The Rugged Outdoors and Rural Places.
You may operate bulldozing and excavating equipment or drive coal-ore trucks that are as large as a small house! You actually move and cut-through mountains and plains extracting soft coal (known as bituminous) from surface mines in states such as Colorado, Montana, or Wyoming.
Maybe instead you work underground to bring to the surface the hard coal (known as anthracite) found in states like Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia. Or perhaps you sort and process mined-coal, load it onto waiting railroad gondolas, or coordinate shipment to local and regional electric utilities or for overseas export.
Then again, maybe you go for a degree in mine engineering to advance clean coal technologies that improve burning efficiency while also reducing emissions.
Both surface and underground mining operations will continue to need management and administrative support workers as well as skilled engineers who can make mining operations safer, more efficient, and more environmentally protective. Surface mining generally requires workers who are skilled in the operation and maintenance of heavy machinery, while underground mining tends to need more workers per ton of coal produced.
With about 105,000 workers employed in the U.S Coal industry, new employees will continue to be needed to meet new challenges and replace those who retire.
(Source: National Mining Association and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)