Mining in Kailo, Congo, Africa – Photo Courtesy: Julien Harneis
Working in a mine is fun and people will earn a great wage, but there are bad things about it too and I’ve tried to let everyone know why it’s not the greatest job in the world.
A lot of people are desperate to get a job in the mines, but this is only because the money is absolutely fantastic. When was the last time you heard about someone wanting to go work in the middle of nowhere for minimum wage? Is money really that important to you?
You better make up your mind now because everything is not as rosy as you think. Let’s take a look at some of the things you might face that are not great. Working in the mines is exciting and enjoyable, but you do need to open your eyes and see the truth.
1. Go where the jobs are
You can’t just drive 20 minutes to work in the local mine just outside your hometown. Mines are usually in the middle of nowhere and you will have to travel a long distance to get there. The majority of jobs will also only be available in certain countries, so are you prepared to go and live somewhere else? If you’ve never lived away from home for more than a day in your life, you don’t know how you will react when you’re across the other side of the world.
2. You will work all the time
The mines don’t close when it gets dark and they definitely won’t close when you want to travel somewhere on the weekend. When you’re at work, you will be doing long shifts and sometimes you will never see daylight. You will then get a break and you won’t be able to go anywhere. It won’t be long before you’re back at work doing the same thing again. You do get a lot of time off but when you’re at work, it never stops.
3. You need to be qualified
If you dream of getting a high-paying job without any qualifications, you can think again. There will be jobs out there that don’t require a lot of skills, but you won’t get them because there are so little of them available. You will need to do things the hard way, so if you decide that working in the mines is your dream job, you will have to go away and become great at something. Amazing technicians and engineers will always be in demand.
4. It’s a dangerous business
The only real chance of getting hurt in an office is if you get sore eyes from looking at the computer for too long. When you’re in the mines, you will be working with a lot of massive industrial equipment. Hydraulic rigs and winches will become your new toys. It won’t be a laptop and a coffee machine anymore. If you mess up, you could end up with more than a scratch.
5. It’s very challenging
If you struggle to lift weights at the gym 3 times per week, you will definitely be struggling carrying out hard work non-stop for 12 hours per shift. You will also be in pretty uncomfortable conditions because I don’t think there are any mines on tropical islands at the moment. Sooner or later, your body will get used to the struggle, but it won’t be easy and it’s still hard work.
6. Say goodbye to your family
Getting to spend weeks at home is great and you can do so much, but when your time is up and you have to go back to the rigs, it’s not nice. You have to say goodbye to your wife and children for another month. If your children are young, you will only be there 50% of the time to watch them growing up. This is why some people don’t last in the mines.
Can you handle all of that?
Hopefully, you’re still eager to grab a job in the mines because it’s definitely worth it. Just be prepared to struggle, either finding a job or keeping one. Good luck and have a great journey.
Noel Williams is an employee at I&M Winch Hire which offers hydraulic power packs on hire. He enjoys competing in food challenges and adventure sports.