For those wanting to break into the mining industry having a Mining Engineering degree or related will certainly help open doors and give job seekers a better chance of getting a foot in this industry. The reality though is that not everybody looking for a career in mining is in a position to go to university and obtain a mining related degree.

There are a number of reasons for this with financial being a major reason for many job seekers. University is expensive and a lot of job seekers just do not have the funds available to sponsor it. One also needs to keep in mind that not everybody has the academic results nor the important math and science ability required to be able to study a mining related degree at university.

This makes things tough for job seekers that are interested in the industry to get a foot in the doorway, especially in recent times because the industry is depressed. The vast majority of mining companies are struggling which has resulted in far fewer job opportunities.

There are however often jobs available in mining that require minimal education and that can give job seekers the leverage they need to get a foot in the doorway, and these jobs often given very good onsite training and experience that can often also lead to higher level positions in the industry.

Some of these types of positions are as follows:

General Laborer

General Laborers are responsible for conducting various general labor duties in both exploration and mining production operations. These duties may be carried out in both underground and surface mining operations. General Laborers as a whole do not need extensive educational training. Often a high school diploma or equivalent on the job training, or specific job related training is sufficient.

There are a number of different occupational titles that may be used for a General Laborer, so it’s important for job seekers to be aware of these different job titles and positions that may be used when referring to a General Laborer.

Some of these include the following:

  • Mine Helper
  • Mine Laborer
  • Underground Laborer
  • Surface Laborer
  • Chute Puller
  • Pit Scaler
  • Shoveled
  • Drillers Helper

Drillers Helpers are another example of a job in mining that does not require extensive educational requirements. The majority of Drillers Helpers have no, or limited higher education and get on the job training experience.

A Drillers Helper will spend their day on the job site, where they will be assisting the Drillers and other mining technicians. A Drillers Helper will support drilling operations through various related tasks including servicing equipment, mixing drilling fluids, collecting samples, transporting water that is required for the drill to operate and cleaning drill parts.

Trades Assistant / Helper

A Trades Assistant will work with a Journeyman as a kind of apprentice, where they will assist the journeyman in their tasks as well as prepare and clean worksites. Other aspects that a Trades Assistant would be involved in would be in assisting with the day to day mining operations, as well as learning new skills and working on machinery.

Mining companies will often require that their skilled workers need to have a trade assistant work with them. Working as a Trades Assistant in the mining industry is a great way to get your foot in the doorway.
So far as educational requirements go there may be related licenses you would need to obtain, depending on where you are working, but as a whole the educational requirements are minimal.

There are a wide variety of Trade Assistant positions that are available in mining, depending on the trade. Some of these would include the following:

  • Mechanical Trade Assistants
  • Electrical Trade Assistants
  • Plumber Trade Assistants
  • Concrete Trade Assistants
  • Heavy Machinery Trade Assistants

Fuel Attendants

Fuel Attendants jobs are another way that job seekers may be able to get a foot in the doorway of mining without extensive educational requirements or work experience.

Fuel Attendants are responsible for monitoring fuel transfers, they will also clean leaks, ensure that strict adherence to proper procedures are in place, as well as doing various other related tasks.

The bottom line is there are many different types of jobs available in mining and they all have different education and experience requirements. The more training and education you have the better your chances of getting a job in mining and the higher the salary you can expect to earn. However there are always jobs that may offer you the opportunity to get your foot in the doorway.

The best way however too really get ahead in mining is always going to be through a combination of education and work related experience. Hard work, a passion for the mining industry and a real desire to get ahead and learn will open doors and ensure you get ahead in the mining industry.

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