Resources and Infrastructure


The mining sectors, along with the Civil Construction sector, make up the Resources and Infrastructure industry. There are four resources sectors covering Drilling, Mining, Coal Mining and Quarrying.

  Employers Employee numbers
Drilling 800 employers 19 800 employees
Coal mining 200 employers 43 100 employees
Metalliferous mining 400 employers 66 500 employees
Quarrying 700 employers 13 700 employees

What does this industry cover?

The Drilling sector
  • Drilling finds and accesses vital energy sources: oil, gas, geothermal power and coal seam gas.
  • Water well drilling provides water supply for most of rural and regional Australia, and significant urban water.
  • Drillers also play a big role in laying foundations for major civil works such as bridges, dams, wharves and buildings.

Coal Mining covers brown and black surface coal extraction. Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and is the fourth largest producer of black coal.

Metalliferous Mining includes metals, industrial minerals and semiprecious stones and involves: open cut mining; underground mining; mine development; processing; haulage and transport; site rehabilitation; and blasting.

Quarrying provides raw materials such as sand, gravel, crushed rock and clay that are processed into raw material inputs for use in many building and industrial processes.

The Infrastructure (Civil Construction) sector is a large sector within the resource and infrastucture industry. The link below provides you with a dedicated page with information about the sector.

Industry Information

Most drilling exploration work is done in isolated and even remote locations over long hours of work, often involving 12 hour shifts and extended periods away from home.

Some sectors, such as foundation drilling, environmental drilling, and trenchless technology can be in urban areas.

Over 48% of all Australia’s exports are minerals.  Australia is in the top five producers of most of the world’s key minerals commodities.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in this industry are strong.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Commencements Change

The change in Australian Apprenticeships commencements in this industry in the past two years. Commencements year to June 2018: 7530

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 18/12/2018. AATIS analysis.

Graduate Employment

Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry in employment (in any industry).

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Graduate Wage

Average wage of Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry employed full-time after training.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Growth

Growth in employment in this industry in the past 5 years.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

Industry Size

The number of employees in this industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

Average wage of all employees in this industry.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017. AATIS analysis.

More Information about the Infrastructure Sector

Click Here

Key Occupations

Drilling Assistant


Quarry Workers

Plant Operators

Open Cut Coal Miners

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Resource Mining & Processing

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where Drilling, Mining and Quarrying can take you?

Career Pathways

Drilling, Mining and Quarrying (as part of the Resouces and Infrastructure Industry) have career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quizzes

These resources illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in these sectors.

Download The Quizzes

Practice Aptitude Quiz

Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • Minerals Council of Australia
  • Institute of Quarrying Australia
  • Australian Drilling Industry Association
  • Australian Mines and Metals Association

Other useful links

  • The Minerals Institute
  • Australian Mines Atlas 
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science