Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers assemble, position and operate drilling rigs and mining plant, and detonate explosives to extract materials from the earth and demolish structures.

    You can work as a Driller, Miner or Shot Firer without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    Tasks

    • dismantling, moving and reassembling drilling rigs and accessory plant
    • taking samples of ore, liquids and gases and packaging them
    • performing minor maintenance and repairs, and lubricating and cleaning plant
    • recording performance details and information obtained from wells, and keeping logs detailing operations
    • operating surface and underground mining plant
    • undertaking development work such as opening up new shafts, drives, air vents, rises and crib rooms
    • positioning explosives in bore holes and priming explosives using detonators and explosive cartridges
    • connecting wires, fuses and detonating cords to explosive cartridges and detonators, and detonating explosives
    • monitoring operation of plant and ensuring safety of other workers on mining sites and during drilling operations
    • operating auxiliary plant such as pumps to expel air, water and mud

    More about Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers

    All Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers

    All Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers

    • $2,500 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Unavailable Unemployment
    • 58,400 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 95% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 62 hours Average full-time
    • 41 years Average age
    • 7% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
    from 57,700 in 2014 to 58,400 in 2019.

    Caution: The Australian jobs market is changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These estimates do not take account of the impact of COVID-19. They may not reflect the current jobs market and should be used and interpreted with extreme caution.

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Location: Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers work in many parts of Australia. Queensland and Western Australia have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Mining; Construction; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,500 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (95%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 62 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 7% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Caution: The 2019 employment projections do not take account of any impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore no longer reflective of current labour market conditions. As such, they should be used, and interpreted, with extreme caution. Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, National Skills Commission trend data to May 2019 and projections to 2024.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200942000
    201039200
    201148200
    201253600
    201358000
    201457700
    201549400
    201645500
    201756100
    201851500
    201958400
    202464000

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsDrillers, Miners and Shot FirersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings25001460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Mining85.7
    Construction5.6
    Manufacturing3.2
    Administrative and Support Services1.5
    Other Industries4.0

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateDrillers, Miners and Shot FirersAll Jobs Average
    NSW24.331.6
    VIC4.525.6
    QLD32.320.0
    SA4.87.0
    WA31.310.8
    TAS1.62.0
    NT1.01.0
    ACT0.11.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketDrillers, Miners and Shot FirersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.4-5.05.0
    20-243.7-9.39.3
    25-3428.3-22.922.9
    35-4429.4-22.022.0
    45-5424.7-21.621.6
    55-598.3-9.09.0
    60-643.9-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationDrillers, Miners and Shot FirersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.6-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree2.5-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.9-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV38.0-21.121.1
    Year 1218.8-18.118.1
    Year 117.8-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below27.5-12.512.5

    You can work as a Driller, Miner or Shot Firer without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • dangerous goods security card
    • shotfiring licence
    • working at heights ticket
    • forklift licence
    • heavy ridged (HR) driver's licence
    • national police check
    • first aid certificate
    • medical test
    • security clearance

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Resources and Infrastructure Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers who are reliable, committed to the job and have a good work ethic.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      56% Skill level

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. Transportation

      33% Skill level

      Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

    3. Law and government

      32% Skill level

      How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

    4. Public safety and security

      32% Skill level

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    5. Engineering and technology

      31% Skill level

      Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-5042.00 - Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Dangerous equipment

      100% Important

      Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

    2. Exposure to contaminants

      100% Important

      Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

    3. Wear common protective or safety equipment

      100% Important

      Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

    4. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      99% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    5. Loud or uncomfortable sounds

      97% Important

      Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-5042.00 - Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators.

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