. should be able to get along well with others, as well as work well on your own. They must have a logical, analytical mind and be methodical as well as precise.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Troubleshoot electrical problems
  • May draw wiring diagrams
  • Study and interpret architectural drawings, mine layout, electrical code specifications, and wiring diagrams to determine wiring layouts of electrical equipment installations
  • Estimate costs
  • Install and maintain electrical wiring and equipment (switch boxes, conduits, lighting fixtures, etc)
  • Supervise assistants
  • Repair or replace faulty electrical equipment
  • Test electrical work for safety
  • Keeps records of the problems found and fixed
  • Maintain switchgears, transformers, switchboard meters, regulators and reactors
  • Maintain electrical motors, generators, industrial storage batteries and hydraulic and pneumatic electrical control systems
  • Look into any other electrical mishaps on site
  • These are only a few of the dozens of tasks undertaken by mine electricians each day. They work with electrical assistants, and on their own to look after the electrical needs of industries. Some work is quick and easy, but some whole days could be spent on difficult or complicated task. Mine electricians may work outdoors but most of the work is done indoors or underground.
  • They work in aboveground buildings or in underground work sites. They are often exposed to dangerous situations, especially when working around gases, heat sources, and machinery. In mining, there is also the possibility of a collapse. They work regular hours, unless there is an emergency situation that requires them to work longer hours. If the mine they work with is in operation 24 hours a day, they may work overnight or weekend shifts.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Mine electricians work with electrical contractors or with the maintenance departments of the mining industry. They work with large and small mines of varying types.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Mine electricians may branch out into general electrician work and open up their own business, or find a permanent place on staff with a construction company or in another type of industry. They can stay with the mining industry and advance to positions such as foreperson or superintendent. Mining electricians may also choose to work as a mine electrician.
 

  Educational Paths  
Mine electricians receive their training either through informal, on-the-job training or through an apprenticeship program. Trade certification can be obtained either through an apprenticeship program or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all areas to become a mine electrician, it can be a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment.

Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. A pre-apprenticeship course may also be available which takes about five to six months to complete at a community college and is designed to help you get connected with a good company to apprentice with. It is important to apprentice with a reputable company as that is your education. While some apprenticeship programs may not require a high school diploma, it is important to note that employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates.

Apprenticeships can vary, however a typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. The apprenticeship is a paid position, however wages are about 50 percent of what an employer pays the journeyperson, with yearly increases. After successfully completing the apprenticeship requirements, their industry training and apprenticeship office awards the mine electrician a certificate of completion.
 

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