There is more to mining than just digging

8 March, 2021

The mining industry extracts naturally occurring mineral solids such as coal and ores, liquid minerals such as crude petroleum, and gases such as natural gas, all of which feed industry both at home and overseas.

Machinery Operators and Drivers, and Technicians and Trades workers underpin the mining industry, representing 33 per cent and 28 per cent of the total Mining workforce respectively. When considering the skilled workforce in the Mining industry , Technicians and Trades workers make up more than a third (35 per cent) of the workforce while Machinery Operators and Drivers constitute a fifth (20 per cent) of the workforce.

The Australian economy is dependent on mining due to the export revenue, which, at nearly $289 billion in 2019, accounts for 59% of the country’s total export revenue. The Industry accounts for about 2% of the jobs in Australia. Increasing automation and advances in technology are improving safety and productivity, while adjusting the skills sets needed by the industry.

If you would like more information on a particular job in this sector, including typical day-to-day tasks, average weekly salary and links to job vacancies visit and use the search feature for details on the jobs you are interested in.
For more information on this sector visit: Your Career - Mining

What training is required?

More than two thirds (67 per cent) of workers in the mining workforce are skilled with a certificate III or higher. As you would expect the industry demands a big focus on workplace health and safety (WHS) and all employees are expected to comply with relevant rules and regulations. It is important to check your local area to familiarise yourself with your obligations.

Job finding tip

There are multiple career options to choose from in mining and it is important to choose work that you believe you will be able to carry out and continue to enjoy. For example, here are many opportunities offered on a fly in, fly out basis, which often demand periods of intensive work in remote areas followed by a period of rest at home. There are other opportunities with more regular hours so whatever your lifestyle you will probably find an opportunity that offers a good match.

Still wondering about your career path?

Check out the School Leavers Information Kit to see if this is the right option for you. The kit can give you tailored information about education, training and work options as you take your next steps.

If you’d like to talk to someone about a career in the mining industry, you can contact the School Leavers Information Service on 1800 CAREER or text SLIS2020 to 0429 009 435. This service can provide more tailored support about your options and the training opportunities that suit you including help polishing your resume or where to find jobs and training.

More tips to start you on your way

If your wellbeing is being impacted by COVID-19 but you don’t know where to start looking for support, the COVID-19 support(External website, Opens in new window) page has some information and links that could assist you.

An electrifying career

Young man smiling at the camera

Born and bred in Mount Isa, Cameron McCartney (above) loves travelling, footy and hanging out with friends. Having lived in Mount Isa, Townsville and Brisbane, he found his big break with Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Employment Program.

Cameron successfully graduated from the program and secured a contracting role at the Mount Isa copper concentrator. Soon after, he started an electrical apprenticeship with Mount Isa Mines where the efforts of so many people like him provide the essential metals and minerals needed to make smartphones, appliances and electric cars a reality.

“I’m currently in the final year of my apprenticeship. I can honestly say I’ve really enjoyed the last four years and learnt a great deal about the trade, and how much more there is to mining than meets the eye.”
During his apprenticeship, he gained experience working with an extensive range of equipment and machinery. Cameron works with high voltage electrical cables and components to power up the mining drill rigs and his daily routine is to service and maintain underground crushers and conveyors systems. He supports the shafts and hoisting circuit that delivers ore from deep underground to the copper concentrator on the surface.“

In the future I’d love to go into instrumentation, which is a specialty in the electrical field. I also would like to learn more about the domestic electrical field, so that one day I can wire up the power and light circuits in my own home.”

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