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Mining salaries skyrocket in Western Australia with mining graduates earning up to 160k a year


Why recent graduates are being offered a jaw-dropping $160k to work in the mines – while wages rise by a staggering 27 percent in just 18 months

  • Mining salaries in Western Australia are up 27 percent in the past 18 months
  • Limited labour, closed borders & an influx of projects means more demand for jobs
  • Mining graduate salaries have risen to $110k with one student offered $160k
  • Chief Geologist among the highest paid in the industry, soars to $290k a year

A sudden rise in mining company salaries could see recent graduates from universities in Western Australia earn top dollars, offering one student an incredible $160,000 a year.

Labor constraints due to closed international and domestic borders and an influx of projects have resulted in mining wages in some occupations rising 27 percent in the past 18 months.

Recent data from BDO Australia’s national Remsmart survey of the natural resources sector in June showed that existing wages increased by 12 to 15 percent for some industries.

Restricted workers due to closed borders and an influx of projects have caused some mining salaries in WA to rise 27 percent (photo, stock photo)

According to BDO, mining graduates have earned between $85,000 and $90,000 to as much as $110,000 per year in recent years.

Due to a decline in commodity prices since the previous resource boom, the demand for university enrollments in mining courses declined.

This means that current graduates can now negotiate higher salaries.

A soon to graduate engineering student reportedly received an offer of $160,000 from a major company but turned down the role for a smaller operation, according to WA Today.

One of the most in-demand occupations identified was heavy-duty mechanics, who could earn up to $195,000 a year, said Allan Feinberg, executive director of BDO Rewards and Compensation Services.

Geologists saw an unprecedented increase in the past 18 months, the largest of its kind in Australia, according to the study.

Mining graduates earn between $85k and $90k to $110k, with one person reportedly being offered up to $160k (pictured, stock photo)

Mining graduates earn between $85k and $90k to $110k, with one person reportedly being offered up to $160k (pictured, stock photo)

A chief geologist working at an exploration company with an average market cap of $215 million has risen from $220,000 to $290,000.

Core mining positions such as engineers and surveyors were also in-demand jobs as WA sees higher salaries for some occupations than during the infrastructure boom in the 2010s.

Work schedules — such as two weeks on and one week off — also contributed to wage growth, according to Mr Feinberg, who says employees received the same pay as old shifts, even though they worked more days.

“With lockdowns, with the skills shortage… and employers’ obligations to provide a better work environment, it has only escalated,” Mr Feinberg said.


Chief Geologist – $280,000 and $290,000

Heavy Duty Mechanic – $195,000

Mining Graduate Rolls – $110,000 to $160,000

“Until we see an easing of our borders and the ability to actually recruit and let skilled personnel through, we will still be under pressure to pay.”

In June, the energy and minerals sector lobbied the federal government to fly more than 30,000 overseas workers to Australia on special work visas.

The demand for labor in the high-paying commodities industry came as mining giants were hit hard by the impact of Covid-19 on international travel.

Western Australia’s industry giants have $140 billion resource projects in the pipeline.

They are projected to need 40,000 workers by 2023 to complete their plans, but the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy predicts the sector can fill only 7,000 of those jobs with domestic work.



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