Miners still earning the big bucks

A softening mining sector is weighing down on workers’ pay packets but mining still has some of the highest paid roles nationally, a new report has found.

According to job website SEEK’s annual salary report, construction and engineering salaries have been hit by mining’s transition out of an investment phase and into one focussed production.

“The national decrease in the average salary reflects a drop in salaries for candidates in high paying sectors such as mining and construction due to a softening of the sector,” SEEK HR Manager, Rebecca Supierz said.   

“Construction and engineering jobseekers would have been disappointed to find salary decreases of up to 21 per cent for some roles.

“However, these roles are coming off a high salary base and when we look nationally, the best paying jobs were still found in the mining resources and engineering sectors.”

The report found that while mining failed to be ranked in the top five industries for year-on-year salary growth, job roles in the sector cleaned up the top five highest paying roles based on average salaries in the country.

Taking out the number one spot, oil and gas geoscientists on average recorded a 13 per cent pay increase year-on-year, taking home an average salary of $158,671.

Following closely behind, mining managers’ average salary for 2013 was $145,401, mining geologists’ earned around $139,600 last year, while mining engineers grossed $137,800.

Top five highest paying roles in Australia on average


2013 Salary

Oil and Gas Geoscientists


Mining Managers


Mining Geoscientists


Oil and Gas Drillers


Mining Engineers



Job roles that had the greatest decline in salary year-on-year


2012 Salary

2013 Salary

Percentage Decrease year –on-year

Construction Planners




Materials Handlers




Environmental Services Assistants




Engineering Draftspeople




Construction Estimators




Top five industries for year on year salary growth nationwide


2012 Salary

2013 Salary

Percentage Increase year –on-year

Insurance and Superannuation




Sport and recreation




Healthcare and medical




Retail and consumer products




Community services and development




Source: Seek.

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