AVERAGE HOURLY WAGE: $21.57
WOW FACTOR: 4
PARENTAL PRIDE QUOTIENT: 9 (if other members of your family have preceded you. Otherwise, 2.)
DANGER INDEX: 8
IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?
Have you long thought that the surface of the Earth was overrated? Do you dream of a job with the working conditions of a sewer rat? Then read on, friend.
WHAT TRAINING DO I NEED?
Most miners learn on the job from other miners. Over time, that’s proven to be the most efficient way to pass along the more experienced workers’ outdated skills, unsafe work habits, and chronic drinking problems.
But if you’re too good for that, you can go to one of these new-fangled mining colleges and earn a certificate in mine studies in just one year. Then they’ll plop you in a training mine for a few weeks to learn the ropes. And then, only then, will you be allowed inside an actual mine, where you will immediately realize you’ve made a horrible error in judgment.
HOW DO I GET THE JOB?
Basically, if you’re in any way related to a long-standing coal mining family, you’re in. Talk about a nepotistic industry. Coal mining makes Trump look like the EEOC.
But even if you do have connections, you’ll have to prove that you’re comfortable working in cramped, dark spaces and that you’re in good health. After all, who wants black lung on top of a bum knee?
Coal mining is less dangerous than it used to be. Which is kind of like saying that the writing on “Gary Unmarried” has gotten smarter.
On the other hand, it’s hard not to love those “I Had Sex with a Miner” T-shirts all the ladies are wearing.
If you can get past the explosions, cave-ins, steady erosion of union benefits by management, and having to live in West Virginia – none.