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Is mining right for you?

The mining industry best suits people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty with practical hard work! Whether you’re operating machinery, driving vehicles or assembling and detonating explosives, you need to be ready for physical work that can sometimes be pretty demanding.

However, if hands-on work is your thing, you’ll be in your element in the mines. And as long as you’re a good communicator and a careful worker who pays mind to safe work practices, you’ll be able to find a mining role that’s perfect for you.

Depending on where you’re currently living and the job opportunities available, you may need to be willing to relocate for employment. The majority of jobs are found in regional areas of Queensland and Western Australia, but are also available in other states – you might just have to be willing to live in a remote area, or commute a little further to work!

Job opportunities

While other areas of the industry are in decline, general jobs for miners, drillers and other mining labourers are projected to experience moderate growth, with around 50,000 job openings expected in those sectors in the period to May 2022. Here are a few more facts and stats from the Australian Government’s Job Outlook initiative…

  • The majority of jobs in the mining industry are full-time.
  • Around 25% of the workforce has education up to a Certificate III/IV level.
  • Mining salaries tend to be lower when starting out and grow with experience, but are generally above the all jobs national average.
  • Full-time earnings before tax range from around $1400/week for mining labourers to around $2100/week for miners, drillers and shot firers.

Types of courses

There are several types of courses available for anyone looking to enter the mining industry. There are also plenty for those already employed in mining who want to upskill in pursuit of higher-level positions, or learn something new to put to use in their current role. Let’s look at a breakdown of the types of mining courses available and what each level entails.

Short courses

Mining short courses are a great introduction to the industry and also a fantastic option for upskilling. Many short courses revolve around developing specific competencies for the industry, such as particular instrumentation or systems.

Certificate II

Certificate II courses offer a general overview of particular sections of the mining industry, such as underground coal/metalliferous mining and mining/field exploration. These courses provide the basic skills and knowledge needed for entry-level positions in the industry.

Certificate III

Certificate III mining courses prepare students for roles involving a range of skilled tasks. These courses tend to focus on areas such as mining exploration, small mining operations and underground metalliferous mining.

Certificate IV

Certificate IV courses offer the most comprehensive level of mining education below university level. These courses cover specific sectors such as underground metalliferous mining operations and surface coal mining. Certificate IV-level courses can also prepare students for leadership and management roles within the industry.