Roof Bolters: Salary Overview
Roof bolters install roof support bolts in underground mines using machinery.
Their job description typically also includes, among other tasks, drilling holes into roofs, checking that the equipment is safe before operating, testing to see if methane gas is present, and hanging ventilation tubes and curtains.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salaries reported by workers in this profession averaged at $59,090.
The median annual wage for roof bolters was $58,650 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
This also means that most roof bolters earned more than the average annual wage across all professions in the United States (which in 2019 was $39,810).
Salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the level of experience, education, industry, and region of employment.
The bottom 10 percent of all roof bolters reportedly made less than $43,330 per year, while the top 10 percent earned more than $77,690 per year.
The 25th percentile for this profession was $50,370 is 2019, which means that the majority of roof bolters (75 percent) earned more than this amount.
Only 25 percent of all workers in this occupation reported salaries that were above $67,580 (which is the 75th percentile).
Roof Bolter Salary by Industry
According to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 most roof bolters in the United States were employed in the coal mining industry, in the field of nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying, and in the field of employment services.
The average annual wage reported by roof bolters in the field of coal mining was $58,640 while those who worked in the field of nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying earned $69,550 per year.
Only a few roof bolters worked in the field of employment services and they were remunerated, on average, with $42,960 annually.
Salaries by State and Compensation Package
Salaries for roof bolters also vary depending on the region and the state of employment.
Those who worked in Wyoming reportedly made $92,720 per year, while those who are employed in Kentucky made $47,420 per year on average.
So, relocating to a different state may help improve your earning prospects.
Total wages for this profession also vary depending on the compensation package.
Some roof bolters earned a fixed wage while others are paid based on an hourly rate and, in this case, their annual earnings are directly determined by their hourly rate and the number of hours worked.
The report published by BLS shows that the median hourly rate for this profession is $28.20 but rates also vary depending on the worker’s level of experience, education, the industry of employment, the region, and the local economy.
The median rate for this profession is lower than the average hourly earnings reported by all employees in the natural resources and mining industry, which in May of 2019 was $33.47.
The bottom 10 percent of all roof bolters earned less than $20.83 per hour while the top 10 percent made more than $37.35 per hour.
As an entry-level worker, you will typically be paid less than $20 per hour but once you gain a few years of experience your rate will be raised and move closer to the median rate for this profession.
After getting a few years of experience you may also be promoted to a supervisory position, which is usually better remunerated.
Your education and skill level is also important in this line of work as you will have to work very carefully and to follow very strict safety regulations in order to avoid accidents.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Roof Bolters. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.