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Traineeship Year 10 Preferred VOC Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Underground Miner.

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

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.


    Miners may perform the following tasks:

  • cut drives into the ore body using specialist equipmentextract 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


  • 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

Interest Area



Open-Cut Miner - uses mobile plant machinery (such as bucketwheel excavators, draglines, mining shovels, bulldozers, graders and front- end loaders) to extract ore from the mine.

Underground Miner - travels down vertical shafts or sloping declines to reach the workface. Duties may include rockbolting the walls and roofs of mines, building timber or steel props, pillars or arches to support the rock and back-filling mineral voids.

Mine Shift Supervisor - regularly inspects mine sites (both above and below ground) and roadways to check that conditions are safe, and ensures compliance with safety regulations and emergency procedures. They also supervise shotfiring and conduct tests to detect gas or insufficient ventilation.

Other career progression opportunities for miners include registered mine manager, undermanager, mine deputy and open-cut examiner.


Traineeship Year 10 Preferred VOC Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a miner you usually have to complete a traineeship in Surface Extraction Operations, Underground Coal Mining, Underground Coal Operations, Underground Metalliferous Mining or Small Mining Operations.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

You can also become a miner through a VOC qualification in surface extraction operations, underground coal mining, underground coal operations, underground metalliferous mining or small mining operations. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Resources and Infrastructure Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


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.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Miner Minerals Council of Australia Sustainable Skills The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) NSW Minerals Council

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