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Mine workers were paid $26B in 2020 despite COVID

Minerals Council of Australia
Minerals Council of Australia

Average resources employees were still better off even after the worldwide pandemic caused a recession, new statistics show.

The latest data from the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) shows the average full-time adult mine worker was paid $2758 a week. This was 2.2 per cent higher than the average weekly $2697.50 reported on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website back in May 2020.

$144K is the norm

The average industry salary in 2019-20 was $144,000, making resources workers the nation’s biggest earners who collectively took home 58 per cent more than the average pay across all industries. A total of $26 billion in wages were paid to workers across the mining industry throughout the period.

MCA predicts the industry will continue to offer highly paying work but there is a catch.

“High-wage jobs depend upon high-productivity workplaces,” MCA said in its latest pre-budget submission.

“The experience of the minerals industry shows that greater choice and flexibility in working arrangements allows firms to employ a diverse and adaptable workforce and link pay to performance.”

Highly skilled jobs

In fiscal 2020, Australia’s resources industry directly employed 238,000 people and 6599 of them were Indigenous Australians, representing about 3 per cent of the total mining workforce.

Mine workers in highly skilled jobs include:

  • industrial, mechanical and production engineers (10,685 in total)
  • geologists, geophysicists and hydrogeologists (10,675)
  • environmental scientists (9326)
  • production managers – mining (5628)
  • mining engineers (3502)
  • chemical and material engineers (2561)
  • surveyors and spatial scientists (1007)
  • metallurgists and physicists (699).

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An estimated 5000 apprenticeships and traineeships will also be created through the federally funded Mining Skills Organisation Pilot.

Click here to download the full report.

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