Mining, without doubt, is a booming industry in Australia. The country is the world’s top producer of iron ore, zircon, bauxite, coal, and lithium, and places consistently as a leading source of gold, titanium, diamond, rare earth elements, and various other metals and minerals. Aside from making a mark in the global market, the mining industry also supports the livelihood of a sizeable number of Australians, employing approximately 255,000 persons or around 2.0 percent of the total workforce. More than that, it presents industry workers with median earnings of around AUD 1,950 per week, which is well above the average weekly earnings of full-time workers in the country.
It’s common knowledge that joining the mining sector is a solid step in landing a well-paying job and a rewarding career. Consequently, there’s fierce competition for entry-level mining jobs in many places in the country. However, there are also companies that prefer working with a local workforce. As such, jobseekers who have no field experience behind them would do well to find mining jobs in Perth or in their locality. Among the common entry-level positions they can look into are:
- Labourer – The mining industry is always in need of labourers or trades assistants. Labourers are required to be in perfect shape as their job is physically intensive in nature, one that requires them to lift heavy objects. In addition, they will also be asked to take on general labouring duties, such as welding or maintaining and cleaning mining equipment, by their supervisor. To move up the career ladder, labourers must learn new skills or attend training to take on more jobs specific to the mining industry, like operating machinery.
- Mechanic’s helper – Mining equipment is essential in making the process of excavating, hauling, and loading more efficient. These equipment are subjected to tremendous stresses and maintaining them is an important task in a mining site. It is the job of a mechanic’s helper to support the lead mechanic in carrying out their duties and sticking with the strict schedule of servicing all the equipment used in the site. The job entails doing rote cleaning and maintenance, testing, and possibly carrying out minor repairs while being supervised by the mechanic. A mechanic’s helper can eventually become a trade-qualified mechanic by acquiring experience and more training.
- Driller offsider – A driller offsider is tasked with operating, moving, and setting up drilling rigs that are used for drilling holes. Following the instructions of the driller, the driller offsider can also be tasked with changing drill rods, collecting core samples, cleaning the rig, and any activity to ensure that the drill reaches the number of metres needed for a particular shift. It’s a very physically demanding job. Driller offsiders can become drillers with enough time and training.
- Blast helper – Fulfilling the role of a blast helper is neither an easy task nor is it for the weak of heart. Blast helpers are tasked with loading the explosives into blast holes, assisting with delivery and inventory management, guarding blasts, and performing safety checks as needed. To ensure the safety of the team they are working with, blast helpers need to have a high level of focus and excellent communication skills. Applicants for this job must be willing to work with explosives.
- Field assistant – A field assistant works under the direction of a geologist. This job entails assisting the geologist by taking and delivering samples, monitoring the movement of the rig, and filling out paper works. While the job may have a clerical side, field assistants must also be willing to work in a noisy, dusty, and hot setting, especially when collecting samples.
Aside from field-based work, mining companies also need administrative staff. Jobseekers who wish to see what life’s like in a mining site without necessarily engaging in physically taxing work can apply for positions such as accountants, drivers, cooks, and other jobs that help keep mining sites in tiptop condition. In order to thrive in the industry, however, entry-level workers in and out of the field must have strong mettle, the willingness to learn, and the ability to adjust well in a setting that can be far from the places and faces they are familiar with.