Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers

ANZSCO ID 7122

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
58,700
Future Growth
14.9%
Weekly Earnings
$2,494
Full-Time Share
95%
Female Share
7%
Average age
41

Summary

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.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Machinery Operators And Drivers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 75,900 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
14.9%
(or 9,900 jobs)
From
66,000
in 2021
To
75,900
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 59,600
2012 51,400
2013 55,200
2014 50,800
2015 43,300
2016 57,300
2017 53,200
2018 58,800
2019 56,500
2020 61,500
2021 66,000
2026 75,900

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 95% of people employed as Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 29 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 62 hours per week in their main job. This is 18 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,494 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,149
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $3,082

    Median hourly earnings are $54, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,494 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Mining
87.8%
2
Construction
5.6%
3
Manufacturing
1.2%
4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
1.2%
5
Other industries
4.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

24.3% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

4.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

32.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

4.8% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

31.3% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.1% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers All Jobs Average
NSW 24.3 31.6
VIC 4.5 25.6
QLD 32.3 20.0
SA 4.8 7.0
WA 31.3 10.8
TAS 1.6 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 0.1 1.9


  • Around 80% of Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
41
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
7%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.

    Females make up 7% of the workforce. This is 41 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

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 Bracket Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.4 5.0
20-24 3.7 9.3
25-34 28.3 22.9
35-44 29.4 22.0
45-54 24.7 21.6
55-59 8.3 9.0
60-64 3.9 6.0
65 and Over 1.4 4.2
Median Age 41 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Driller, Miner or Shot Firer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in a relevant mining field.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Resources and Infrastructure Industry VET training pathways.

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 Qualification Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.6 10.1
Bachelor degree 2.5 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 4.9 11.6
Certificate III/IV 38.0 21.1
Year 12 18.8 18.1
Year 11 7.8 4.8
Year 10 and below 27.5 12.5

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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 52%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 48%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 46%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 43%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 41%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 39%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 37%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 37%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 37%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 36%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 36%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 36%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 36%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 36%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 34%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 34%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 34%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 34%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 32%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 30%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 56%

    Mechanical

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

  • 33%

    Transportation

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

  • 32%

    Law and government

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

  • 32%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 31%

    Engineering and technology

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

  • 31%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 30%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 29%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 27%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 27%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 24%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 24%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 22%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 20%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 20%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 15%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 14%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 10%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 8%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 6%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 55%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 54%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 54%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 48%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 48%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 46%

    Hearing sensitivity

    Tell the difference between sounds.

  • 46%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 46%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 46%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 46%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 46%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 45%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 41%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 39%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 38%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 38%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 38%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 38%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 84%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 74%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 74%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 72%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 71%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 70%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 66%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 65%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 64%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 57%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 56%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 56%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 54%

    Working with electronic equipment

    Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.

  • 49%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 48%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 47%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 46%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 45%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 45%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 39%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 29%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 19%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 19%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 76%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 48%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 40%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 29%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Dangerous equipment

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

  • 100%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 100%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

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

  • 99%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

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

  • 97%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

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

  • 95%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 94%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 94%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 91%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 89%

    Pace of work set by equipment

    Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.

  • 89%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Cramped work space

    Work in an awkward position or in cramped work spaces.

  • 85%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 84%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 81%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 79%

    Bright or inadequate lighting

    Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.

  • 78%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 77%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 77%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 77%

    Bending or twisting your body

    Spend time bending or twisting your body.

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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