Earn big $$$ by dump truck driving in the mines, so you can pay off your mortgage with lightning speed and live the lifestyle you desire.

“Hi Lisa, I recently applied for a dump truck traineeship with skilled mining in the Hunter Valley. Today I received a phone call and had a brief interview over the phone.I now have my face to face interview next Wednesday. Safe to say I am excited.”
Sally, NSW 20 August 2015

For four years I have been selling an ebook called “How to get a job driving dump trucks” and have helped numerous people obtain jobs in mining – check out the testimonials!

However, in May 2016 I have removed the ebook from the website as I start a new direction in my career.

On my DumpTruckDiscovery facebook page, I have a regular post on Mondays called Monday Mentoring. Every week I feature a question from the public with my answer, all in the aid of helping you get into mining. You may have been thinking the same question but was afraid to ask.

So while the ebook is taking a ‘rest – possibly a refurbishment’, below is the best of the best Monday Mentoring FB questions grouped into 7 sections, to help you get a start.

  1. Finding jobs in mining
  2. Traineeships, courses and experience
  3. Mining job applications and interviews
  4. Health requirements and age
  5. About mining jobs
  6. FIFO lifestyle
  7. Not an Australian resident


1. Finding jobs in mining…

I am interested in driving dump trucks. I just want a change of job. Why is it very hard to get job?

When I applied for a trainee job nearly 8 years ago now, I was only competing with 50 other hopefuls. After being granted a ‘second chance’ interview, I was finally given an opportunity. Today it’s a different story. A trainee position was advertised in WA back in February and they received 3000 applications to fill in only 12 vacancies. Unfortunately, mining companies cant accept all applications.

Thanks to the media, dump truck driving is now on everybodys wish list. Hence the reason why its so difficult to get in. Therefore, you need to start looking at what you can do to set yourself apart from the hundreds or thousands of others. Great way to start is take a look at your Resume and imagine if you were a recruiter, would you employ you! Do you have skills that a mining company look for? Do you have any relevant tickets that are required to work on a mine site?

Begging for a job in your cover letter wont help. You need to show them why they should employ you over the others

I received a message from Brian 'I will never get a look in'.

I could feel Brian’s frustration and then found some advice in a book I’m currently reading. A brilliant informative book called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. The principals he describes can be applied to achieve any of your desires or goals, not just money.

The principal of Auto-suggestion caught my attention – the medium for influencing the subconscious mind. Basically its you controlling the thoughts that you feed into your subconscious mind, which can be either creative by nature or destructive.

Its not easy to keep feeding your mind with positive or creative thoughts as we tend to find it easier for negative/destructive thoughts to jump in (eg. Whats easier for you to say right now – ‘I’m successful in getting a mining job’ or ‘I’ll never get a chance’.

According to Napoleon Hill, the secret to maintain the positive auto-suggestion is to say your positive/creative thoughts out loud every day. Repetition is the key. It leads you to voluntarily changing your habits and efforts that finally transmute into achieving your goals. You don’t even realise you’re doing it.

To help you get started on changing your thoughts and changing your mind, I’ve created a mind movie – a short video with positive affirmations about working in mining to feed your subconscious daily.

Hope you enjoy it.

Is there any suggestions of how to get employment in the mines so I can make a start?

Sometimes people get so focused on looking for dumptruck jobs only that they miss other opportunities and avenues.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting KCGM’s Superpit (in Kalgoorlie, WA) and met the 4 new trainees who had joined that week. One girl was completely new to mining (so her first mining job is as a truckie).  Two guys worked for Cape Crushing, which were contractors at KCGM site and therefore managed to gain employment with the mining company – advantage to KCGM is that they are already familiar with the mine site. And the fourth person had experience operating his own smaller earthmoving equipment, thereby enabling him to transfer those skills to the larger equipment on a mine site – obviously KCGM thought that was advantageous too.

You can still apply for other dumptruck traineeships as they appear but in the meantime, why not think outside the box and gainn entry through other ways or skills.

I am a 31year old female looking to get into a trade / mining however as I do not have a mining or trade background I am struggling. Where do I start?

Good question. The story reminds me of my journey, where it took me 3 years before I got an opportunity into mining simply because I didn’t have a trade or mining background. 


It may seem harder for women to get a start because traditionally we come from office bound roles rather than trades (not all women!).

The first step is to revamp your Resume. Re-organise to highlight transferable skills that can be used in mining. Improve your Resume professionally – check out the Resumes WA link on my website for mining-ready Resumes.


Secondly, don’t be scared to go out and get a trade or get experience with local councils/earth moving companies. The last couple of weeks I have been posting mining traineeships and trade apprenticeships. They are popping up now as companies get ready for the 2014 intake.

Thirdly, surround yourself with a support group and make contacts.

I’ve just added a new page to my website titled ‘Women in Mining’. Take a look for more info.


Just wondering where I can find vacancies for any mine jobs. I am flexible and happy to have a go at any positions available, cleaning, bar work, driving. Job sites I come across all want experience.

The main place I go to for job vacancies is www.seek.com.au . Just set up a job alert for the keyword “mining - operator” and you’ll receive daily emails from them with the latest job postings for all types of mining jobs. You can in fact set up several job alerts for all types of jobs eg. Dump truck operator.


Then I set up job alerts with all the mining companies, contracting companies and recruitment agencies that I can find, for the types of jobs I’m interested in. Again they will send you job alerts/emails when a job opportunity is available. My ebook ‘How to get a job driving dump trucks’ contains an extensive directory of employers (just click on the ebook button at the top of this page).


Employers will always ask for experience but don’t let that deter you. If you don’t have the experience on a mine site as such, be sure to highlight in your application that you have the experience from working in other industries (eg. Cleaning or barwork in Hospitality, bus driving if you drove the school bus or city transport bus companies). Every little bit helps.

I been trying for 6 years and paid out hundreds of dollers and got nowhere.

It’s a familiar story. But it doesn’t need to be as long as you are prepared and have the courage to do all that is required to get your goal. I have some ideas in my new blog:  New Thinking leads to a New Mining Career


It was suggested that if I moved interstate I would be better to move to Perth and my only way in nowadays is to work for cleaning or the kitchen work then apply internally, would you agree with this?

In answer to the first part of the question, yes moving interstate to a FIFO city will increase your chances for entry level jobs. Mining companies will have hundreds of resumes to look at and they will cull the list down by selecting local addresses first (unless the advert states ‘must be willing to relocate’).

Cleaners and kitchen hands are a couple of entry level jobs that you can consider, as well as admin, plumbers, electricians, mechanical trades etc. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, then you can look for internal transfers. Please note, if you work for a contractor, sometimes there might be a contract in place where the mining company agrees to not poach staff. However, you are still gaining valuable experience – working in a remote location and shiftwork experience.

does a company if they hire you pay for you to relocate say from NSW to WA or anywhere else?

Unfortunately, mining companies don’t pay for you to relocate for trainee positions. The only time I've seen them foot the bill is when they are looking for a particular skill or experience (eg. engineers, planners) or they have a company allowance to pay for relocation to a mining town. 

You can increase your chances of getting a mining job by relocating to a mining town or FIFO city first. In saying that, one of my current members living in Melbourne was accepted into a recruitment pool for a dumptruck traineeship in Queensland. She had to pay for her own flights to Brisbane for each stage of the recruitment process. So it is possible but rare.

I’m interested in trying to get a job in the mining industry I’m very flexible and willing to give anything a go.

Are you willing to relocate? Most of the mining jobs are in WA or Queensland and generally offer entry level jobs from FIFO cities only or are residential based.

However, relocating without a job first can be daunting, never mind thinking about where you're going to live and signing up for 12 month leases. Well, FIFO Housemate may offer you a great alternative. I recently interviewed them to find out more about their service. Check out my latest blog:  FIFO Housemate


i am a 19 year old male wanting to start a exciting career dump truck driving. Would you be able to say a list of things that you shouldn't be/have or anything that would affect my chances.

Here is a list of attributes of what I’ve seen that HR and management look for:

  • Good work ethic. Ie. no laziness
  • Reliable – turn up for work! They don’t like high absenteeism, unless you are injured or genuinely sick.
  • You like to put up your hand to help or for opportunities
  • Have a good attitude towards work, the industry, the company and your work mates
  • Safe worker – always safety conscious

Can anything ruin your chances? Well, HR definitely watch Facebook posts. So its probably a good idea to not post on FB pictures or comments that show the opposite of the above

Is Christmas time the worst time to look for mining jobs?

In mining, December seems to be the time when we see more resignations than normal. Not sure the reason why – perhaps they need a rest after our long 12 hour shifts or roster type, or perhaps because they couldn’t obtain annual leave over the Christmas break (impossible for a company to allow everyone to have holiday leave at the same time!).

So you will notice a lot more job adverts for experienced operators during this time for replacements. In fact, I’ve already started noticing an increase now on www.seek.com.au and www.jobrapido.com .

Why not approach the current advertising mining companies and showcase to them your skills, qualifications and willingness to work over holiday periods. Tell them what an excellent trainee you would be. What’s the worst thing that they can say – No thanks. But what’s the best thing that can happen – makes them think about the benefits of training people to their standards, who are willing to be long term employees compared to trying to poach experienced operators from other sites

Does it help that I am very specific about what I would like to do in the mines, as driving a dump truck is my desired job.

Good question Zac. When you are applying for specific jobs that have been advertised, then Yes, your cover letter and Resume must be very specific to that job. Highlight the skills mentioned in the advert that match what you currently have and any other mining transferable skills. Its very important to tailor-make your cover letter and Resume for each type of position you apply for. A generic Resume wont make you stand out for the recruiter that reads hundreds of Resumes a day. 

If on the other hand you are only applying for dump truck jobs because that’s what you really want to do, then you are limiting yourself. Don’t be afraid to use other avenues to get your foot into the mining industry, because once you’re in, then you can move departments. Being open to flexibility will increase your opportunity to gain your dream job.

Contractors vs Mining Companies

Found an interesting graph in the Resources Safety Matters publication by the DMP (Dept of Mines and Petroleum in WA).

WA's Monthly Mining Workforce

It showed that for the last 2 years more people have been employed by mining contractors (red line) than by mining companies direct (blue line).

Moral of story? Don’t restrict yourself to applying with mining companies only. Contracting companies play a huge role on mine sites that involve setting up infrastructure, construction and helping with the daily pit operations (usually doing the smaller jobs that require smaller machinery).

To help you get started, here are a couple of the larger contracting companies: BGC, Leightons, McMahons

Do u have any thoughts on where is best to go i.e. Pilbara or wherever? Is WA one of the better places in terms of opportunities, conditions, pay etc

The two states that have the most mines and projects are WA and Queensland, therefore, I would look at both these areas. In saying that, Northern Territory mining seems to becoming alive with new opportunities  – almost their own mini boom.

The opportunities, conditions and pay really only vary between companies rather than between states. They are quite similar.

Read more about the future of mining at    www.dumptruckdiscovery.com/is your mining dream all over


Can you tell me a few big mining towns in Perth that I might be able to work in? Or Queensland!!

I think Chris meant WA and not Perth! He is asking for mining towns as heh is now looking at the option of relocating as a way to enter the mining industry.

In WA, the major mining towns are Kalgoorlile, Tom Price, Newman, Paraburdoo. There are many smaller towns too like Boddington, Carnarvon and Onslow.

In Queensland, you have Emerald, Moranbah and Mt Isa plus many other smaller towns that have one surrounding mine site.

I am hoping to start my new vacation on the 1st February I think kalgoorlie would suit me better as its a big mining town surrounded by alot! But do you think I would be able to get accommodation easy when I arrive and how do I enquirer (sic) about jobs?

Great to see that C.C. is into action mode.

You wont really know about the accommodation situation until you get there. However, Kalgoorlie has many hotels. You could always look at staying at a cheap hotel or a backpackers first and then spend time looking at noticeboards or the local newspapers for houses/rooms to rent. When applying for a job, its better to have a local residential address on your resume rather than a hotel address.

About enquiring for jobs, just refer to a previous blog I wrote:


Can you tell how many mines there are around the kalgoorlie area?

