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How to get a job in an underground coal mine

Not everyone is cut out for a supervisory role in an underground coal mine, so remuneration tends to be generous

So, you're interested in working in an underground coal mine…

Australia's mining boom is showing no signs of losing steam any time soon. The industry therefore offers plenty of lucrative opportunities for career advancement.

Formal qualifications

Management

If you're relatively new to the industry but interested in moving to more supervisory roles such as a mine supervisor, team leader or deputy, TAFE's Diploma of Underground Coal Mining Management is an ideal start. There are no formal entry requirements, however, while studying for this qualification you will need to be employed in an underground mine operation, or have authorised access to one. Previous experience in the mining industry will also give you a boost. And don't worry, you can study online from your mine. You don't need to be close to a Campus.

Obvious desirable personal qualities here include good leadership skills and the ability to motivate and inspire others. You'll need to be responsible and reliable with good communication skills and a strong awareness of occupational health and safety policies and procedures. And no claustrophobia, of course, as you'll be spending lengthy periods of time in the earth's crust.

This qualification will provide you with the necessary training to perform a broad range of activities such as supporting underground shotfiring operations (including supervising the storage and transport of explosives and accessories and conducting the blast), carrying out equipment maintenance, applying and monitoring the mine transport system and gas drainage and ventilation management plans and conducting shuttle car operations.

Not everyone is cut out for a supervisory role in an underground coal mine, so remuneration tends to be generous. If you're willing to take on the unique and particular challenges of this kind of role, you'll find it an exciting and rewarding career development.

Trades

Underground mining operations are always in need of skilled tradespersons. With a continuing need for trade concreters, consider entering into an Australian Apprenticeship, or becoming a dual-tradie by completing the Certificate III in Concreting.

Skill-Sets

Statement of Attainment in Enter and Work in Confined Spaces