Sector offers six-figure salaries to entice staff

As competition for staff to fill thousands of jobs across Australia heats up, one sector offers salaries that are far above the rest.

Six-figure salaries are up for grabs in more than 1,700 mining jobs in Australia, with some companies even offering a $10,000 sign-up bonus as skills shortages make recruiting increasingly difficult.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has revealed that a lack of workers was driving salaries up in the already lucrative industry, with the most in-demand jobs including metallurgist, automotive electrician, automation engineer, apprentice heavy diesel fitter and geologist.

These jobs can earn between $100,000 and $130,000, but auto electricians get paid even more with a starting salary of $140,000.

Just last week, more than 2,000 mining jobs were advertised on Seek, with 85 percent paying a six-figure salary, the QRC said.

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Mega sign-up bonuses are also used as a way to attract staff, with mining service provider Thiess offering $10,000 for employees who join the company as well as $5,000 bonuses for successful referrals.

Even intern fitter jobs see salary offers between $75,000 and $85,000.

Katrina Lee Jones, director of skills, education and diversity at QRC, said the construction boom had exacerbated competition for staff, along with a shift to more technology-based roles in the industry rather than just people on the ground.

“The problem is that Covid has had minimal impact on production coming out of the industry, it is booming in Queensland but Covid has exacerbated this skills shortage,” she told

“We had some people coming from other states so Covid either ended that or made it very difficult or uncomfortable, especially from Western Australia. And that also increased competition.”

The sector has also been plagued by a decline in the number of young people applying for trades and internships, while also competing for IT staff.

“I think the IT world with virtual reality has opened up a whole new world for these people who are looking for these careers. Those kinds of jobs are very different, even five years ago,” she said.

“We know the IT side and the use of these advanced technologies is attracting young people to the industry because the industry is at the forefront of many of these innovations.”

The QRC is launching a campaign next month to appeal to school-leavers considering a career in the industry.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier this year showed that the mining sector continued to offer the best reward across Australia, with employees averaging $138,128.

The figures also showed that for all jobs in Australia, you need to earn more than $91,000 a year to be considered a higher-than-average salary.

Technology sector desperately looking for staff

The tech industry is another sector that is crying out for more skilled workers.

Companies — such as Amazon, Google, Atlassian and Canva — pay between $147,000 and $350,000 for graduates, with some salaries including stock options and year-end bonuses, according to data obtained by the Australian

Some of the dazzling salaries — which would normally only be paid to chief executives — are seen at trading firms seeking software engineers, with Jane Street paying $350,000, shelling IMC $260,000 and Amsterdam-based trading platform Optiver offering $250,000. .

Still, the average salary of an Australian worker is just $62,400, according to the ABS.

Yesterday, it revealed that the unemployment rate for May reached 3.9 percent with 60,600 new jobs created.

It was the seventh consecutive job gain, following the easing of lockdown restrictions in late 2021, the ABS said.

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