This is an easy one to answer.

Australian Mining have a cool interactive map that shows the names of all the mines in Australia. Just zoom into the Kalgoorlie/Boulder area (or whatever area you live in) and you will see all the mines.

Start counting!!


Is there any chance I can get A FIFO job in Kalgoorlie?

Kalgoorlie is a major mining town surrounded by at least 40 smaller mines. Majority of workers live in town. Majority of jobs posted online are for people living locally in the Kalgoorlie area.

In the 3 years I've been scanning mining job online, I've only seen twice when a FIFO job was advertised for Kal - it was for a short term specialist job.

Therefore, the chances of getting a FIFO job in Kal is very slim.

However, the more experience you have on your resume working on a mine, the more chances you have a getting a FIFO job to the Pilbara at a later date!

My husband is going to go to Kalgoorlie in a couple of months to get set up and find work. We will follow. He's very experienced in civil construction. Various plants machinery tickets, HR license, Dump truck license. 40 years old and fit as a fiddle. I worry about the chance he is taking but is determined. Does all of the above still stand or have work possibilities deteriorated a lot over the past few months?

Congrats to your husband for stepping out of his comfort zone to get closer to his goal. If you don’t take risks, you don’t achieve. 

This year I did hear that jobs have slowed down in Kalgoorlie like the rest of WA but I also hear that KCGM are still taking on trainees. I still see jobs advertised for Kalgoorlie so make sure he does get in touch with all the recruitment companies when he gets there. He may have to do a few short term jobs before he finds a full time position. Enjoy the move!

More info can be found on the following blog:  How to drive dump trucks at the Super Pit.


I have been hearing a lot of talk that the industry is going really slow and not many people are hiring. Some are also losing their jobs. Have you noticed this?

The mining industry has cycles just like economic cycles – booms and busts. I agree that currently the mining industry is going through a plateau period to reconsolidate before it starts its next boom.

I’ve been seeing conflicting reports in the media – every week one company is downsizing while another company gets approval to commence operations (however, these companies will initially be advertising for experienced personnel).

Therefore, hang in there and try to gain experience and skills in related industries while we wait for the commencement of the next ramp up.

I'm thinking about placing an ad in the paper offering 15k to an employer /operator that is willing to take me on and train me or work for free for 6 months different angle what's your thoughts?

Mining is an industry where you cant do free work experience. With the amount of paperwork and training that has to be conducted in order to get you on site, its not worth it for the company. Either they employ you or they dont. However, you could try asking local small earth moving companies, as they wont be governed by the Mines Regulations but at least you’ll get some machine operating experience.

During my 9 years in the industry, I’ve never heard of anyone getting into mining by offering money. Firstly, a mining company wouldnt be allowed to accept money. Plus they only need to place one job advert and they will receive thousands of applications anyway. Offering money to an operator may not work either as these days operators or supervisors still have to send in friends/family applications to the HR department of the mining company or make you apply online regardless and then the recruiters make the final decision. You may get lucky but I wouldnt rely on it – start gaining experience with contractors, quarries, small earth moving companies, local councils etc.


2. Traineeships, courses and experience…

Some Recruitment companies have said that some mining companies take in clean skins or green skins. Is that still the case?

Firstly, let me explain a ‘clean skin’ or ‘green skin’. This basically means an employee that is completely new to the mining industry. At every site I’ve worked at, we had the name ‘greenies’ for everyone that was new to driving dump trucks. 

While its frustrating to see that mining companies continually advertise for experienced people, it is cheaper for them to hire an experienced person rather than train up a greenie. You cant blame them for trying the cheaper way first.

However, eventually over time, when they see they are not getting enough applications from experienced operators, they will then consider training newstarters. That’s when you’ll see advertisements for ‘dump truck traineeships’. In saying that, there are some mining companies that have an ongoing traineeship program, once or maybe 3 times a year. Therefore, do your research and sign up to job alerts on each mining company’s website.

I am enquiring on dump truck driving employment. Is there any trainee ships for this type of work.

To become a dump truck driver, you will need to go through a traineeship program on a mine site. You will see job adverts stating either ‘trainee’ or ‘traineeship’ – both mean the same thing.

Each mining company run their training programs differently. The length of the training depends entirely upon you – how quickly you learn the basics and the techniques. Once you’ve been deemed competent to drive on your own, follow up training will occur over 6-12 months to refine your techniques to increase your efficiency.

In my history of being a dump truck trainer, trainees can take from 3 days to 3 weeks before they drive on their own. We allow trainees to learn at their own pace. Sometimes these big trucks can be a bit daunting in the beginning.

Sometimes you will see 1 or 2 year traineeships advertised. In these instances, the company provides you will full training that leads to the achievement of a Certifcate II. There are about 9 units to be completed, including Conduct Haul Truck Operations, whichtakes at least 12 months to complete.

If you can help with any information on how to gain traineeships that would be greatly appreciated.

Seems like traineeships are on everyone’s mind this month, so I wrote a blog about it. Contains 6 tips to help you start your journey towards a dump truck career.

Finding dump truck traineeships

The traineeship runs for 24 months full time (is that a typical duration?

A.P. was applying for traineeship in NSW. Typically, in WA and Qld, most of the traineeships run for about 2 weeks, or longer if you need more time until you reach a certain standard and confidence to drive on your own. In some places, you are on probation for approximately 3 months as well, and will be offered a permanent position if you can show your competency in operating a truck and good attitude to work.

However, there seems to be some coal mines in NSW that are offering 2 year traineeships, namely Tesa, Skilled and Peabody Energy. It really doesn’t take 2 years to learn to drive a truck. You will refine your skills and techniques within 6 months. What these companies offer is a Certificate II in mining. This means there is a number of units that must be completed, which can take up to 12 months. Mining companies that have their own RTO (Registered Training Organisation), can provide these mining certificates too, without the minimum 2 year service.

Two years does sound a bit excessive to me, however, they are providing a great training ground and enabling you to obtain 2 years’ experience. You have to decide what is more important.

Do you know when the next intake of trainees on the dumpys is coming up?

Dump truck trainee positions can become available at any time of year, unlike trade apprenticeships which usually start advertising in the last quarter for the year to recruit for the following year. 

