Typical Duties

  • Some miners may spent time working underground where they are responsible for freeing deposits of minerals from the earth and bringing it to the surface
  • They may also use machines to move rocks and earth
  • They may also use explosives to break up the rock before taking it from the ground
  • They may be responsible for digging tunnels underground through three possible methods, either conventional, continuous or through longwall
  • They may drill and blast into rock to create tunnels deep underground
  • May be involved in the scooping of deposits onto a conveyor belt or mine cars to be sent to the surface
  • For those above ground they may be responsible for unloading the materials into mining trucks for transport
  • Some Miners will work as part of the safety team to ensure that mining sites are kept as safe as possible for the workers
  • Some miners may be responsible for installing roof support bolts in underground mines
  • Some may use sophisticated machinery and equipment to drill, blast and move rock containing valuable minerals and metals

Working Conditions

  • Need to be able to perform difficult physical work for extended periods of time
  • Miners often work 8 to 12 hours shifts and can spend a lot or all of that time underground
  • Temperatures vary tremendously underground and it can be either freezing cold or boiling hot
  • Depending on the type of mine and what type of equipment being used, the Miner may spend some time in the open above ground, or underground where it can be cramped and hot
  • Miners are often required to work with machinery which can be dangerous
  • The machinery and the tools used in mines can also make a lot of noise, and Miners can be exposed to fumes, dust and chemicals
  • Miners may be required to travel to the mine and stay away from home for extended periods
  • They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis. FIFO commonly involves flying in for a certain period of time whilst the Miner would be on site, and then flying home for periods when they are off work
  • There is a high level of responsibility involved in being a Miner with a special emphasis on safety and the job can be demanding
  • May be required to work in awkward positions and concentrate for long periods of time

Educational Requirements

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is often a perquisite to become a miner
  • Many companies will require the individual to have completed a recognised mining related training course
  • After completing the required training, new miners would then work as an apprentice under an experienced miner
  • Apprentice miners are then supervised at all times during the required training period, until such time as they are certified to work on their own
  • Certifications will often vary depending on what region the miner is working

Personal Attributes

  • Need to enjoy working with machinery and different types of tools
  • Must enjoy manual and technical work
  • Must be a team player and able to work with others in close proximity
  • Have the ability to remain focused on detail at all times
  • Must be comfortable with working with and operating large equipment
  • Must be capable of working in challenging environments
  • Must have physical stamina and be able to work with heavy equipment
  • Need to be able to follow precise instructions and safety standards
  • Have a good work ethic and be goal oriented
  • Must be able to work in dark confined spaces for long periods
  • Must be physically fit
  • Need to be able to stay calm in emergencies
  • Must be interested in working on mite sites which are often located in remote locations


  • Miners in many regions particular Australia, Canada and the USA earn very good salaries
  • Mining is hard work and can be dangerous and for this reason Miners can expect to earn a very competitive salary
  • As a Miners skills develop so their earning potential will increase


  • Find out more about salaries here.

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