The director of the office of miners' health, safety and training shall divide the state into not more than two mining districts and assign one inspector to each district. Such inspector shall be a citizen of West Virginia, in good health, of good character and reputation, temperate in habits, having a minimum of five years of practical experience in such mining operations and who at the time of appointment is not more than fifty-five years of age. To qualify for appointment as such an inspector, an eligible applicant shall submit to a written and oral examination by the mine inspectors' examining board and furnish such evidence of good health, character and other facts establishing eligibility as the board may require. If the board finds after investigation and examination that an applicant: (1) Is eligible for appointment and (2) has passed all written and oral examinations, with a grade of at least ninety percent, the board shall add such applicant's name and grade to the register of qualified eligible candidates and certify its action to the director of the office of miners' health, safety and training. No candidate's name shall remain in the register for more than three years without requalifying.
Such inspector shall have the same tenure accorded a mine inspector, as provided in subsection (e), section twelve, article one of this chapter and shall be paid not less than fifteen thousand dollars per year. Such inspector shall also receive reimbursement for traveling expenses at the rate of not less than fifteen cents for each mile actually traveled in the discharge of their duties in a privately owned vehicle. Such inspector shall also be reimbursed for any expense incurred in maintaining an office in his or her home, which office is used in the discharge of official duties: Provided, That such reimbursement shall not exceed two hundred forty dollars per annum.