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Overview of the Mining Industry


British Columbia has one of the largest mining sectors in Canada with more than 1,200 mineral exploration and mining companies. The industry employs more than 10,000 people in BC.

Employment in mining is very sensitive to economic cycles. There is employment growth during boom times and employment reductions during recessions. The economic outlook for the Canadian mining industry appears to be improving after a period of significant slowdown. Across Canada the industry is expected to hire approximately 97,450 workers from 2019 to 2029.

Forecasted hiring gaps in the mining industry by broad occupational category, 2019-2029

mining industry chart 2019 to 2029

Source: Canadian Mining Labour Market Outlook 2019

Over the longer term, BC’s mining industry anticipates a shortage of skilled workers. The industry may need to hire more than 10,000 workers over the next 10 years in order to replace a large number of workers who are retiring or leaving the industry for other reasons.

In order to fill these positions, the mining industry is trying to attract and recruit women and men from every national and cultural background. The industry has responded by developing a number of programs to recruit newcomers to Canada.

These include:

  • initiatives to attract newcomers to remote locations of the province
  • corporate efforts to encourage diversity in the workplace
  • strategies for streamlining foreign-credential recognition

One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program, which helps you overcome barriers to entering the trades, including jobs in mining. This program can provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) created a guide specifically for newcomers to Canada. The guide provides you with advice including:

  • Videos on mining in Canada
  • Life in mining – what to expect
  • Skills and training
  • How to get your international education and experience recognized
  • Canadian mining jargon
  • Tips on applying for jobs

More information:

For more information on the mining sector see:

Occupations in the Mining Sector

There are more than 120 occupations in the mining industry. Each career has its own unique set of experience and training requirements.

The majority of mining workers in BC have a university certificate, diploma or degree. However, you can find mining jobs at all skill levels. Some careers are in greater demand than others.

Occupations in Highest Demand:

the five occupations with the largest hiring requirements for each of the industry sub-sectors include

Source: Preparing for the Future – Mining Labour Market Outlook for British Columbia 2016-2026

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council identifies core occupations within the mining sector. For a list of these occupations, along with projected future demand see:

The table below shows the range of jobs within the mining sector:

here are just someof the many different jobs in the mineral industry

Source: Careers in the Minerals Industry: Pamphlet

For detailed information on any of the occupations in the mining sector, including job description, educational requirements for working in BC, salary, and more see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

The majority of job openings are in the northern and interior regions of British Columbia. Comparatively few new jobs are in Metro Vancouver (Mainland/South West region).

Job prospects are best if you are willing to relocate to other regions of the province.

Hiring requirements forecasts by region, three scenarios for 2, 5 and 10 years

regional forecasts for hiring

Source: Mining Labour Market Outlook for British Columbia 2016-2026

Additional information on mining activities in specific regions can be found at:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the mining industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: