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What is FIFO? FIFO is a terminology used for mining companies that employ people in remote areas, where the person would be flown in and out, as and when required for the job. FIFO is very common in mining, because mines are often found in remote locations, hundreds of kilometers away from the nearest town.

Generally FIFO jobs will involve working long shifts, for a specific number of days, whilst on site, and all the time off will then be spent at home rather than at the work site. FIFO can work well, and many employees prefer this option, than having to relocate their entire family, where remote areas can be extremely limiting in terms of educational choices for children, job opportunities for other family members, and limited social activities.

So what are the pros and cons?

  • On the upside of it,  living costs are basically taken care of whilst on site, as accommodation and meals would be provided for
  • Because as a general rule, the job would involve a fair amount of time away from work, this gives employees the opportunity to pursue other interests
  • Those working FIFO may be given an additional allowance, as compensation for having to spend time away from home, and salaries are often extremely competitive
  • On the downside, FIFO can put stress on family relationships, as being away from ones family can be difficult for everybody involved
  • Because there are generally long shifts involved, which involve working long hours, for extended periods, it can be very tiring, and there is the risk that employees “burn themselves out”
  • The areas where mines are located, are generally not very glamorous, and employees can be exposed to extreme temperatures, and harsh terrain
  • FIFO workers often feel socially isolated, and after a year or two decide that the money isn’t worth the sacrifices that have to be made in their personal lives

The bottom line is that employers have a very important role to play when dealing with the dynamics of FIFO. It is vital that employers take into account the impact that FIFO has on the workers and the families involved, that they look at what sort of hours and rosters will be implemented, and how it’s going to impact on the family unit, and that they are able to try to introduce some sort of balance into their employee’s lives.

9 Responses to “FIFO – Fly in, fly out”

  1. Mauricio Solari

    Congratulation for this blog id a best place, fo chat about minning career. Is costumy in Chile working in FIFO sistem, (7×7 or 10×10 days), some peor fly or trav in bus for 1500 km everyway to través ay home. Fe(Collahuasi mine to Santiago de Chile). I want live this way, only dedícate to work one week and only dedícate to my family Other week. I hope find a mine Job soon, even overseas place, i work in a community proyect whit a aymarás peoples in San Pedro de Atacama. Thank for this blog.

    Reply
    • Susan Kihn

      HI Mauricio, thank you for your input on the FIFO issue. I am not sure if you are registered on our site as of yet, however are more than welcome to get your resume on the site. We have around 35 000 jobs on our site, worldwide, and many of them are FIFO, so if this is something that interests you, it is worth pursuing.

      Reply
  2. Jim

    I’m a senior, in good physical shape, and I work out regularly, but what about the physical toll of FIFO on a senior? Should I reconsider FIFO?

    Reply
    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Jim. I would say when considering FIFO as a senior, that a lot would depend on what type of role you would be considering. FIFO positions can be physically demanding, but that obviously depends on the type of job you would be doing. There are pros and cons for FIFO, there are many seniors who work in FIFO, and are happy and fulfilled in their roles, however as I said it would depend on what type of position you are considering. I think a lot would also depend on where you would be located, what sort of hours you would be required to work etc. I would suggest that it could be something worth considering, particularly that FIFO positions can be financially rewarding, but that you look very carefully at the requirements of the particular position before committing to anything. Good luck!! Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.

      Reply
  3. Susan Kihn

    Hi Leanders, thanks for the message. I am not sure whether you have registered and posted your resume on CareerMine as of yet? If not, I would suggest you do, we have around 35 000 mining jobs available on our site, worldwide. I see you have a particular interest in OHS. We do have a lot of activity on our site, with positions in this category. So I really would suggest you get your resume up on the site, if it is not there already. You could also approach our division EduMine, the website is http://www.edumine.com they may be able to assist you with training, or point you in the right direction. So far as your resume goes, it is very important to have as much information as possible on the resume in terms of your OHS experience, even if it was limited. Also ensure that your job title is relevant to what you are wanting to do, when recruiters do searches, the normally do so by job title, so its important that they find you when looking for OHS candidates. Good luck!! Let me know if there is anything else that I can assist you with.

    Reply
  4. Susan Kihn

    Hi Corey, I am not sure if you have already registered and posted your resume on our site as of yet? If not I would suggest you do, we have around 35 000 mining jobs worldwide on the site, and the welding side is active.

    Reply
  5. Thomas

    I am considering a FIFO job in the oil sector. I have never worked FIFO and I am being offered a 14X14 position. It is actually lower pay than my current remote site job, but my family wants me to take it so they can move to a better location and I fly in and out for work. I’m a little unsettled because I have been told that the longest anyone can reasonably sustain FIFO without going crazy is 3 years. Any comments?

    Reply
  6. Cody

    Susan,
    I have a Bachelors degree in Construction Management, and I’m looking for a FIFO position. How do I start looking for a position? If I’m looking out of the country, do I need to have a work permit first? I just need some help getting started.

    Reply
    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Cody A Bachelors degree in Construction Management is a great qualification to have. However when it comes to working overseas one needs to remember that you would require a work permit to work in most countries. Whether or not you are able to get a work permit will often also depend on whether you can get a job in these countries. Given that mining is so depressed at the moment and that jobs are tight, it is more difficult to obtain work experience internationally. I would suggest however that you register and post your resume on CareerMine, http://www.careermine.com we have around 14 000 mining jobs jobs available internationally. That way your resume will also become visible to the recruiters on our site. Please also keep in mind that for the majority of FIFO positions companies will organise the work permit for you. Good luck!

      Reply

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