There’s still good money to be made from jobs in the resources sector, says Peter Dyball, resources analyst and expert in skills needed for the mining industry.
“If you have the qualifications and experience and are good at what you do there is still plenty of opportunity across just about all occupations,” he told Business Insider Australia.
Peter, the founder of the The Pit Crew, a small consultancy which services the mining and oil and gas sectors, has been analysing the resources labour market for around nine years.
During that time there has been huge growth and, he says, a few glitches along the way.
“However it gets frustrating to see the media and commentators constantly focusing on negatives,” he says. “It’s like finding a million dollars but the thing which makes the headline is how tragic it is that it’s all in dollar coins.”
He says it’s been a tough six months for those providing service to the mining industry.
However, he says there are still two-and-a-half times as many workers on major projects as there were in January 2010.
“And if not one more project reaches Final Investment Decision in the next two years there is still more work to do than was delivered between 2010 to 2012,” he says.
Some of the latest numbers compiled by Pit Crew for major projects in Australia:
Value of committed projects in Jan 2014 $430 billion
Looking at the volume of work done and remaining work to be done, Pit Crew has created ratios to examine the volume of work done over a series of two year periods:
Time period Relative volume of work (based on man hours)
“What this says is that despite the easing, over the next two years there is still a lot of work to be done, more than one-third more than was delivered in the 2010–2012 period.”
He says the skills which remain in demand include electrical trades, specialist welders, as well as experienced riggers, scaffolders and crane operators.
The difference between working a normal city-based trades job compared to FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) in the resources industry is about $20 an hour:
Workshop-based worker: Assuming a 36 hour week plus 8 hours Saturday overtime every second week, indicative workshop earnings of $97,767.09 (2080 annual hours) for the key boilermaker classification. Assuming no overtime, the annual figure drops to $83,077.06 (1872 annual hours). About $47/hour worked including overtime, with no overtime around $44.38/hour worked.
Project based FIFO worker: A boilermaker on a Pilbara iron ore project on a standard roster has annual remuneration of $185,833.35 (including overtime, typical allowances and compliance type payments, but excluding statutory leave). Annual working hours including regular overtime are 2704 hours. About $68.73/hour worked.
Peter Dyball says LNG operations people are going to be in high demand over the next 5 years.
Australia doesn’t have the depth of skills in this area, although there is a lot of training going on.
“There are more opportunities and more jobs than 10 years ago,” he says.