6 Steps to chase down entry level mining jobs

When chasing down entry level mining jobs, the best advice I have ever heard or got was to, go where the employers have no choice but to hire entry level people and give the employers what they want. You can use these 6 steps to chase down entry level mining jobs.

  1. Research who has to hire new starters and where are the entry level mining jobs located

  2. What qualifications do I need for entry level mining jobs

  3. Resume – it needs to get the employers attention

  4. Applying for entry level mining jobs, keep going don’t stop

  5. Interviews – what the employers want to hear

  6. On the job, becoming a safe and productive member of the crew

Step One, Research Entry Level Mining Jobs

This is where a lot of people go wrong with the research. You have to know what the employers want. Not what you think the employers want for their entry level mining jobs. Each area of the industry uses a different standard (Hardrock, Coal QLD, Coal NSW, Oil&Gas, Shutdown or Construction), it’s not a one size fits all system. This means you have to take a different approach for each area you are trying to get into. The media are totally lost with all this. They just don’t understand that what works in one area doesn’t work in the others. It can actually hurts your chances if you send your resume to an employer full of tickets that they can’t use. The best way to see what the employers want is to look at their job ads. You can go straight to the source by typing “underground”, “surface” and “exploration” into seek and see for yourself.

For the “underground” search, you are looking for the underground crew jobs. Which pay from $80K to over $300K a year, depending on company and roster. The entry level mining jobs are Nipper, Truck Operator, Diamond Driller Offsider and Agi Operator. These jobs on a 2&1 roster start on around $100K a year. An even time roster (week on week off), sees most starting on $80K a year with lots of overtime shifts available if you want it.

Step Two, Qualifications

As you can see when you look at the different job ads, it depends on the area of the industry to what the employers want. It will also depend on which area of the industry you go into as how long your job will last. Below is an honest ad for dump truck drivers on an iron ore site. The job is only a maximum of 2 years because they are sending all their truck driverless. Driverless truck are only being rolled out on strip mines (coal and iron ore). These mines use exclusions zones as required.

When you look at the crew job ads for “underground”, you will see that none of the employers want RII tickets or formal qualifications. They want a manual car license, be able to pass a medical including a drug and alcohol test, a police clearance and experience. The experience the employers want out of someone with 6 months time in the job, is to know how the mine works and what is going to be expect of them on site. Teaching someone to drive the truck is the easy bit, teaching them how the mine works so you can leave them alone, to get on with the job, is the hard part. When you can show the employers you know how their mine works, then you have something to offer them.

Step Three, Resume Entry Level Mining Jobs

If you are new to the industry, then whatever you think is going to get you the job, should be on page one of your resume. The people that actually decide who gets hired, are very time poor. Hiring new starters isn’t their most important task, for most it doesn’t even make the top ten. I like to tell people you have 6 seconds to impress, otherwise they will move onto the next one.

How can you get their attention? Show them you know how there mine works, that you know the terms and language used. That you know what is going to be expected of you on site. This is how you can impress the employers. 

Step Four, Applying for Entry Level Mining Jobs

When you start applying for jobs you need to apply every day. I tell people to set aside 20 minutes a day to apply. You need to apply to every job that comes up, even if it is from the same employer that you have already applied to. Mining HR departments can be run a little bit differently, with a person or small group being responsible for working with one mine only. This means that your resume will only go to that job on that mine, instead of being shared around to all the sites.

Some companies do share the resumes around but in my experience, people get the best results when they apply for every job that comes up.

Step Five Interviews

The most important things an employer wants to hear from a new starter in the interview is that they know what they are getting themselves into. That they are ready for what is about to be thrown at them. The best way to do this is to show them you know how the employers mine works. Being able to answer their mining questions in the interview does that. When you can answer the basic mining question in an interview it’s a game changer.

One of the things about the industry that isn’t well reported, is the high turnover of new starters. This is down to people not understanding what is involved with the job. It’s a fast paced industry, that is forced into using sink or swim training systems, for their new starters. On some sites it can be as high as 60% of the new starters fail in the first 6 months.

Step Six On the Job

Once you get the job, now the hard work begins. I know people don’t like hearing this but it’s true. To “make it” you have to survive the sink or swim training and get past six months in the job. If you don’t do more than 6 months in your first job, you will struggle to get another one. In hardrock underground, the people that do the hiring are reluctant to hire someone that couldn’t do at least 6months in their first job. They see it as buying into failure (no matter what the reason).

If you have just started looking then there are lots of entry level mining jobs going on Hardrock gold, nickel, copper, zinc, lithium and other base metal mines all around Australia. You can improve your chances by getting your mining knowledge up to speed using one of the Underground Training packages (DIY Introduction to underground mining or Workready)

The training is not a magic bullet, you need to spend the time studying and applying for jobs to make it work. Lots of people have made it work for themselves and you can see this on our Wall of Fame page. If you would like to talk to someone about how to get a start in the mining industry then you can leave your details in this link. Good luck to everyone, hope you get the start you are chasing soon.


The Mining Coach