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For Students

There are hundreds of different careers you can do within the mining sector, the world is your oyster!STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects are essential to a wide variety of professions in the resources sector. Studying these types of subjects will give you the edge to success within the mining & resources sector.

Maths and Science (Biology, Physics & Chemistry) make for the best choices because they are relevant for many different mining careers and open up many doors – ones you haven’t even discovered yet.

Student Leaver Mining Career Checklist

  • Complete year 12
  • Study maths and science subjects as part of your SACE, (a list of SACE subjects can be found here)
  • Choose subjects that suit you and the industry you are looking to go into check out the “my future” website
  • Keep up with English (Good communications skills are needed on all mine sites)
  • Plan to get a qualification (these days it is virtually impossible to get a job in mining if you don’t have some formal post-school qualification

Download the Hot Rubble Careers brochure

Want to do more research?
Below you will find a list of great resources for more information on your career in the mining industry and the industry in general.

Australian Mine Atlas
Australasian Institute for Mining & Metallurgy
Minerals Council of Australia
Oresome Resources
STEM Australia
South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy
South Australian Resource Information Geoserver

Here are few commonly asked questions:

How many actual jobs are there in mining?
The Australian minerals industry’s rapid growth has led to shortages of skilled professionals, trades people and operators. Despite the current world credit crisis and downturn in the economy, the need for skilled workers remains. In fact, over the next 12 years an additional 86,000 people will be required – over 30% of these will be tradespeople, 30% skilled operators and 10% professionals such as engineers and geologists.

There are limited jobs for unskilled and inexperienced workers.

Want to know more about the many different types of jobs in mining sector? Check the Careers Table for a great collection of roles, plus the training required to do these jobs on a mine site.

Where are the jobs?
Most South Australian job opportunities are located onsite in the Far North of South Australia, where many of the mines are located. However not all mines in South Australia are that far away, you will find mines in the Adelaide Hills, Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula and in the Mid North. Also, all mine sites have a big administration team that are centrally located, usually in Adelaide or the metropolitan area. Check out SA’s mine sites here.

What sort of people are best suited to work in the minerals industry?
While the specific skills required vary from site to site, in general, mining companies look for people who:

  • Have a positive approach to safety;
  • Have a positive, willing attitude and are ready to ‘have a go’;
  • Are in good general physical and mental health;
  • Are willing to relocate or travel to remote sites and work in sometimes harsh conditions;
  • Are ready to learn and gain more skills.
  • Mining operations around Australia have zero drug and alcohol tolerance.

How old do I have to be to enter the industry?
You have to be over 18 to enter a mine site, but companies prefer to employ people who have at least finished Year 12 or an equivalent vocational or university course, especially in the resources or related industries.

How much can I earn?
Industry salaries can range from $40,000 to $260,000+ depending on experience and qualifications. Check out the wage range on the Careers Table.

Are there jobs for girls as well as boys?
Certainly. Mining companies are continually looking for more ways to attract women to work in the industry and to help them balance the pressures of children and family. Women are highly valued members of any team across the entire industry. The principles of equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of race, sex or physical disability apply across the resources sector and companies promote a diverse working environment free from discrimination or harassment.

Are there jobs for people with no experience?
Yes, but these jobs are very limited. You can be lucky and get a break if you live close to a mining operation and/or know someone working in the industry. But it is far better to get some qualifications and experience first. People with a recently acquired first aid certificate (Apply First Aid) and a pre-employment medical examination, give themselves an added advantage.

Where do I get the experience?
Gaining experience in your particular area within the mining/resources sector can sometimes be challenging! We have all been there at the start of our career, wondering how we can get the experience that each job vacancy says we need. Below are some tips about gaining the relevant experience for the mining sector:

  • Vacation/holiday work (this can be very competitive to gain a position within and it is important to note you usually need to apply for these positions in June/July).
  • Working within a like-minded industry which utilises similar skills such as fishing, construction, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • Taking on “off-sider” roles with exploration or drilling companies (especially if you are a geology or engineering graduate).

What qualifications do I need if I am looking for a skilled, trade or operator position?

  • Accredited Certificates – Level III or higher;
  • Heavy vehicle (HR) licence and previous experience operating heavy machinery;
  • General work experience in heavy industry, transport, engineering or building is also useful.

Can I earn some money in my GAP year or on university holidays?
‘Vac Work’ is paid vacation employment for university students. Students from a number of disciplines can apply for Vac Work. If successful, they will not only gain valuable hands-on experience for which they will be paid, but they will also have the chance to build a relationship with a potential employer.