6 tips to cracking an entry level mining job

Looking to break into the mining industry but unsure where to start? Landing your first entry-level mining job can be a daunting task – in this article we’ll provide you with six essential tips to help you increase your chances of success in finding a mining job. Whether you’re a recent graduate, career changer, or simply seeking a new opportunity, these strategies will help you navigate the competitive landscape and kickstart your career in mining. 

What are the minimum requirements/qualifications I need to start work on a mine site?

Not all sites require the same tickets. It is best to check with the company offering the position, and the requirements/qualifications needed for the role, before obtaining further tickets. Site requirements can include vehicle licences, security clearances and medicals:

  • Standard 11 Mining Induction –  The Standard 11  Induction covers the health and safety requirements needed by workers to be inducted onto Queensland Coal and Metalliferous mining sites. The course meets all the requirements for Recognised Standard 11 training set by the Queensland Mining Safety Inspectorate. Learn more about the Standard 11 course.
  • Vehicle licences – Most mine sites require you to hold a current Australian manual driver’s licence. You will need to check whether this is a requirement of the role.
  • Heavy Rigid (HR) licence – Check first whether this is a required qualification of the role before committing to the costs of obtaining this licence.
  • Security clearances – Some mine sites will have different pre-employment security measures based on the type of mineral they are mining and their location in Australia. Throughout Australia, most mine sites will require the applicant to have a National Police Certificate (NPC), and other state-based security checks.
  • Medical Requirements – Pre-Employment Medical and other requirements are conducted upon successful job offer. All candidates are to fulfil site medical requirements before they are allowed to work on a mine site. The pre-employment Drug & Alcohol Screen must be completed within 14 days of arriving at the mine site. If the result is older than 14 days, you will be required to perform the screen again.
  • Pre-Employment Medical – The Pre-Employment Medical consists of questions that determine your medical condition and fitness to undertake the duties of the role. You will be required to answer questions about your lifestyle, physical condition, personal health history, previous employment history, age, weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate. A current photo ID must be presented to the clinic.
  • Drug & Alcohol Screen – All sites require you to pass a screen before you are accepted to the go-to site. While on-site, this screen is conducted randomly regularly. The Drug & Alcohol Screen is supervised at all times by medical staff.
  • Audio Test – An Audio test will provide an accurate assessment of hearing and hearing loss, to assist in determining your fitness to perform the duties of the role. A period of 16 hours of quiet time (free from noisy work sites, light plane travel, loud stereo use etc) is recommended to provide an accurate result.
  • Lung Function Test (Spirometry) – A Spirometry assessment gives an estimate of your lung function and capacity. It may determine if respiratory issues (such as asthma) or lifestyle factors (such as smoking) need to be addressed.
  • Musculoskeletal Assessment / Fitness Test – This assessment examines your full range of movement, strength and physical capacity. You will be required to provide information on existing or pre-existing injuries.

Please note that with Pre-Employment Medical Results and Drug/Alcohol Screens the results are only considered valid for a certain period before they are not considered current. Therefore, we strongly suggest finding out site requirements before organizing any tests to be done. The most common situation is that once you have been offered a position you are then required to complete the Medicals and Drug/Alcohol Screen – the results of which are used as confirmation of suitability for the role and ability to work. Completing these tests before seeking a job does not guarantee that you will be offered a role, so the information provided is based on educating you on what is expected of you.

1. Build A Strong Resume

Building a strong resumé can provide you with an edge over other candidates applying for the same job. A strong resume is inclusive of career objectives, educational details, skills, extracurricular activities, and work experience. Therefore, making resumes with the given details can be instrumental in landing a mining job.

Seeking a job does not guarantee that you will be offered a role, so the information provided is on the basis of educating you on what is expected of you.

2. Search Online

Offline mediums are limited and don’t offer a variety to find jobs. Online search offers a wide range of options and filters to search for a job profile and location that suits you the best. With different options, you can relatively compare jobs offered by companies, the type of work, the area, and of course the daily wage. Therefore, searching online can garner you the best job offer.

3. Develop Contacts

Developing contacts can be an added advantage. Finding the right people in the industry can help you approach the concerned authority directly. Mining jobs are mostly contractual, and some agencies specifically provide indentured labour. Therefore, approaching people working with these agencies that provide these services can improve your chances of getting the job.

Mining has been carried out over a long period. With the increase in population, the demand for resources has soared. The demand for gold, coal, diamonds, and iron ore has led to an increase in mining activities worldwide. To cater to the increase in demand, governments are undertaking mining activities on their own, as well as leasing mining sites to private players. With both public and private sectors participating in the activities, there is an increase in the number of job opportunities. Therefore, it has opened up opportunities in entry-level as well as specialist roles in the mining industry.

4. Getting your foot in the door with an entry-level position

It is difficult to place entry-level people into the mining industry as clients need experienced employees who are ready to hit the ground running. If possible you can look at relocating to one of the regional mining centres such as the Bowen Basin, Kalgoorlie or the Hunter Valley to grasp such opportunities, rather than trying to get a fly-in fly-out position from a capital city at the outset.

5. Graduates/Work Experience

Occasionally there are graduate positions available; however larger mining companies usually have a graduate program set up with a certain amount of places available. Work experience in your chosen field during the study is often a good way to get a foot in the door and again, companies set up their programs for these types of roles. We would recommend getting in touch with companies that you are interested in early as these programs can be competitive and places highly sought after.

6. Would you consider going into an underground mining job?

Now, this is a crucial question as it’s great to think about right now. As the competition heats up, people who want a mining job with no experience generally want to work above ground in an open-cut environment.

If you can handle working underground, it’s a good starting point, so start checking out exactly what you need to break into an underground mining job; as getting an underground mining job is significantly easier. One suggestion Civil Safety does recommend is doing an underground mining unit as an add on to our Standard 11 Mining Induction. Having underground mining experience will help you when it’s time to come to work up top.

It is common knowledge that not many people want to go underground, so if you are prepared to do the hard yards for a little while, you will significantly increase your chances of landing yourself a great mining job above ground.

Many people expect to walk straight into a mining job and this simply is an unrealistic goal. However – if you are ready and mentally prepared to go above and beyond and dedicate your energy and time to follow some of these tips – your chances of breaking into a mining job without experience will pay off!


Start at the bottom

This last point is very important.

Don’t aim too high at the beginning. You may have to start off working in a cleaning job or as a kitchen hand or housekeeper. Search online for mining catering jobs, trainee mining jobs, cleaning jobs in the mines, administration work, labouring work in the mines, downer jobs, etc etc.

Be determined to put yourself out there to get to know everybody and anybody – it can open doors you never dreamed of. By meeting people, you get to understand the culture, the language, and the names of things.

The people you meet get to know your name and the type of person you are. Just like the term, social media allows people you trust to recommend things to you, it’s the same when meeting people face-to-face. People recommend other people they like and trust, so it could be that your details are passed on to recruitment agencies and/or managers who are looking for people just like you.

Remember this! – when recruiters place ads on the internet, they’re desperate to find the right workers, because within the business they are advertising, there are NO people available who can do the job. It’s not easy finding new employees. Get out there, meet some people, smile, buy them a beer or two and have a chat.

That’s the proven way to get a job in the mines.



Next steps – enrol in one of our mining courses!

We offer a variety of mining courses from entry level right up to supervisors level:

Standard 11 Mining Induction (the very first course you should complete if you are new to mining).

G189 Mining Supervisor

View All Mining Courses

For more information about these courses please call us on 1300 CIVIL S or via email at info@civilsafety.edu.au