BC Iron managing director Mike Young says jobseekers are "living in la-la land" if they think they can score a mining job without experience.
PerthNow reports Young said many jobseekers did not understand the amount of skills and qualifications required to work in the mining industry.
He said without experience workers looking to enter the industry needed to accept lower paid positions.
"People think mining is just this brutish industry where they give you a pick and shovel and off you go," he said.
"You can't be a completely unskilled labourer and expect to earn $150,000 a year driving a truck that's just living in la-la land."
BGC CEO Greg Heylen also told PerthNow there was a misconception about transferrable skills and workers from other industries could not be trained "overnight".
Both Heylen and Yong said Enterprise Migration Agreements, which allow companies to import bulk numbers of skilled foreign workers, were necessary to keep resources projects moving.
Last week Australian Mining published details on how one inexperienced worker found a job in the mining industry as a fly-in fly-out bartender and kitchen hand.
The technique has long been recommended by recruitment specialists, who claim it's a good way to get a foot in the door and discover new opportunities.