How to Get a Mining Job (With Salary and Requirements)
Updated 28 July 2023
A job in the mining industry can be rewarding and well-paying. To find a mining job, you need to know where to look and how to demonstrate your qualifications to employers. Understanding how to approach the job search can help you find a mining role that aligns with your interests. In this article, we describe the steps you can take to get a mining job, look at the various types of mining and mining roles, examine some of the job requirements, discuss the mining work environment and show how much you can earn in this industry.
How to get a mining job
Follow these guidelines on how to get a mining job:
1. Find and research open mining positions
Job sites such as Indeed allow you to search for available mining positions. You can narrow your search results to a specific region and experience level, such as ‘entry-level mining jobs in Pilbara’. Keep in mind that employers may use various alternative job titles relating to mining in the description. Ground operation agent and surface driller are two common designations for mining positions.
The official websites of companies that employ miners are can be another useful resource for job listings. On these sites, there's usually a link at the bottom of the homepage titled "Careers" which leads to the available openings within the company. Consider searching for local mining companies that are seeking out their official sites via your preferred search engine.
2. Try to connect with professionals in the industry
Connecting with people who work within the mining industry can expose you to employment opportunities through referrals to other professionals, including hiring managers. Consider reaching out to friends or family members who work in mining or know people who do. Alternatively, you can query a broad base of people through social media to try getting in touch with mining professionals. Even slight connections to industry professionals can help you get your start as a miner.
3. Improve your skills
There are certain mining skills you can practice and improve to make yourself a more attractive candidate for a mining job. Examine the job descriptions for mention of competencies that you can work on, such as physical strength and knowledge of industry and safety regulations. Employers are more likely to consider you an asset to their organisation if you can demonstrate the ability to handle manual labour and understand protocols.
4. Gain experience in similar roles
Some professions are similar to mining in that they are physically demanding, require the same skills and involve comparable activities. Having experience in these roles can show employers that you're capable of handling the rigours of work in the mines. Examples of similar professions include:
Related: How to Become a Construction Worker
5. Build your mining resume
Your resume is one of the documents that hiring managers read to get a sense of your suitability for a job, so it's important to include the right information and structure the document in a way that highlights your top qualities. Your resume should include the following sections:
Contact information: This includes your name, mailing address, email address and phone number so that employers can reach you to ask questions or schedule an interview. This information appears at the top of the document.
Work experience: This is a list of jobs you've held and your major responsibilities and achievements in each. Showing work experience that relates to mining can improve your job candidacy.
Educational background: Include diplomas or degrees you've earned, along with the names of the institutions you've attended and the years of your attendance. If you've graduated from university, you can omit mention of a high school diploma.
Skills: You can also include a list of your top competencies that relate to the job of mining. If you wish, you can add an explanation of accomplishments under each entry or the names of relevant equipment that you have experience using.
As for format, if you have extensive experience in mining or mining-adjacent roles, consider using a chronological resume, which emphasises work history. Otherwise, you can use the functional resume format, which focuses more on your skills.
Types of mining and mining roles
The mining industry is among the world's leading producers of mineral resources and precious stones, including:
Obtaining these resources is a team effort that involves several specialised roles. Understanding these roles can help you determine how you'd like to operate within the industry. Specialisations in mining include:
Underground miner: works underground to maintain the mine structure and extract mineral resources
Field assistant: collects soil samples and works with geologists to ensure mining sites are safe and clean
Driller offsider: operates drilling rigs and maintains their functioning
Mining electrician: installs and repairs electrical equipment for the mining site
Concreter: builds concrete slabs and columns inside the mine to provide structure and foundation over rods and cables
Security officer: protects the mining site and residential community from external threats, and monitors activity around the mine, such as employees arriving at or leaving the mine
Mine shift supervisor: performs safety checks of the mine site, identifies dangers and implements protocols to maintain workplace safety
Mining engineer: designs mines and determines optimal extraction techniques
Requirements for miners
Here are the key requirements for entry into the field of mining:
Education, training and certification
The level of education, the training and the certifications you need depend on the role you want and the specifications of the employer. Some mining roles are unskilled positions that offer on-the-job training, and these may require a minimum of a high school education. Other roles, particularly higher-level supervisory positions, are likely to require a university degree and at least a Certificate III qualification. For specific education, training and certification requirements, refer to the job descriptions for the positions you desire.
Mining is a profession that requires several hard and soft skills. Some essential mining skills are:
Physical fitness: being physically capable of withstanding the demands of the job. Frequent lifting and transporting of mineral resources is a common task, as is operating heavy equipment, erecting scaffolding, opening passageways and installing machinery.
Dexterity: the ability to perform tasks with your hands. This skill is essential in mining since drilling equipment and other heavy machinery require miners to have excellent hand-eye coordination.
Teamwork: the ability to work and get along with others. Teamwork not only allows for efficient operations but also helps to maintain safety in situations that require coordination of heavy machinery and human actions.
Knowledge of safety regulations: understanding of the protocols and rules for preventing workplace injuries. Miners work in potentially dangerous conditions, so it's important for them to know how to avoid onsite injuries and respond to emergency situations.
Adaptability: the ability to adjust your attitude in response to shifting expectations or demands. Mining work can be unpredictable because of factors such as fluctuating weather conditions, changing personnel and new requirements, so adaptability is important for maintaining a positive outlook.
Some of the other requirements for mining jobs may include:
Heavy rigid licence
Work environment for miners
Mining jobs are available only in regions that have access to the natural resources necessary to build a mine. Such areas are typically remote. Temporary relocation may be required, although some employers may transport their miners to site. The workweek for a mining professional can exceed 44 hours per week, with shifts lasting as long as 12 hours and miners working in rotations of four or five days before taking days off.
Mining work takes place outdoors or underground. Many mining roles involve physical labour. Miners must take precautions to protect themselves against hazards such as particulate matter and falling objects. Common protective equipment for miners include:
Average salaries in mining
How much you can earn in the mining industry depends largely on your role. For example, driller offsiders earn an average of $82,492 per year, while underground miners earn $149,917 per year and mining engineers average $152,916 per year. Location may also affect how much you earn. For instance, underground miners in Peel, New South Wales, report salaries significantly lower than the national average, at $118,462 per year.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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