In the last month I’ve posted 6 dump truck trainee positions from across Australia. However, the previous 5 months there were none! So there is no set month or season for when these positions arise. You have to remain constantly vigilant on job sites (like Seek) and ensure you’re still active on each mining companys’ job alert system.


I am thinking to do a course in dumptruck driving. If I do the course is there any guarantee to get a job? I dont mind to pay for the course as long as there is a guarantee to get a job

There is no course out there that will guarantee a job at completion. Think about people who go to University - I personally dedicated 3 years of my life to attend Uni without any guarantee of getting a job at the end.

Completing a course (or gaining knowledge) is only one half of the journey. The other half is the attention and dedication you place on your actions to get that job.

Last month I posted that due to the current economic decline in mining, there have been much fewer traineeships on offer. Therefore, it will require alot of work on your part to research, to ask questions, to look at other options, to constantly apply until you reach your goal. If you tend to give up easy, then you make the distance.

More details on whether its worth doing the dump truck course on the following blog:

Dump Truck Courses - are they worth it?


I want to do dump truck operation but i dont know which company offers a good training.

If Charles is asking who is a good dump truck training company, then there are 3 things he can do. Drive to their premises and check them out. Have a look at their office and classroom, the type of dump trucks, the area you will be driving in, will you be backing into a real life excavator and ask to see their certifications. If you end up at someones farm and will be doing the training in a paddock, then that will be a hint to walk away. Also, you can Google the company’s name for any reviews that have been posted online by previous customers. There is a list of reputable dump truck training companies in my ebook “How to get a job driving dump trucks”.

Tips in choosing a dump truck training course


I would also like to know if recommend any particular training centre that has a high level of integrity and success rate of applicants passing.

Every dump truck training centre in Australia is independently owned. Therefore, they each have their unique way of conducting their training (number of days & cost). The course content will be similar as they have to tick every box in the assessment, as defined  by the national accreditation governing body.

I would be looking for an organisation that conducts their training in either operating  or unused quarries or at least conduct training in a similar environment that involves backing up to an excavator, so you can experience loading and dumping.

Just Google dump truck training courses in your local area, study their websites, call them to ask for more details and then choose the one that will best fit your needs.

Success rate is excellent everywhere –they will train and guide you until you’re competent.

You can refer to my blog for more information:  tips in choosing a dump truck training course

Just not sure if I should spend the money to do a haul course or get other certificates/inductions to show I am serious/interested.

In my eyes, if you’re not sure about up-skilling yourself, or whether you should offer your services for free to gain a little related experience on weekends, then you’re really not that serious about getting into mining.

It’s a tough industry to get into these days because everybody wants a part of the action. Think how you can differentiate yourself from the others when applying for trainee jobs. Extra skills/qualifications on your Resume may do the trick.

To increase your chances of success in anything you do in life, always invest in yourself.

Hi there,i would like to do a dump truck course,but unfortunately im uneployed and have finacial (sic) difficulties.So what advice could you please give me?

I wouldn’t recommend paying for a course at the moment due to the current downturn in the mining industry (early 2016) – not many traineeships were posted this year. Therefore, look at getting skills other ways – learn to operate machinery while working for the local council or small earthmoving company. That experience will look more favourable on your resume. You can find more tips in my ebook “How to get a job driving dump trucks” or on the following blog:

Get your mining career started

Just wondering is there any online sites ud recommend for online mining courses , thanks

Unfortunately, there doesn’t exist any online courses for general mining or entry level mining jobs as such.

You can however do courses at Uni or TAFE (technical college) for specialist fields - like geology, survey, engineers, trades (mechanical, refrigeration, fitters, welders etc).

You might find people telling you to get your Blue Card or White Card. These are usually done online but take care as there are lots of dodgy online courses out there. However, this is only useful if you get a job in construction - when a mine site is in construction mode, building the plants and infrastructure, then work your way into the operation side of things.

I have my front end loader excavater and grader license just won't to no if that will help me get in the industry.

Absolutely it will. Even better if you have some experience behind you too. For example, operating smaller excavators and loaders in quarries, councils or with small earth moving contractors.

Just to let you know that there is a ‘hierarchy’ system in mining. If you’ve never worked in mining before, all operators start as a dump truck operator. Once you’ve proven your capabilities, efficiency and quality work, then you can ‘move up the ladder’ so to speak and start operating the ancillary equipment such as graders, dozers, loaders etc.


Do you think i should get a ticket in plant in excavator, loader etc. or just stick with a normal heavy vehicle Licence to gain entry into the mine. However i cant get a straight answer from anyone.upon what ticket / Licence is good to get to gain a entry level job.

For heavy equipment jobs in mining (ie. operating dump trucks, graders, dozers, loaders, excavators, shovels etc) the entry level job is driving dump trucks. Therefore a HR licence is first on your list.

Even if you did get your excavator or loader ticket, you will still be required to drive a dump truck first and be deemed competent to do so.

You can still get your excavator or loader ticket, however, I would recommend that you also get a job to start using those skills - with your local council or an earth moving company. The experience will look great on your resume.

If you've already got your loader or excavator ticket, then this will be a bonus on your resume if coupled with experience (not necessarily in mining).

I have just got my HR Auto licence and Richards mining course certificate,one day course,will this be a better chance now to get a trainee dump truck position.

Obtaining tickets and qualifications certainly does increase your chances, especially when compared to hundreds of other Resumes that don’t contain any.  However, there are never any guarantees.

HR licence is a definite must for some sites in WA and Queensland. Why limit yourself to a certain number of sites – make yourself available to all mine sites and have the HR licence just in case.

Also, don’t stop at just obtaining your ticket. Now look for ways to gain experience using these new skills you have just received. That will be an added bonus to your resume.

Is it better to do the manual synchro or the automatic synchro?

Michael is referring to the HR licence – manual or automatic?? Short answer, you could go either. When I ask around site, I get two answers:

1. just get the auto as most of the light trucks and hiabs  are auto these days
2. get the manual so it doesn’t limit your choices for job applications. Plus its handy if they should ask you to operate a machine that requires a manual HR (eg. on my last mine site I was able to drive a bus because I had my manual HR licence and one of the guys was regularly taken off dump truck to drive the float which was a manual). 

So the manual may give you more opportunities to drive other smaller trucks on site but its not essential for everyone to have it. Supervisors will just use the people who already have their HR manual licence to do these odd jobs on site. Majority of the dump truck operators stay on dump trucks. 

Your purpose will determine which one. So if your sole purpose is to drive dump trucks only, then go for the cheaper option because all they want to see is HR licence on your Resume (I have no idea why they make us have it when driving a dump truck is completely different!). If you think you will be applying for other entry level jobs to get into mining and don’t want to restrict yourself, then go for the manual.

I am currently in the health field wanting a change and mining is where I want to go. As I dont have any experience do you thinkn that it would be worth getting an induction such as a S11?

Each state of Australia has a set of requirements/tickets that is required to work on a mine site. So if you are looking to get in, it would be a good idea to show these qualifications/tickets on your Resume, to place yourself ahead of others in the application process. 

The S11 or Standard 11 induction is now mandatory to work on all mine sites in Queensland. Therefore, it is worth doing, even to show initiative and willingness to work in the industry. Unfortunately, you don't get the full certification until you spend a certain amount of hours on site - at least you are half way there. 

Some mines in NSW require the Standard 11, however, the other states don't require it.

I was wondering what courses do you recommend me to take (apart from the white card), in order to get a good job in the mines?


There are many types of jobs in mining and each one has its own list of qualifications, tickets and experience. There is no one general course to do that fits all mining jobs. Therefore, it will depend upon what type of work you want to do. 


A white card will only help if you get a job working on construction sites as a labourer/tradesperson (including the construction of infrastructure on mine sites).

You will need to do your research on the type of job you are interested in.


I had a old resume and converted it to mining resume. I missed out but how do I go about getting into this type of work, due to theh fact no one wants to take an inexperience person on??

As you’re all currently aware the Australian mining industry is currently in a downturn. The mining companies now have prime pickings from a pool of unemployed experienced operators.

The mining cycle has existed for centuries which means there will always be an upturn after a downturn but I don’t know when. So in the meantime you can gain experience from related industries, it will be on smaller machines but its still relevant experience eg. Operate machinery working for the local council or small earthmoving contracting companies. Get ready with transferable skills for when the next boom starts.

im volunteering for a dump truck operator. I have the certificate but i dont have any experience, i like you to help me with experience

This one pulled my heart strings as I remembered how 11 years ago I offered one company to let me work for free for one week and if they still felt I was no good for the job, then I will walk away without a fuss. But they said they couldn't accept volunteer work.

And it still applies today. Please note that mining companies and contractors don't offer or accept volunteer work or work experience. There is too much training involved to make it viable.

You can refer to the following blog which gives some ideas on where to get transferable skills.

How to get your mining career started.


What you need to do is look for advertised traineeships. More details can be found on the following blog:

Finding dumptruck traineeships

Not many traineeships have been advertised in the last 12 months due to the down turn in the mining industry. Therfore it will require a lot of effort and perseverance on your part - don't give up


3. Mining job applications and interviews…

Where/ whom would be the best to apply............. you have given me hope as i am a 52 year female.

Here are the basic steps to get you started.

  1. Get your Resume ‘mining’ ready. Does it contain the words that recruiters will be looking for? Resumes WA are one company that specialise in mining ready Resumes.
  2. Create a job alert on ‘Seek’ using the keyword ‘mining - operations’ - the best for a whole range of mining job listings. Also sign up to job alerts directly on mining companies websites. I have a list of mining companies and contractors in my ebook at www.dumptruckdiscovery.com   or Google for mining companies in your area/State.

  3. Then send/apply away. It becomes a game of numbers – you may have a lot of misses but eventually you will hit the winner!
Where do I apply with my references and my resume?

Start promoting yourself by:

  1. Set up a job alert with www.seek.com.au, where you will receive daily emails advising you of relevant new job vacancies. They call it a Jobmail. Set one up with the keyword of the type of job you are looking for, eg. Dump truck operator, welder, driller etc. Also set one up with the general keyword of ‘mining’ and get to see all types of mining jobs that become available.

  2. Set up job alerts directly on all mining companies, contractors and recruitment agencies websites.

Happy hunting!


Should I apply for interstate trainee jobs?

I never say don’t apply or don’t try as I don’t like limiting myself when I want to do something different. However, I will tell you how it is. 

Because driving dump trucks has become popular and everyone wants to drive one, when there is a job advert for a trainee dump truck operator position, the company will receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications. That’s a lot of competition! 

To make it easier for a recruiter to reduce the number of applications, they will put interstate or non-FIFO city people in the No pile. They will only look at people who are already living in the FIFO city. There is no delays with interviews and medicals because you are living in another state.  They don’t have to worry about you relocating or needing time to find a home etc. Because when they make their decision, they’ll virtually want you to start soon thereafter. 

Therefore, to increase your chances, you really do need to think how seriously you want the job and then consider seriously about relocating to a FIFO/DIDO city or town, or perhaps move to a mining town (eg. Kalgoorlie in WA or Mackay in Qld) before you start applying for jobs – have a local address on your resume.

Thanks for the Trainee job offer. However, would you recommend I try applying with them again, since I was unsuccessful last time round?

Simple answer - absolutely YES!

Chris had applied last year with that company but was unsuccessful. My motto is - if at first you don't succeed, try again, but in a different way.

Change your cover letter and spruce up your resume. Add some things to it that will be eye catching to the mining industry - have you got a new job that involves shift work? Did you learn to operate small equipment at work, such as a bobcat or forklift? Every little bit helps.

Also, don't forget, recruiters change jobs all the time - so it could be different people reading the resumes and conducting the interviews.

Never give up.

please i would like you to help me with an example of a letter applying for a Dump Truck operator.

A desperate plea from a member back in March 2015.

You may recall a few months back I posted a question to you all – what do you want to know about writing a cover letter? I promised you all that I would write a blog about it.

I do apologise for the delay, but I have finally completed the blog. Take a look – it has lots of examples for you.

