How to become a Miner

Miners operate equipment to excavate, load and transport coal, ore, mineral sand and rock, either underground or in open-cut mines.

Personal requirements of a Miner

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Aptitude for mechanical equipment operation
  • Able to tolerate physically demanding work, including shiftwork
  • Willing to work in accordance with occupational health and safety rules
  • Meet age restrictions, if applicable

Education & Training for a Miner

To become a miner you usually have to complete a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. You can also become a miner through a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Miner

Miners: • cut drives into the ore body using specialist equipment • extract coal or ore by drilling, blasting or excavating • load ore into mine cars, trucks or conveyors for transport to the stockpile or mine surface • undertake development work such as opening up new shafts, drives, air vents, rises and crib rooms • support the walls and roofs in underground mines with rock bolts and erect wooden or steel props, pillars and arches • install lighting, pumps, cabling and other equipment to service the mine • monitor the operation of plants and ensure the safety of other workers on mining sites and during drilling operations • operate auxiliary plants (such as pumps) to expel air, water and mud.

Working conditions for a Miner

Mines are often located in remote areas. Miners and plant operators may have to work in dusty, hot and noisy conditions. Many workers are employed at mine sites on a fly-in, fly-out basis, usually flying from a base location to the mine site, where they work for a number of weeks and then return to the base location. Although they work as part of a team, miners generally work without direct supervision. Mining operations around Australia have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.

Employment Opportunities for a Miner

Miners are employed by mining companies, often in remote regions. Australian mines are generally highly automated and employment is normally in machine-operating positions. Employment opportunities fluctuate depending on the level of activity in the resources sector.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 0.2%

NSW NSW 24.3%

NT NT 1.5%

QLD QLD 33.8%

SA SA 3.8%

TAS TAS 2.2%

VIC VIC 6.5%

WA WA 27.7%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 95%

Female 5%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 8.9%

Not completed Year 12: 32.9%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 22.8%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 24.6%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 7.2%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 3.5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 4.6%

25-34 - 26.7%

35-44 - 32.5%

45-54 - 20.7%

55-59 - 8.7%

60-64 - 4.8%

65 and Over - 1.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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