There are about 700 unique job types in the Hunter's economy that each require 280 different skill and knowledge sets, a new study of the region's economy shows.
There are also 82 different jobs in the mining sector, which employs 9,300 workers. Eighty per cent of those workers are employed as drillers, miners, metal fitters, machinists and truck drivers.
The study, undertaken by workforce skills analytics company Faethm, considered likely job number changes over the next decade, the increased incorporation of artificial intelligence such as autonomous vehicles and economic scenarios such as changed demand from overseas buyers.
"While uncertainty and technological transformation are par for the course for many industries, we are seeing an acceleration and greater unpredictability in the Hunter," Faethm chief economist Michael Kollo, said.
"Part of the puzzle is ensuring impacted workers can plan their working lives by having access to good quality information early in the piece and giving them practical support to redirect their careers towards different areas of the economy."
The Hunter study, The Canary in the coal mine- a workforce transition path for coal miners, stemmed from a similar project the company did for the South African mining industry.
In addition to traditional transition pathways such as other types of mining and construction, the analysis identifies opportunities in non-traditional areas such as real estate, property management and health care, which require similar skills to those as the needed in the mining sector.
"To work in real estate or property management, mining workers will need to upskill their computer literacy, accounting and get some additional negotiation skills, but they already have the necessary time management and complex problem solving skills," Dr Kollo said.
"For health care jobs involving personnel and office management, their knowledge of public safety and security, mathematics and troubleshooting will be an asset but they will need to train in human resources and basic resource management and psychology."
Dr Kollo said the workforce of an economy such as the Hunter's functioned in a similar way to soil in a garden.
"Good soil composition allows the garden to grow different crops and be flexible to changing weather and conditions," he said.
"A balanced, well trained, and hopeful workforce allows the same optionality of a region to adjust and change. When one industry comes to dominate, this introduces structural risks if that industry should ever fall. We have seen many examples and the results are almost always ugly.
"I would be cautious about trying to build a future for the hunter based on a substitute industry that would equally come to dominate the jobs landscape."