Surviving and thriving in FIFO: Essential tips for mining workers

Starting out in FIFO work can be both exciting and challenging. This type of work offers many benefits but also requires employees to travel to remote locations for a strictly rostered schedule.

If you’re seeking mining jobs in WA, you’re likely to come across FIFO opportunities that involve being away from home for a period ranging from a week to several weeks, with a break period in between shifts. It’s important to note that each FIFO role is unique and requires careful consideration.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of how to prepare for FIFO work. However, for more customised assistance in mining recruitment and roles, reach out to the Scotford Fennessy team today.

The benefits of working FIFO

Financial Benefits

One of the key advantages of FIFO work is the potential for financial benefits. Despite the challenging lifestyle, this type of work often offers higher-than-average wages and a range of other perks. Additionally, because most mining sites are in remote areas and companies provide facilities for their workers, FIFO employees typically have lower living expenses and are able to save more money than the average worker. Overall, working FIFO can be a smart economic choice for those looking to increase their earnings and save for the future.

Time off

In addition to financial benefits, FIFO work often provides more time off than traditional jobs. Due to the extended periods between work shifts, employees have ample opportunity to relax, spend time with loved ones, pursue hobbies, or even travel. While other jobs may offer less time off, they may also require employees to be “on” for longer hours. FIFO work provides a balance between work and leisure time, allowing employees to enjoy a better quality of life overall.

Sense of community

Working FIFO can also provide a unique sense of community. Due to the isolated location and extended periods of time spent together, employees often develop close bonds with their colleagues. This sense of camaraderie can be stronger than what is typically found in other work environments. Despite the challenges of being away from home, the sense of community among FIFO workers can make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding.

‘You time’

Another advantage of working FIFO is having more “you time.” During the extended break periods, employees can engage in activities or hobbies that interest them, or simply enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. The independence and solitude can also allow workers to develop new skills or pursue their passions. Overall, the extended time off provides a valuable opportunity for self-care and personal growth.

Mining recruitment opportunities: How to get a FIFO mining job

While FIFO work offers many benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you are considering a mining job, it’s important to review the standard requirements to determine if this type of work is a good fit for you. Factors to consider include:

Physical fitness

Physical fitness is often a requirement for many FIFO roles in the mining industry. These jobs can be physically demanding, involving heavy lifting and operating heavy machinery. As a result, employees are often required to pass a physical examination by a medical professional before being hired. It’s important to ensure that you are physically fit enough to perform the job duties required for any role you are interested in applying for. If you have any concerns about your physical ability to perform these duties, it’s best to consult with a medical professional or the employer to determine if accommodations can be made.


Flexibility is a key trait for successful FIFO workers. In the mining industry, employees may be required to perform a variety of tasks that go beyond their usual job duties. This can provide opportunities for professional growth and skill development, but it requires a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone and adapt to new challenges.

A flexible attitude and a willingness to learn new skills can make you a valuable asset to a mining company. By being open to new experiences and approaches, you can expand your skill set and increase your job prospects in the industry.


In addition to specific certifications, some FIFO roles in the mining industry may require manual or other driver licenses, completion of TAFE courses, or specialised degrees. These qualifications can vary depending on the specific role and company, so it’s important to research the requirements for the position you are interested in.

Obtaining the necessary qualifications can require time and effort, but it can significantly improve your chances of securing a FIFO job in the mining industry. If you’re unsure about what qualifications are required for a specific role or need guidance on how to obtain them, the team at Scotford Fennessy can provide valuable support and advice.

Security checks and clearances

In addition to certifications and qualifications, security checks and clearances are also a critical requirement for many FIFO roles. These checks can include a National Police Check, drug and alcohol screening, and site-specific or company-specific induction modules.

These checks are necessary to ensure the safety and security of everyone working on site. If you’re interested in pursuing a FIFO job in the mining industry, it’s important to be willing and able to comply with all required security checks and safety clearances.

Get informed about the industry

Before deciding on a FIFO mining career, it’s important to do your research and understand what it entails. There are several industry publications, forums, and online resources available that can give you a better understanding of the industry and the different types of roles available.

You can also attend mining conferences and expos to network and learn from industry professionals. Doing your due diligence before applying for a job can help you make an informed decision about whether a FIFO mining career is right for you.

Be mentally prepared

FIFO work can be mentally challenging, as it often involves long periods of isolation and being away from friends and family. It’s important to have a support system in place and to be mentally prepared for the challenges that come with the job.

Employers may offer counselling services or mental health support for their employees, so it’s important to take advantage of these resources if needed. Being mentally prepared and having a positive attitude can make a big difference in your ability to thrive in a FIFO mining career.

Take care of your health and wellbeing

FIFO work can take a toll on your physical health, especially if you’re not used to working in a physically demanding environment. It’s important to take care of your health and wellbeing by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular exercise.

Employers may also offer health and wellbeing programs, such as gym memberships or on-site medical facilities, to help their employees stay healthy and fit. Taking care of your health can not only improve your overall wellbeing, but also help you perform better in your job.

Tips for first-time FIFO workers

Starting a FIFO job can be a big adjustment, but with the right preparation, you can make the transition easier. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Create a savings plan

FIFO jobs generally offer higher pay and lower expenses, so use this opportunity to create a savings plan. Having a financial goal in mind can help you stay motivated while working away from home.

Research the role

Take some time to understand the role you’ll be undertaking, the culture of the company, and the living conditions you’ll experience. Doing research beforehand will help you adapt more easily to the new environment.

Prepare for hard work

FIFO jobs can be physically and mentally demanding. To ensure your happiness and wellbeing, prepare yourself physically and mentally for the longer shift hours. Developing good stress-management habits, such as regular exercise, can also help.

Manage your stress

FIFO work can be mentally challenging, so it’s important to have healthy ways to manage stress. Exercise, meditation, or other stress-reducing activities can help you feel happier and more focused at work.

Understand that you will miss your loved ones

Being away from loved ones can be tough, especially for extended periods. Make sure to develop some helpful habits to stay in contact with family and friends. Also, plan how to make the most of your time when you’re back home to ensure quality reconnection time. 

Plan your time between breaks

Make the most of your time off between shifts by engaging in passions and projects that matter to you. This can help make the adjustment to FIFO work a little easier and keep you busy when not working.

Your FIFO journey starts here

A FIFO mining career can offer many benefits, but it’s important to be prepared and informed before embarking on this career path. Seeking professional advice, getting informed about the industry, being mentally prepared, and taking care of your health and wellbeing can all help you succeed in a FIFO mining career.

If you are considering a career in mining and seeking FIFO opportunities, it is important to partner with a reputable recruitment agency that can provide you with expert guidance and support throughout the application and selection process.

Talk to a mining recruitment agency

Scotford Fennessy is a leading mining recruitment agency with a proven track record of helping job seekers secure more and better opportunities for over 20 years. Our team of experienced specialists have an in-depth understanding of the mining industry and can provide you with the resources and tools needed to stand out in a highly competitive market.

We are committed to delivering exceptional customer service and support to our clients and candidates. Whether you are looking for advice on job openings, assistance with your application, or just want to learn more about the mining industry, our team is here to help.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve your career goals, get in touch with us or submit your CV today.

The Right People Make Life Easier

We’ll make sure your business gets the right person. The first time. We want you to invest in someone who is a good fit for your company culture. Someone with aptitude who can capitalise on opportunities and realise your business goals.

You know how important it is to get recruitment right, but it’s not an easy process without someone to guide you through it. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll find the person you need for tomorrow so you can focus on what your business needs today.