You need to do everything you can to put yourself at the front of the queue for entry level mining jobs – no matter who you are or what type of job you want to do. Many people started their mining careers working in basic jobs like housekeeping or in the kitchens, but they stuck it out, made the right contacts and are now driving big haul trucks and living the dream.
Here are some of the most common ways to get an entry level mining job.
Look out for the following when searching for entry level mining jobs.
At iMINCO, we know how hard it is to land entry level mining jobs.
First up we suggest ‘cleanskins’ or newbies to the mining industry look out for trades assistant, shutown work, or support service staff jobs including cleaners and or kitchen hand roles at the mine site you want to work at.
“Start at the ground floor”
Starting at the ground floor, networking with everybody and getting to know about the culture of working on the mines, is the best way to break into entry level mining jobs.
Think about it seriously from an employer’s perspective. If an employer has the choice between someone who is so super-keen to start working and someone who does not have the following;
- moved to the mine and immersed themselves in the remote lifestyle of the mine from the ground up; and
- they are qualified and job ready with a mine site induction, a Coal Board Medical ...*Coal Board Medical* and have relevant tickets
…who would get the interview and possibly the job?
With the expense outlay to train new staff (many who leave within a few short months) – who is the bigger gamble? A complete newbie is less likely to land an entry level mining job, because they never bothered to invest in mine site safety training. This industry is very competitive because you can earn a good chop in the mines – more and more people are willing to go the extra mile to grab entry level mining jobs… so you need think like a wolf.
Entry level mining jobs include:
- Field Assistant
- Service Administrator
- Catering Assistant (kitchenhand)
- Bus Driver
- Security Officer
- Trades Assistant
- Workshop Administrator
- Light Machinery Operator
- Administration or Office Assistant
- Data Entry Operator
- Customer Service Officer
- Site Clerk
- Any many many more.
To qualify for these types of entry level mining jobs it is suggested you have a strong work ethic, strong communication, literacy, numeracy and technology skills.
A strong work ethic & strong communication skills are highly regarded
It can be easier to land entry level mining jobs if you live close to a mining operation (however there is no guarantee). If you have manual labour or trade experience, or if you’re experienced in handling heavy industrial machinery or have relevant civil experience that you can draw upon, this can also be a huge advantage on landing entry level mining jobs.
The lingo – Types of Entry Level Mining Jobs
– FIFO (fly in fly out)
– BIBO (bus in bus out)
– BIBO (boat in boat out)
– DIDO (drive in drive out)
Rosters for entry-level mining jobs
Typically, rosters for entry level mining jobs are: 2 weeks on and 1 week off, or 7 days on 7 off, or 3 days on 2 off. Realistically the ideal shift is a 3 week on 3 week off type scenario ““ this is seen as the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me however entry level jobs in the mines are typically given the shifts at the bottom of the heap. If you can prove your worth, hang in there for a few stints and you will adapt and move up the pecking order.
“Hang in there for a few stints and you will adapt”
Most jobs in the mines are set in remote areas with “dongas” or mining specialist accommodation where you can be living on top of other people. Often this is so different from your usual comfy home ““ and can be challenging to adjust to, with long days and little sleep.
Donga`s can be single or shared cabins set close to the mine, so be prepared for close quarters and communal living. Living onsite in the mines, you really get to know someone – warts and all! Most mine-site facilities include rooms with TV`s (with Foxtel), bar fridge, air conditioning, internet, en-suite shower and toilet.
Adult Apprenticeships Opportunities
Mining apprenticeships and mining traineeships are a fantastic way to gain entry level jobs in the mines. Like any other type of apprenticeship, it provides a win-win situation (where both you and the company are financially rewarded to train and learn.
Open to graduates, those re-entering the workforce or simply for people wanting a change of career, it`s an ideal backdrop to gain experience working in the mines, whilst earning a nationally recognised qualification. This will look good for any potential employee looking to recruit for their next stint of entry level mining jobs.
“Fast-tracked adult apprenticeships should be on your radar”
Many QLD mining companies will be the first in the country to trial fast-tracked adult apprenticeships. Many mining companies will also be able to apply for grants from a new $200 million government fund to pay for training.
Most of these opportunities are offered directly through the company ““ so start checking out the websites of Rio Tinto, BHP, Bechtel, Fortescue etc etc which may be advertised on their website, or many are offered through Apprenticeships Australia.
Students and graduates
Many mining companies in Australia seek out students and graduates for holiday work placements or internships ““ with paid entry level jobs in the mines on offer each year during the uni summer holiday period ““ which is quite long!
Keep an eye out for these types of opportunities in July and October or better still jump on the phones and check with mining companies in the area you wish to gain internships/ graduate work experience.
“Students and graduates will be considered for many types of entry level mining jobs”
These mining internships are offered usually on an annual basis and depend on the operational demands of the mine. They provide an invaluable platform to seamlessly transition from your study into an entry level job in the mines, as you have been mentored into the culture from the ground up.
Employers will know you have gained experience with site rotations, the remote lifestyle, on-site inductions and OHS and it is also fantastic to network and establish some great mining connections.
Students and graduates will be considered for many types of entry level mining jobs including engineering assistants, law, accounting, science field work and surveying, as well as IT, HR, OH&S, business support and many other types of roles ““ depending on the specific requirements ““ with tasks and needs changing all the time.
Entry level mining jobs are quite often taken by those who are undertaking apprenticeships or paid graduate internships.
Have you looked into what mining courses you can do?
Read part 3 in the series: Entry level mining jobs – Top Tips for Landing Entry Level Mining Jobs