Search Advice
Career Advice » Job Hunting Strategy» Employment News » How to get a job in the mini ...
How to get a job in the mining industry

How to get a job in the mining industry

By Cara Jenkin

Thousands of jobs are reportedly up for grabs in the state's resources boom but how to go about getting one eludes many workers.

Industry leaders advise there is no simple answer but it will take time and some effort to get there.

They say most of the jobs are not with the major mining companies but contractors and supply firms.

It also means not all mining jobs will require workers to live in rural areas.

But with most mines located outside the metropolitan area, and in particular BHP Billiton preferring most of its workforce to be based near its Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs, many employment opportunities will be in regional areas.

Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance chief executive Phil de Courcey says workers first need the right attitude as many mining operations require workers to work in risky environments and adhere to strict drug and alcohol-free policies along with other occupational health and safety criteria.

"There's not a big demand for people in the industry that you can just turn up at a mining company and get a job. They are looking for people with that culture and experience,'' he says.

"There's no doorway you can go and just open and get a job. It can be a bit of a process.

"It does require a bit of research.'' He says job hunters must talk to people in the industry about what is required and research away from the internet.

South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy chief executive Jason Kuchel urges many workers to study to some extent, to hone the skills they need and be more attractive prospects to have more success at landing work.

"Just because someone is driving B-double trucks doesn't mean they have got the skills to drive a mining truck,'' he says.

"It doesn't mean they can't but it means they have to do some training or retrain themselves for that type of role.''

He says workers, including school students, have time to study from scratch and not enter the mining workforce for several years as they can be employed in operation phases of mines.

Resources executive recruiters WPM Consulting managing director Ben Wilson says workers at the top of their fields need to be well connected and involved in networks and industry associations and bodies to have the best chance of securing work.

"There are limited opportunities at the moment because the state's industry is largely in exploration mode and will need skilled workers for operational mode,'' he says.

"So staff will have to consider going elsewhere, either interstate or overseas, for a couple of years to get operational experience.''

But there still can be opportunities for executives not already in the mining or oil and gas sector if they are willing to work their way into the field.

Smaller companies, in particular, may need to consider workers with corporate governance skills to transition into the sector.

"They may be coming out of industries like defence, with other industry skills that aren't exactly what they want,'' Mr Wilson says.

"They wouldn't have (hired them) two years ago.

"There's going to be a massive skill shortage and there will be an opportunity for people to upskill in these types of areas.''

Mr de Courcey says job hunters can find industry-specific information on jobs and skill requirements through internet searches.

Workers also can enter their skills or qualifications into search engines at to find jobs suitable to them.

Registered job hunters with Job Services Australia can get information about current vacancies, the skills mining employers want, which employers are hiring and cadet programs which can give workers skills while on the job.

Many mining and contractor companies can be approached direct but Mr de Courcey advises asking what skills or people they are looking for, rather than asking what jobs are available.

"For entry-level positions, it's not hard (for companies) to get applications,'' he says. "To differentiate yourself, you need to look at how you get the skills that are going to be beneficial to these companies.''


For those coming out of school, completing the right trade qualification or professional qualification is "absolutely critical'', SACOME chief executive Jason Kuchel says. "For uni students, when you get to the end of the first or second year of any degree, think about if it's really what you want to do and what the job opportunities will be,'' he says.

If the degree is not working out or will have limited opportunities, students may want to transfer into a mining-related course. Securing an apprenticeship should be the priority for those wanting to be involved in a trade mining job.


RESA chief executive Phil de Courcey says entry-level staff need to get a job for a small organisation or in a similar field before trying to break into a major mining company.

"Work for a civil construction organisation and get a ticket to work a front-end loader or a heavy rigid licence,'' he says.

Armed with experience and relevant machinery tickets, entry level workers will be more employable.


Qualified tradespeople can apply for positions with major companies as well as contractors and supply firms.

Approach human resource professionals and companies and ask what skills and qualities they look for in staff and be able to tick all the boxes before applying.


Workers looking to change jobs must consider upskilling, including returning to TAFE and university, to make their skills more valuable. SACOME chief executive Jason Kuchel says updating knowledge so skills are relevant to the mining sector can be useful to be employed.


WPM Consulting managing director Ben Wilson says many executives will need to work in the mining industry to secure other mining work. He says often they will have to relocate interstate or overseas to get the required skills so they can return to SA

Article from The Advertiser, May 2011.

Latest Jobs

Healthcare Australia
Posted: 10/01/2016
Perth, WA, 6000
Healthcare Australia
Posted: 10/01/2016
Applecross, WA, 6153
Love Property Wealth
Posted: 10/01/2016
Newcastle, NSW, 2300

Want more personalised results?  Update Your Profile



Preparing for an interview
Follow these techniques which will not just
cool an applicant's nerves, but help dazzle the
selection panel.


How to negotiate for your pay rise
Having that discussion is never an easy task
however knowing what needs to be done helps
in making the process easy.


And the most sought-after skills are...
Hiring in many sectors is back to pre-GFC
levels leaving many employers "bracing for a
skills shortage".


Alt text
We have seen the recruitment market improve,
with online job listings growing by over 33 per
cent over the previous year.


Ten tips to hire the right candidate
You need to ask the right questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business.


Toolkit for employers
Our resource centre will you keep you informed on the latest industry trends and help you manage your workforce.


Advance your career
Higher education, vocational education and professional development.
Email me jobs
Save a customised job search and get new job alerts sent to your inbox.
High impact resume
Want a professional, keyword-rich resumes crafted by the experts?
Post your resume
Upload your resume for free and let employers come to you.
Job Seeker's Toolkit
All the tools and advice you need to start your job hunt.
Career Advice
Browse more than 20 specialised sections to get ahead in your career.
Create a Cover Letter
A cover letter is the best way to put a face on your resume.

>>More Career Advice


Post a job
Post your job in minutes. It's simple and affordable from $170.
Bundled Offers
Find the offer that's right for your business.
Resume Database
Access thousands of qualified candidates.
Optimise your ad
How to enhance the performance of your job posting.
Online Tutorials
Need help to post your job? See our online demonstations.
Resource Centre
Workforce management advice, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Employer Toolkit
Most popular material for employers to get you started.

>>More Employer Advice


Interact with us, have your say or just get helpful career advice.
Watch our career advice videos and TV commercials.
Follow us to receive the latest employment and industry news.
Twitter InspireMe
Receive a dose of inspiration to start each working day.
Personality Profiler
Do the test to find out your personality and work style.
CareerOne iPhone app
Now you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.
Blog: Cube Farmer
Kate Southam gets to grips with the highs and lows of work.


Jobs and Career Resources
Find Jobs and Explore Career Resources
Company Profiles
Research companies, view company profiles and find thousands of recruiters.
Advance your career with higher education, vocational education and professional development.
What's new?
Take advantage of the new and improved features and functionality of our website.
Security Centre
Expert advice on avoiding online fraud.
Read our help topics, privacy policy and FAQs.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About CareerOne | Work for CareerOne | Partner with Us | Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Centre | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2016 CareerOne - All Rights Reserved Australia.
- V: 2016.20.0.143-308