How to write a winning cover letter

I have recently added a HR licence to my resume along with my generics and coal board medical. could you recommend any recruitment agencies or point me in the right direction?

Great to see you are actively out there getting all the necessary documentation to make your Resume stand out from the rest. So where to start applying:

1. sign up to www.seek.com.au and register a job alert for 'mining - operations

2. send your resume to all the mining companies for the states you want to work in. These days, mining companies only accept Resumes via online.

3. Recruitment agencies is your last resort simply because they don't get ask often to recruit for trainees. However, still worth contacting as they may be able to find some other entry level job for you that fits your current skills - then you can get your foot in the door.

I'm just wondering why my resume is not being selected for any greenie positions .

She kindly sent me her resume and cover letter to get a second opinion. t a second pair of eyes as you never know what the 'tone' of your words sound like to others reading it.

I gave Amy some suggestions for improvement and recommended to get her resume professionally written, that will highlight her skills in a better way.

So I asked Adrianne from Resumes WA, an expert in writing mining ready resumes, why are resumes sometimes ignored. She came back with a blog - 5 Reasons Your Resume is Being Ignored.

http://dumptruckdiscovery.com/resume-health-check-5-reasons-resume-ignored/Always helpful to get a second pair of eyes as you never know what the 'tone' of your words sound like to others reading it.

I gave Amy some suggestions for improvement and recommended to get her resume professionally written, that will highlight her skills in a better way.

So I asked Adrianne from Resumes WA, an expert in writing mining ready resumes, why are resumes sometimes ignored. She came back with a blog - 5 Reasons Your Resume is Being Ignored.

I have read alot of resumes over my time and its the biggest let down for most people. Spelling mistakes, no clear headings, contains more obejctive remarks (that cant be proven) rather than facts, no achievements, the layout is messy etc. I plead with you all, take the time and spend a little money to get your resume professionally done. Do you research on resume writing companys and ask to sight some examples first. Ask for their experience in writing mining resumes.

What skills does a mining company look for?

I talk a lot about highlighting transferrable skills - skills that you currently have that are useful in mining. Do you have any idea what skills the mining company is looking for? Just read a job advert for an experienced dump truck operator to give you some clues. Below is a recent job advert from Newmont mining - take a look - what current skills can you apply into mining (working with a team, committed to safety, compliance with safe working practices etc)?

"Reporting to the Open Pit Supervisor, you will carry out all work activities associated with load and haul. Duties will include:

  • Contributing to and participating in a flexible and motivated production crew, committed to safety and the achievement of quality production goals.
  • Maintaining awareness of, and reporting any hazard or potential hazard on roads and benches.
  • Optimising cycle time by correct positioning of truck under loading equipment and at dump locations
  • Minimising ore spillage
  • Performing dumping operations as per operating manual
  • Understanding of and compliance with safe working practices
  • Participating in safety meetings and training"
I have seen a few positions advertised as Trainee Dump truck Operaters, but they ask for a clean driving license. As I have had speeding fines over the past years, does this rule me out completely?

Speeding fines do not rule you out during the job application process. Nor if you have lost your license in the past. All that matters is if you have a current valid license at the time of application.

And you will need to keep that license current during your employment. Should you lose your license while employed, you will need to notify your boss as a company requirement. In some cases you can lose your job, and in other cases you might be lucky that they give you a different job role (that doesn’t require driving) until your license is returned to you.

Typically, you don’t need to provide a driving record during the recruitment process. However, I have heard that some mining companies in NSW will need to see a RTA report. Last year, one member was still asked to an interview even though she declared she had lost her license once (many years ago!).

Don’t worry about if you’ve got a chance or not, just apply!

Residential vs FIFO applications

It has been raised over the last couple of weeks about applying for residential jobs when you don’t live locally to the job advertised.

When a company advertises a job as ‘residential’, it means you must have your own local accommodation simply because they don’t provide it. When a company advertises a job as ‘FIFO ex Perth’, it means they will only fly workers from Perth.

In both situations, the company will first look at applications from locals only. That means even though you have mentioned in your cover letter that you are willing to relocate should you be successful, your Resume will still be placed in the No pile.

Mining is a popular industry that everyone wants to get into and mining companies receive hundreds or thousands of applications per job advertised. Therefore, they can choose to look local first. That way they don’t have to worry or wait for you to relocate, or wonder if you will find accommodation at all.

Therefore, consider before applying, should you relocate to a mining town to increase your chances.

Check out the interactive map below to view mine site locations for Australia.

Australian Mine Map

this Trainee Program at the very bottom of the ad it encourages Women and Indigenous to apply. Does that mean there will be bias toward that group?

The simple answer is no, there is no bias towards women or indigenous. Companies sometimes write that to show they are an equal opportunity employer. Basically it makes them look good and fair! Generally speaking, they are. 

So don't be discouraged by what is written in an advert. Apply away, you have the same chance as anyone else

Raimo informed me over the weekend that he has a face to face interview soon and wanted some interview tips.

Over the last couple of months I have received several requests for interview tips. So even though we have a downturn in the mining industry, people out there are still able to get jobs in mining. 

Over the weekend I wrote a blog about the 'must know' tips about mining job interviews. Good stuff you need to know before you go!

Top tips to nail the mining job interview

Amberlie wanted to know what to expect at her first interview for a trainee job.

Each company conducts their interviews differently. Therefore, I will list all the tasks you could be asked to do so you can prepare yourself.

  1. Aptitude tests: to measure your work-related cognitive abilities. You can google free aptitudes tests to practice online.

  2. Comprehension tests. Usually in multiple choice format, to test your ability to read and follow instructions.

  3. Numerical reasoning tests. I had to do this at one interview but now find it strange as I cant see the connection to driving dump trucks!

  4. Small group activities. This is the fun part – building tall structures using newspapers, building a boat out of lego etc. You’ll be watched by a couple of assessors – they’ll be looking for how well you work as a team as well as identify any natural leaders.

  5. Interview. Finally you will have a one-on-one interview with a recruiter or mine supervisor.

  6. If the interview process involves two or more days, you’ll also get a mine tour, possibly a ride in a dump truck and test your driving abilities in a simulator machine.
hi Lisa scored an interview tomorrow at skilled for dump truck traineeship and am very nervous. Can you help me out with the interview questions I want this job really bad and are worried about tripping up.

