Mining offers career opportunities for everyone.
THERE'S a whole lot more to mining than the dig-it-up part - while extraction is the core of the business, there's an entire industry that operates around supporting and servicing mines and processing plants.
It's an industry that offers career opportunities for everyone, from project managers and surveyors to mechanics, accountants and information technology specialists.
Mines run 24/7, which means any downtime quickly becomes expensive - if one link in the production chain breaks, the entire operation can quickly grind to a halt.
Most of the large mining projects running across the country are operated by teams of contracted companies, each specialising in particular stages of the mining process. It's rare that a single company, say BHP Billiton or Rio Tinto, would run the entire project with its own staff.
That's an important fact to keep in mind if you're looking for work in mining services. You need to look deeper than just the company names in the project title - there will be a raft of companies hiring specialist staff.
To be a specialist, though, requires specialist skills. Many mining services companies also operate registered training organisations, to aid job seekers in developing the skills required to work in the industry.
Other roles require particular skills that can generally only be developed by completing an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Mining services isn't all dirty work - there are plenty of professional opportunities in the industry as well.
You might have seen Heather Parry pop up on your TV in the industry-sponsored This Is Our Story ads - she's a civil engineer working as a project manager for Leighton Contractors at the Dawson North Mine Project in Central Queensland.
Heather is an advocate for the variety and value on offer in the mining industry, particularly for women and younger workers.
"I think that it's critically important that we educate the community that there's more to mining than just coming in and driving a truck or digging a hole," she said.
"There are a whole range of skills and services that the mining industry requires, just like any other business, and I want to encourage them to go for it."