Mining, Energy & Utilities

Miner

Miners excavate minerals, rocks and other materials using specialist equipment in either underground or open-cut mines.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship or traineeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Miner do?

Miners excavate minerals, rocks and other materials using specialist equipment in either underground or open-cut mines.

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Work activities

As a miner, you would:

  • use specialist machinery to drill and blast into rock to create underground tunnels
  • remove top soil to expose coal or ore in open cut mines
  • extract coal or ore by drilling, blasting or excavating
  • load mined materials onto trucks or other means of transportation
  • drive large trucks to transport coal and ore out of mines
  • instal and maintain reinforcing, lighting, cabling, pumps and air vents
  • use heavy machinery such as excavators and cranes
  • set and detonate explosives
  • use specialist processing equipment such as stone graders
  • maintenance equipment and vehicles
  • always work with a high regard for safety.
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Key skills and interests

To become a miner, you would need:

  • excellent physical stamina
  • practical and mechanical skills
  • a thorough knowledge of health and safety regulations
  • teamwork skills
  • numeracy
  • the ability to follow spoken and written instructions.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most mines are in remote locations and so operate a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) system. You would fly-in to the mine site, work for several weeks and fly-out. During your time on site you would work on a shift pattern.

Conditions

Miners must be prepared to live away from home for long periods. The work would be physically demanding, in tough and potentially dangerous conditions. Mining environments may be cramped, noisy, dusty and dark and you would work in all temperatures. You may be required to have a specialist driving or machinery operating licence.

Appropriate safety equipment and clothing must be worn on site. Mine sites have a strict policy against drugs or alcohol on site.

As more mining processes become automated, miners are increasingly working in control rooms where they control and monitor mining machinery, which often results in a safer and more comfortable environment.

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How to become an Miner?

Entry Level Education

To become a miner you usually have to complete a traineeship in Surface Extraction Operations, Underground Coal Mining, Underground Coal Operations, Underground Metalliferous Mining or Small Mining Operations. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

The mining industry is facing challenging economic conditions, and employment of miners is projected to decline.

Demand for mining is dependent on the level of activity in the mining industry. The mining industry in Australia has been experiencing a downturn in recent years, and this in turn will lead to less demand for miners. However, this is an occupation with high turnover, because of the challenging conditions, so there are usually always good numbers of roles available.

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