What do I need to get a Mining Job?
It’s a question that I see everywhere these days on social media, and its not a straight forward question to answer. I have been involved with mining for over 25 years and every area of the industry has its own different standards, that you will need to understand for yourself if you want to get a job.
As an example, if you look at the Hardrock Underground area of the industry (this is the area I come from) Gold, Silver, Nickel, Copper, Lead, Zinc, Lithium etc, basically all the stuff that’s going into these new batteries. The entry level jobs are Nipper, Truck, Offsider and Service Crew. Just type Underground into Seek and you will see all the jobs come up (checkout the link to my Job Hunt Videos). You only need a manual car license you don’t need any equipment tickets, as all the employers have to issue their own onsite equipment tickets and procedures. You will need a one day working at heights, first aid and police clearance, you will also need to pass a medical that the employer will put you though.
If you want to work in a Hardrock surface mine you may need a HR license if the site you are on has a gazetted road running through it. Otherwise, it’s the same as the Hardrock Underground, all the employers have to issue their own onsite equipment tickets and procedures to prove that they have trained you.
They changed the rules after I started (1995) in WA, to make the owners of the mines responsible for everyone on site, to improve safety (to stop killing people). The employers have to be able to prove that they have trained everyone on their site, that’s why they issue their own equipment tickets and procedures. It is a pain having to redo everything, every time you move jobs (it can take a couple of weeks to do when you get to a new site) but it has made a huge improvement in safety over the years that I have been involved in the industry. It really has been a huge improvement, to the point that none of the mines departments around the country will be changing the rules any time soon.
Now the questions I normally get asked at this point is “what about shutdown work? How come they use tickets?
So, when the owner of the mine brings in a shutdown crew to work on the Mill or whatever on site, they suspend mining activities in that area of the mine. Some states require you to notify the mines department, while some only require you fill out your own paperwork saying it is happening. This means that area reverts back to a normal work place (with the lower standards) this allows the shutdown workers to use their tickets and not go through the 2-3 weeks of inductions, equipment tickets and procedures required when mining is active.
Do the Coal mines use the same standards?
No, Queensland uses its own standards, which include the RII national ticket system and the S11. Just to be clear, the S11 is not a national required induction, it’s only for Coal and only in Queensland (you don’t need one to work in Hardrock in QLD). NSW coal has its own state inductions and rules that they require to work in the NSW coal mines. The best way to find out this information (for any of the areas of the industry) is to look at the job ads. This leads to the last questions everyone asks.
How do I get a mining job?
The best advice I ever got to answer this question is,
Go where the employers have no choice but to hire new starters and then give them what they want.
It’s easy, simple advice but it works, at the moment it’s the Hardrock Underground and Surface Exploration employers that HAVE to hire new starters, they have no choice. They need bums in seats.
What do the employers want? Someone that they can throw in the deep end, someone that knows how their mine works. You see, in an underground mine teaching someone how to drive the underground truck is the easy part, teaching them enough about how the mine works, so they can be left alone in the truck, to drive the truck on their own, that’s the hard part and why there is a high turnover of new starters. This means if you can show them that you know how their mine works then you have something to offer.
That’s how to get a job.
The link to the DIY introduction to underground mining training package, there are full instructions on how to redo your resume (it takes about 2 hours to do yourself) and interview prep questions as well as a mining company to apply to directly.
If you want help getting in, we also do a Workready package, where you get a ticketed WA shift boss to help you with the mining information, redo your resume, interview prep and come up with a plan of where and how to get in.
If you have any question about the industry then I’m happy to answer them.
I hope this information helps.
The Mining Coach