How To Find Mining Jobs In Australia
"Mine jobs in Australia have always been sought after
because even entry level jobs in mines pay very well."
Mining jobs in Australia have always been sought after because even the unskilled jobs pay very well. And some of those unskilled and entry level jobs are also available for travellers with working visas.
This page was originally written for travellers looking for short term work. However, the topic also proved extremely popular with Aussies and New Zealanders looking for more permanent work in mining.
If you are looking for a permanent job in the mines, please see this new page on finding unskilled mining jobs in Western Australia.
(It is not easy to get a job in the mines with no experience. If this is your first mining job, WA is by far the best place to get started. But the info on that page applies to the other states as well.)
Never has it been as easy as in recent years to get a foot in the door. The mining boom in Western Australia means thousands and thousands of jobs exist. And because the mining industry has such a high personnel turnover rate there are always open positions.
Just jump online and do a search and you will find dozens of big recruitment agencies offering to find you a mining job.
In the Western Australian mining industry there were at times more recruiters competing for workers than there were workers competing for jobs...
However, when looking for Australian mining jobs you need to be realistic: really well paid employment in Australian mining is available only for skilled and experienced people, and unless you have a relevant trade or qualification AND some industrial experience it's not that easy to get those mine jobs. (Though it's certainly possible.)
Still, there are mining jobs in Australia for people without a relevant background.
Most mining companies use labour hire providers and sub contractors. Sometimes this is to fill temporary positions, sometimes to "try out" applicants for permanent positions and in some employment areas all staff are employed by sub contractors.
Even if you have no experience at all you can often get work as a fire watcher or confined space watcher on scheduled maintenance shut downs, or you may be able to talk your way into a few days or weeks work as a trades assistant.
Some Australian mine sites require that you have certain tickets or qualifications (most common requirements are MARCSTA and MWHS-Mine Worker Health Surveillance), but there are also many that don't require anything above their own site specific safety induction.
What you need almost everywhere is a police clearance, and you need to pass alcohol and drug screening.
I work for a labour hire providers myself, on a casual basis, at the Argyle Diamond Mine in the Kimberley. (The photo above shows the process plant, and the yellow thing in the bottom right corner is the little crane I was driving.)
On shut downs we often had travellers come in for a few days to give a hand and to do the fire watching/confined space observing. Some are Australians on a one or two year around-the-continent trip, others come from the UK, Germany, anywhere.
And they tell me they finance their travels with mining jobs. They find out the shut down dates for the mines, find out who the recruiters/labour hire agencies are, and give them a call.
For overseas travellers such a mining job in Australia is a great experience. Hey, other tourists pay for a tour across that diamond mine.
You get paid very well to watch people work. (Because that's all fire watchers and confined space observers do, they make sure the welders don't cause fires with their sparks, and they watch the gas monitors that measure the air when someone needs to work inside a tank or similar.)
On top of good wages you usually also get paid for your trip to the mine (a lot of them are well out of the way in the middle of nowhere, they'll fly or drive you there), and all meals and accommodation are provided for the duration of the job.
Do you have any tips or experiences to share?
Tell your story or help others by answering a question here:
Australia Travel and Work - Finding Work in Australia.
How To Find Mining Jobs In Australia
(If you are looking for a career in mining best go here. The information below is more for travellers looking for casual work.)
As I mentioned above, there is a lot of competition among the recruitment agencies, but I don't find those big established agencies all that useful when it comes to finding the short term casual jobs.
Get a newspaper and look through the classified job listings (e.g. in The West Australian), that turns up better ads. What you are looking for are not the mining companies or big recruiters, but the local labour hire contractors.
(Sorry, I had several really helpful links with the above few paragraphs, but the WA government has removed all those pages and not replaced them with anything useful. What they do offer now instead is this little free booklet (PDF) about employment opportunities, and that lists some resources that you can use in your search.)
As always, talking to the locals is the best way to find out what's going on where. All the way from Darwin in the Northern Territory, across the Kimberley and Pilbara, the Gascoyne and the Goldfields and then down to Perth you have mines, oil and gas fields, offering jobs in mining, process, maintenance and also in exploration and construction.
Some days it feels like everybody here is working for some mining company. So all you have to do is talk to the people around you, and they'll point you in the right direction soon enough.
(The resource I recommend on this page was written for people looking for a permanent job but it is very useful for anybody looking for a mining job in Australia.)