In my ebook , I have written a chapter on interviews, listing all the questions you could be asked. Too many to list here. Its helpful to take a look at  this list and prepare your answers and practice at home before your interview. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself with the following:

- be prepared with enthusiasm for the industry.

- Try to think of a time where you performed something safe in the workplace. If no recent working experience, think of something at home.

- List your strengths and weaknesses.

- Be yourself.

Writing to ask what I should wear to this group recruitment/interview.

Don’t worry, you’re not expected to rock up in hi-vis gear (yellow shirts etc)?
It’s not a business interview either, so no need for suits, ties and classy office wear.

Therefore, you need the in-between. The way I dressed for my mining job interviews was ‘smart casual’ attire – plain trousers, white shirt and closed, flat shoes. Simple is best. The guys were dressed the same way – trousers, shirts (without tie) and closed shoes.

Jeans, t-shirts and sneakers may be a little too casual for your first mining job interview. You still want to make an impression. Once you have gained experience and start to look for jobs with other companies, then you’ll be able to dress more casually – they’ll be assessing your experience rather than your attire.


4. Heath requirements and Age…

I am wanting to go for my articulated dump truck license but I have mild epilepsy. Would I still be eligible for my HR truck license since its only mild and only happens very rarely and at night only?

Firstly, I recommend that you contact the licensing department as each state has different rules regarding certain health issues and driving. My friend was involved in a car accident and they took away her WA licence until she was able to go through 12 months with no dizzy spells and fainting. Thankfully she has her truck licence back now and no further health issues. 

Secondly, it doesnt matter if your epilepsy or other health issues occur at night. Dont forget that mining operates 24/7 - that means you will be required to work day and night shifts.


Dont let any minor health issues affect whether you should apply for the job or not. Apply anyway. Then they send you on a medical examination and thats when you discuss health issues, medications, previous inuries etc. Thats when the decision is made as to whether you will be suitable for the job or not.

As I turn 45 in July, am I still considered young enough to enter the field of dump truck driving?

Absolutely! Never let age deter you or what others think you should be doing at any age. I always say follow your dream and passion and then it wont feel like work!

I did post a blog last year on this very topic.

Age vs driving dump trucks for a living


just one quick question, "AGE?" In truth I'm 61, fit healthy and aggressive thanks to the knock backs I've had. In short am I wasting my time?

I've seen mature aged people employed in mining every year, so it is possible. However, as we're currently in a mining downturn, you'll face the challenge of competing with hundreds of experienced operators who are out of work.

Mining is a cyclical industry. We're in the middle of the downturn, which means only one thing - the upswing should be arriving anytime now! I just dont know exactly when.

For more notes about Age and working in mining, you can read one of my earlier blogs:

Age vs driving dump trucks for a living


5. About mining jobs…

I am really I intrigued what it's like to drive a dump truck!

I remember my first day in a dump truck. I was so excited and amazed to be sitting so high off the ground. I could see for miles. The view was fantastic. 

But I never knew how to describe the feeling of driving one of these big monsters until I had one of the office girls jump into my truck to go for a spin one day. As soon as I departed from the goline, her first words were, “Wow, this is like a moving ship but on land”. She described it perfectly. Its like I’m steering my own ship – coasting at a steady pace. It slowly changes up through the gears to gain speed and vv. Sometimes we’re lucky to go up a ramp in second gear. You cant go faster than 60km/hr. On some mine sites you may  be speed limited to 30 or 40km/hr (reduce heat in the tyres).  

While it sounds great and easy, the hard part is remaining continually focused and alert while you drive for 12 hour shift.

Why is it such a big deal to get a job driving one of these trucks at a Mine-site. Could you let me know and fill me in on it all.

I can interpret 'the big deal'  in two ways. 

If you're asking in terms of why so many people want to drive a dump truck, I would have to say its for the money. Dump truck driving is highly paid and is the highest paid entry level job in mining. Majority of people are only getting into mining because they need the money - to pay their high mortgages and still enjoy life. What alot of people dont realise is that working on a roster, you have less time to enjoy life, especially if you're on a 2/1 or 3/1 roster and it is stressful on families. So it does have its advantages and disadvantages. 

If you're asking in terms of why is it so hard to get a dump truck job, its because you have so much competition out there. Thanks to the media, now everybody wants a piece of the mining action and dollars. When a trainee position is advertised, the recruiters quite often receive thousands of applications. The company I work for advertised at the beginning of the year and received 3000 applications but only had 12 positions to fill. These odds make it difficult for every job seeker to be given a go.

If I get the chance to work in a shutdown mine I'll take it and whats involved in a shutdown? What will I be doing and how long for?

A shutdown doesnt mean that the mine is closing down. It means the processing plant at the mine is temporarily closing for its regular maintenance.

Therefore, they call in specialist people and trades assistants required for the shutdown. The jobs required vary from site to site - electricians, boilermakers, welders, scaffolders, tradies etc. The jobs are listed with the mining company or recruitment agency and they will let you know what skills/tickets are required for the job.

Shutdowns can typically last from 2 - 7days. They dont like to keep the mill down for too long.

Can you tell me what dump trucks KCGM use. I have a HR automatic licence, will this do or will I need to upgrade it to work as a DTO in the super pit?

At KCGM they have CAT 793D trucks. Its good that you have a HR licence to open all mining doors for you – some companies want you to have your HR licence and some don’t. However, it does not qualify you to operate a dump truck – you still need to find a trainee role to get on-the-job training. The trucks are so completely different that I don’t understand why the companies want us to have a HR licence. However, it does come in useful when we are required to operate other machinery on the mine site eg. buses, floats, semi trucks/road trains etc.

So what about married couple Job Share?? I've heard of company's doing Job Share. So we both can't work full time. A Job Share would be perfect for us! How can we apply for this? Would they consider this as an option? Have you heard of other couples doing it? So many benefits I can't imagine why its not common! Any insight?

Job share is slowly creeping into mining but currently you will only see available in the company’s head office in major cities/towns or for office jobs on residential mine sites (mine site located next to a town).

