Student Guides: How To Become A Mining Apprentice

Hoping to strike gold with a career in the Minerals Industry? But you don’t really know where to start? We've pulled together a guide of what's in an apprenticeship, how to get one and what the best part of getting involved in the industry!

What’s involved in this industry?

Australia's mineral resources industry encompasses the exploration, quarrying, mining and processing of minerals and rock to basic mineral commodity stage so it can be sold. This trade skill category covers occupations such as blast hole, seismic or offshore drillers, metal machinists, coal cutters and mine electrical engineers, just to name a few.

What is an apprenticeship?

Australian Apprenticeships is the title that covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. Australian Apprenticeships are jobs that combine paid work and structured training.

With an Australian Apprenticeship you spend time in paid employment, learning practical skills on-the-job and putting them into practice.

Structured training can be done either on-the-job or off-the-job training at a TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO), depending on the industry you are in. At the end of it, you can get a nationally recognised qualification.

How long does it go for?
Apprenticeships generally last between thirty six to forty eight months. Traineeships generally take between twelve to twenty four months to complete.

How much do I get paid as an apprentice?
Employers are governed by the National Training Wage Award System. To see how much you are entitled to earn as a trainee, call the Australian Workplace Authority . How much you can earn can depend on things including how much education or training you already have, or a competency-based wage.
Wages could also depend on your age.

How much do I get paid when I’m qualified?

Mettalurgists can earn around $1750 per week. Geologists and Geophysicists can earn on average $1630, while Mining and Drilling assistants can earn around $1400 a week.

The best part of the job?

"Working for Coldwell is great, as I live in accommodation close to the mine site it's easy to make a lot of great friends." says Blast-Hole Driller, Tim Austin . "While it is a blokey-bloke industry there are a lot of girls right in there. In fact, when it comes to driving the big dump trucks the females do a lot better."

Anything else cool to know about?

Looking for inspiration? Check out some Podcasts chatting to apprentices about how they felt entering their apprenticeship.

SkillsOne has loads of short clips about apprentices in the Minerals and Mining Industry. SkillsOne chats to a silversmith, Oliver Smith , about what's involved in working with precious metals.

Trying to narrow down exactly what you want to do?

Several sites have Career Profiles and statistics about the jobs within the Minerals industry that you might want to enter.

Check out:

  • My Future, which has an Industry profile of Mining jobs.
  • Job Guide lists loads of jobs in the Minerals industry.
  • Job Search has a listing of statistics about the industry - including job prospects and pay.
  • And SkillsOne, of course, has loads of Career Profiles.