Why millennials should consider a job in mining

Woman in a digger bucket
Photo from @shae_breearne on Instagram

There are still plenty of career opportunities in the mining industry. Here are just a few options.

Forget the notion that mining industry work is mainly for those “at the coal face”, so to speak. This is a hugely diverse sector that attracts white-collar professionals, tradespeople and hospitality workers, too.

It’s certainly not breaking news that there has been a slight downturn in Australia. However, there are still plenty of options for millennials seeking a career path. Plus, as a global industry, there are opportunities for overseas work. Brazil, Chile, China and South Africa all have strong resource sectors.

Salaries are still attractive too. In fact, mining, resources and energy remain at the top of the table, trumping all other industries in the country. According to the 2016 SEEK Annual Salary Review, the average salary across the board is a little more than $80,000. The highest paying sectors are:

  • Mining, resources and energy at just under $115,000
  • Consulting and strategy at $107,700
  • Construction at just shy of $106,000
  • Engineering at $101,000

For millennials interested in setting themselves up financially, securing a job in resources early in their career is hugely advantageous, especially considering 75 per cent of 16- to 25-year-olds said they will be unable to buy a house within the next decade. Going in with clear goals and expectations, a realistic budget and a timeframe in mind is the most sensible approach to a start in mining.

Plus, if you’re able to find a job with a generous swing, this will allow time to travel and to indulge in other hobbies that would not be possible with a regular 9-5 schedule.

Here are just some of the careers available:

Accounting and Finance

Do you have a flair for facts, figures and spreadsheets? There are plenty of careers available for white-collar professionals including accounting, cost controlling, and auditing, right through to accounting clerks and data entry.


The food provided for workers is often of a very high quality. This is thanks to the variety of chefs, cooks and pastry chefs on site. So long as there are mining employees, then plenty of food and beverage workers are needed. A hospitality job in mining is often a good start to a career that routinely demands long hours.

Human Resources

HR consultants, occupational health and safety officers, and training and development officers are highly sought after and always needed, especially as new sites start up and others wind down.


There is a range of engineering jobs available in mining, including construction, civil, mechanical, electrical and, of course, mining engineering. Engineers aren’t confined to mines, however. Professionals can work in large private companies, government departments, large mining companies and in consultancy and research.

There are lots of job options for young people in mining. Aside from getting valuable experience, there are high prospects for generous wages, a chance to set up a secure financial future, and a schedule that allows for hobbies and extracurricular activities.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International