For operator jobs, such as driving dump trucks, I have not heard of any job sharing opportunities. These jobs are on a roster system to begin with, such as 2 weeks on/1 week off or 1 week on/1 week off. For a FIFO role, flying operators in/out during a swing to swap out is not a cost effective option. If it was to be considered by mining companies, I envisaged it would start in residential mine sites (people live locally and therefore don’t have to worry about the extra cost of flights).

It doesn’t mean it will never happen, as economic and workplace situations change all the time, however, I think you will find it difficult at the moment to find job sharing for operator type jobs.

Update August 2016:  The site I work at has just trailled for 6 months a job share for a married couple (dump truck operators) as they have 3 children to look after. It has worked well and  hopefully shows a precedent for other mining companies to do the same. In saying that, perhaps it has worked well as we work at a residential mine site (the mine site next to the town).

My biggest concern with becoming a dump truck driver is the boredom factor and I won't know how I will handle it.

A fair enough statement. People are attracted to the money you can earn from driving dump trucks, however, don’t know enough about the job entails. You do work long hours – driving 12 hours a day. You only get 30-40min lunch breaks with one or two smokos. Although you do drive ‘around in circuits’ all day (from pit to dump or crusher back to pit), most mine sites have a number of pits or dump locations to provide variation to your day. Most importantly, you must be able remain focused for the whole 12 hours – ensure you don’t make wrong turns, don’t dump in the wrong location and avoid collisions with other machinery. You do have to use your brain as such!

on a 12 hour shift in a dump truck, what breaks do you receive for that shift?

This has varied on every mine site that I have worked at. Examples of the breaks that I have expeienced on the mine sites that I have worked at:

  • 10 min morning smoko + 30 min lunch + 10 min afternoon smoko
  • 10 min morning smoko + 30 min lunch
  • 10 min morning smoko + 40 min lunch + 10 min afternoon smoko
  • 30 min break + 30 min break (2 breaks during the day to ensure we dont drive for longer than 5 hours max at a time)

The only other time you get a break is when the digging machine breaks down - yippee Standby Time!



6. FIFO lifestyle…

somebody suggested I don't need to sell my dream country bush house here in Vic, and to rent up in Blackwater and come home on the week off on a roster permitting.... any thoughts on that?

WA and Queensland are your two big mining states. They will typically offer FIFO jobs from major cities within that state eg. Perth or Brisbane/Mackay. Or you could go residential - live in a mining town. eg. Kalgoorlie for WA or Moranbah for Queensland. There are many others.

So while we do have people working in WA mines and live on the east coast, bear in mind that companies wont pay for your airfare from the east coast - only from the closest FIFO city eg. Perth. You then pay for the connecting flights.

If you're looking for traineeships, they will tend to employ people already living in the FIFO city:

  1. you're readily available for an interview
  2. they don't have to wait for you to relocate to the FIFO city.
What's it like to work on a mine site?

This is a question I'm asked often. This is the reason why I dedicated two chapters in my ebook to advise readers what camp life and mining life is like.

And it appears its the same all over the country. As you know I work in WA and so I've invited a guest blogger this month that works in Queensland, called Mad Mumzie. Another crazy girl driving dump trucks and loving it. Everything she has written I can totally relate to. Might be a good idea to read her blog first before you start embarking on a mining career to drive dump trucks - Are you cut out to be a dump truck operator? 

Do FIFO miners have annual leave?

We sure do! The number of leave days varies according to the type of roster you're working and the company.

When working for a mining company direct, typically a 2/1 roster will get up to 28 days annual leave and a 1/1 roster may get up to 17 days annual leave.

When working for a contractor, they may or may not give you paid leave

I just want to know basically how you get a balance with spending time with family. I just have the impression that most mining jobs are FIFO or are remotely located and that one may be away from their families from time to time.

I love this question, because its one that not many people think of - all they see is the dollars! 

You are correct, most mining jobs are FIFO and most are not located near a town. It is much easier if you don’t have children, like myself, however I often joke that looking after my parents is enoughJ 

Step 1:  Its very important that the whole family discusses your change of career before you start applying because you will need the support of your family to be able to work away for 1-3 weeks at a time (depending upon your roster). Your partner needs to understand that he/she will become the master of the house and its so important that the children understand too (avoid the resentment that can appear when a parent is never home).  

Step 2:  Ensure that there will be a support group for your family to reach out to because it will be difficult in the beginning. Mining Family Matters and FIFO Families are a couple of support groups that started in Perth and is now Australia wide.


7. Not an Australian resident…

Please help me get a mining job in Australia?

Please note that I'm not a recruitment agency. I provide help and advice through an ebook, Facebook page and blogs for Australians wanting to work in the mining industry.

Australian mining companies are currently not employing from overseas for operator jobs. Dump truck driving is not listed on the Australian government list of needed professions.

Also note, that I am not able to assist with immigration.

More details can be found at the following blog: Finding a dump truck job if you live overseas

I'm a dump truck driver (930/797) with over two years of experience (open pit mine) from Canada. I'd be interested in moving to Australia. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Wow Atila, that is certainly great experience that any mining company here would snap up. But unfortunately Australian mining companies don’t employ from overseas for dump truck operators – only if you have a skill that Australia is lacking or you have a specialist skill. Refer to the links in the blog below for further information on other types of visas that are available and to check whether it is applicable to you. I'm unable to help with immigration.

How to get a mining job if you live overseas

I will be travelling to Australia in September for a year and was wondering if you could advise what I would need to have from Ireland to successfully apply for vacancies in this area (dump truck driving)

I do get this enquiry from time to time. Especially as we get alot of travelling visitors to Australia and would like to make some extra money!

Unfortunately, mining companies do not employ people who are in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. They wont consider you because you are not here long term.

You would have to look at other avenues - different type of Australian working visas - if you want a permanent change to a mining career.

I cannot help with visas or immigration. However, you can refer to the following blog for some tips on where to start researching:

Find a dump truck job in Australia

Safe driving!



pandora_logo Dump Truck Discovery is proud to be included in Pandora Web Archive (National Library of Australia) selective collection of websites with significance to Australia.