Do you have the non-mining skills the mining industry needs?

Do you have the skills the mining industry needs? Could your next job be in the mining industry, even if your skill set isn’t one traditionally needed in mining?

When you think of professional mining jobs, you probably imagine people like geologists and engineers.

But modern mining has enthusiastically embraced technology and innovation, so while the industry will always need geologists and engineers, it also needs people with a huge range of other skills not always associated with mining.

Do you have the skills the mining industry needs? Could your next job be in the mining industry?

What kinds of skills does the mining industry need?

In late 2022, the Minerals Council of Australia released its Digital Mine report, which looked closely at the Australian mining industry’s innovation ecosystem. Here are some of the fields of expertise it identified the mining industry as needing either already or in the near future.

3D imaging

3D imaging is used to create rich, accurate models of mines that give operators a great deal of information about the mine environment, which can then be used to improve productivity and safety.


Drones are being used to survey, monitor and inspect mines, during exploration, operations and even rehabilitation.

Electric haul trucks and other vehicles

Diesel trucks and other vehicles are on the way out as mining embraces net zero by 2050 goals. The industry will need people who can maintain and service electric vehicles of all kinds, including haul trucks, and their associated infrastructure.

Autonomous machines

Trucks, trains and even drills are increasingly being operated remotely, which helps improve safety onsite. There are jobs in developing, planning, installing and maintaining these pieces of equipment and their systems, as well as their actual operation.

Integrated operations centres (IOC)

These IOCs monitor and analyse data from across a mine’s operations to provide real-time and actionable intelligence. Check out Fortescue’s centre here. IOCs mean employees don’t have to go to site to do their jobs, creating opportunities for people to work nearer to where they live.

Ore sorting sensors

Sensor-based ore sorting reduces waste and improves efficiency on a mine site, which is important for sustainability. These technologies are getting more innovative and technical as they develop, with jobs in everything from developing to maintaining the technology.

Wearable technology

From smart helmets and glasses to devices for health diagnostics and mapping, wearable tech is becoming more common in mining. It has proven its worth in terms of improving safety and productivity. There are opportunities for people with skills in everything from robotics to software to telecommunications in wearable tech.

Precision mining

Precision mining is about extremely efficient mining. To use a medical analogy, it’s a bit like keyhole surgery—getting the job done making the smallest impact possible. That’s going to create plenty of job opportunities in areas as diverse as GPS, digital imaging, logistics, blasting and even processing.  

Virtual reality

Virtual reality is being used in a huge range of practices in mining, from mine design to remote operations. There will continue to be more jobs involving both developing and using this technology.

Predictive maintenance

Big data has been embraced by the industry, which is always looking for efficiencies to lower costs. Predictive maintenance, where maintenance schedules are optimised from data collected from a complex network of equipment and sensors, will continue to create a lot of jobs in developing, supporting and using those systems.

3D printing

As 3D printing and laser scanning continue to develop, the expectation is they will be able to be used to produce spare parts on remote mine sites, saving time and money. Big miners like Fortescue are already working on this.


Blockchain (a kind of digital encryption) provides security and transparency in business transactions. It’s being used in a huge range of industries and is set to revolutionise mining, too—including in areas like compliance, mining lease management and supply chains.

Alternative energy

Mining companies are already turning to alternative energy sources, like solar power and battery storage, to reduce emissions and power off-grid operations. There’ll be jobs in designing, installing and maintaining these systems.


Arguably, mining already does logistics well. But blockchain, AI and machine learning are changing the landscape quickly—especially where commodity and financial markets are concerned. They’re leading to faster transactions and more-informed decisions and will lead to a range of new career opportunities across the mining industry.

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Dan Hatch
Mining People International