There are currently an estimated 17,000 extraction workers in the United States. The extraction worker job market is expected to grow by 19.4% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are extraction workers?

CareerExplorer rates extraction workers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 12,500 extraction workers. That number is based on 3,300 additional extraction workers, and the retirement of 9,200 existing extraction workers.

Are extraction workers in demand?

The demand for extraction workers is largely dependent on the health of the mining and oil and gas industries. For the foreseeable future, employment opportunities are expected to be limited by challenges facing both of these industries. The outlook for hiring in mining reflects a balance between increasing demand for metals and minerals with a stabilization of prices in the long term. Since 2005, only coal mining has experienced an increase in its workforce. Still, the coal and metal ore mining sectors are predicted to experience an aggregate loss of jobs. Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying should add openings. The anticipated retirement of older workers will also present some opportunities. Overall, U.S. job prospects in this occupation are being negatively impacted by increasing reliance on imported metals and minerals. Because the mining industry has generally declined over the past three decades, there is a reduced capacity to train extraction workers in the field. In addition, the challenging physical environments and remote locations of some mines have made it difficult to attract a new-generation workforce. The inauspicious environmental legacy of some mines may also dissuade potential applicants. As oil and gas prices remain at historically low levels, the effect on jobs in the field is growing. Lower prices mean that oil and gas producers have less capital to invest in exploration and production, which in turn means that they employ fewer rigs and need fewer extraction workers. Although Texas is likely to show the largest decline in these jobs, the impact will be more intense in states like New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming, where the oil and gas industry constitutes a larger share of the economy.

What’s the supply of extraction workers?

The extraction worker industry is concentrated in Texas, Pennsylvania, California

Extraction Worker job market by state

State Name Employed Extraction Workers
Texas 6,190
Pennsylvania 1,080
California 890
Kentucky 720
Oklahoma 520
Louisiana 490
New Mexico 430
Nevada 420
Colorado 410
Virginia 370
West Virginia 350
Ohio 250
Tennessee 230
Wyoming 220
Illinois 210
Alaska 190
Arizona 180
Missouri 170
Indiana 160
Idaho 150
Utah 100
Kansas 90
Minnesota 80
Georgia 80
Montana 80
Arkansas 80
Florida 80
Alabama 70
New Hampshire 70
North Carolina 60
Oregon 60
Maryland 60
Wisconsin 50
Massachusetts 50
Iowa 40
New York 40
Washington 30