WA mining job prospects
There are more mine jobs in Western Australia than in any other State operating mines. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms that out of the 69,100 new mining jobs created over the year ending April 2012, seventy per cent of these were in Western Australia.
You don’t have to be a miner to get a job in mining. Cleaners, security guards, cooks, IT professionals, engineers, metallurgists, nurses, hydrologists, health workers, mechanics, electricians and truck drivers can get a well paid job working for a mining company or contractor. Unskilled workers, those who have not had any formal training, are also in high demand for unskilled jobs in mines or to undertake training programs.
Rio Tinto has just launched a new recruitment drive and BHP-Billiton’s Olympic Dam mining project alone is expected to require 6,000 mining construction workers, 4,000 ongoing mining jobs and an estimated 15,000 indirect support jobs.
According to WESTjobs, a recruitment specialist for the WA mining market, unskilled workers can earn $1,200 to $2,000 a week. In fact, the average salary in the mining industry is $90,000 a year. Tradesmen are also paid well above their non-mining counterparts. Many apprentices earn up to $3,000 a week if they are working on site. As for the heavy machine operators, the money is very decent indeed. Once training has been completed, a haul truck driver can expect an annual salary of $90,000 to $120,000, depending on the roster and the mine site.
While the earning potential is lucrative, regardless of your job, the isolation of working on the remote mining sites is a significant factor to consider. Plus, the work is not an easy ride. The hours are long, and the work is hard. Workers are rewarded for enduring these conditions.
Age no barrier
Training company Industry Pathways reveals that approximately 40 per cent of trainees are female, with a surprising number of male partners becoming stay at home dads. Also age is no barrier, as employers value a clear head, and solid training when machinery worth many millions of dollars is being handled. In addition, if candidates need more experience before venturing into the mining sector, there are many civil opportunities in the traditional construction fields. Reports from graduates of training courses indicates that over 40% are employed within three months of completing their training, which compares favourably with traditional roles.
And his advice? “ Don’t give up, it hasn’t even started”.
Will it last?
According to statistics from the Western Australian government, an additional 500,000 skilled jobs will need to be filled in the next ten years to support the mining industry.
So, if all things go to plan, the mining boom and the jobs that go with it are going to remain a significant part of the Australian, and especially the Western Australian, economy for many years to come.