Australia is a lucky country in terms of its supply of natural resources such as coal and iron ore, which are exported to various countries all over the world. The mining industry has been a popular and lucrative career path for Australians for decades. Working in the mines has now become a relatively flexible and family-friendly work choice due to the introduction of fortnightly fly in-fly out / FIFO options for employees rather than them residing at the mining site for extended periods of time. A career in mining can be quite competitive and requires prospective candidates to have specialised skills and qualifications to help them stand out from the crowd. Let’s look further into the skills and training required to work in the mining industry.
Though mining is known to be a physically demanding job, it does entail having quite a few technical and ‘soft’ skills as well. Miners and mining engineers need to have good technical skills to be able to operate machinery and equipment safely and accurately. They also need to have a solid understanding of occupational health and safety practices and implement them consistently as they are working in high-risk and sometimes hazardous areas. In terms of physical fitness and capacity, having strong steady hands, manual dexterity and strong vision and hearing can go a long way in ensuring miners can do the job. Having a strong presence of mind, problem-solving and decision-making skills are also a must as a major part of the role of a miner is anticipating and assessing risks & finding solutions to alleviate risk.
The basic qualification required to get a foot into the mining industry is an apprenticeship in either underground metalliferous mining or underground metalliferous mining operations. The industry has several roles and career paths on offer that entail specific sets of skills and accredited qualifications. If you do not have the right qualifications but would like to get a foot into the mining industry, you can choose to undertake entry level roles such as machinery operator, geophysical assistant and mechanical and machinery helpers. Semi-professional roles such as technicians, foremen, safety officers and warehouse supervisors require a 2 – 4 year college diploma. Managers, engineers and more specialised roles in the industry require a relevant university degree. Skilled training courses are offered by a variety of accredited colleges and TAFE institutes in roles such as dogmen, riggers, scaffolders, fitters, welders, site supervisors, logistics coordinators, machinery operators and health and safety officers.
To look further into courses and qualifications in the mining industry taught by a reputed and accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that offers a variety of flexible learning and assessment opportunities, contact Star Training and Assessing.