The pipeline construction industry focuses on the building of large scale gas, water, slurry and oil pipelines. Most of these occur in remote areas away from major cities, out in the bush like many of our major Here the similarities end. Construction wages far outstrip mine production wages and provide many more opportunities for the man with no experience in the industry. It is far easier to get a local hire pipeline job than it is to get a job in the highly sought after mining industry with no experience and you will earn more money at the same time!

The mining industry is often portrayed as the promised land. Programs like Today Tonight or A Current Affair show pictures of 300 ton CAT dump trucks carrying massive amounts of earth down haul roads as wide as the Hume highway. We have all been told time and again that anyone could operate the massive yellow machines with air-conditioned cabins, fully automatic gearboxes, reversing cameras and many other features commonly found in your average sedan.

The reality is that without years of experience, a wallet full of tickets, someone you “know” or a truckload of luck you will find it very hard to get a start. Far from being the promised land the mining industry has become a nightmare for some. Those who have loaded up a car and taken off into the wild blue without securing a job first have often returned months later without a penny, those who did find a job ended up earning big money but paid $500 a week to stay at the local caravan park and $5 for a loaf of bread at the local store. The cost of living in some mining towns like Karratha, Roxby or Emerald will soon break the bank, even with the wages your paid and you may find you’re better off working locally and having the benefit of being in your own bed every night.

Laborers on their first job are often paid $2000 to $2500 in the BANK per week! They are housed in air-conditioned accommodation, provided with meals, uniforms, boots and have their laundry done for them. Flights are paid for you to your nearest capital city and experienced people are often flown to regional centers. The long (four weeks on, nine days off) roster often takes some getting used to, but they afford a rare chance to save large amounts of money while “out bush”. On an eight month job in W.A. I managed to save about $70,000 simply by having nowhere to spend it!

The pipeline industry also offers the rare chance to see parts of Australia you would not see from the inside of the prison like cyclone wire surroundings of many of our mining facilities. Many inmates joke about the security measures of Century “Penitentiary” Mine in Queensland’s west. The pipelines often cover hundreds of kilometers, away from main roads over country only seen by the landowner or his cattle. It’s a brilliant way to be paid to see outback Australia.

The need to fly in workers to these remote locations is exactly the reason that makes the pipeline construction industry easier to get in for that crucial first job start. Companies will nearly always try to find as many men as they can in the local area to save paying for flights. Should you submit an application with a local address you will miss out on the flights, but you will be allowed to live in the camp and you will be a lot more likely to get a start. Once you get that first job it will be far easier to find the second and third as your experience within the industry increases. Many supervisors take and recommend the best men from their crews to take with them from job to job, so it’s important to have and maintain a solid work ethic as this will serve you well.

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