Chilean miners the best paid in South America, sixth highest in the world

Chilean professionals working in the mining industry earn the highest salaries in Latin America and the sixth highest in the world, reveals a recent survey by global recruitment firm Hays.

The study, which looked at 37 countries worldwide and had over 10,000 respondents, said Chilean mine employees earn an average annual salary of $97,537, not so far from the global average of $98,787.

According to the survey results, published Tuesday by Latin Pacific Business News, the second best paid miners are Brazilians, with an average annual salary of $76,800, followed by Peru ($73,100), Colombia ($61,100), Mexico ($56,100), Bolivia ($52,300), and Argentina ($41,600).

The figure is quite significant, considering that Chile’s average household disposable income is a mere $11,000 a year, as a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, published by Business Insider shows. 

In contrast, foreign miners working in Bolivia earn the highest salaries in all South America with annual average income of $156,900. They are closely followed by non-nationals working in Peru ($ 137,200) and Argentina ($133,300). Worldwide, Bolivia and Peru are in fourth and ninth place respectively in terms of places that best paid foreign miners, while Chile was ranked 23.

According to experts, the main explanation for this is that in countries such as Bolivia it is more difficult to attract qualified candidates than in those such as Chile, considered a developed country and a desirable mining destination.

Image: Mario Gómez, one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. Wikimedia Commons.

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