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What Is FIFO Work in Australia?

30 June 2022

What Is FIFO Work in Australia?

What is FIFO work in Australia? 

Fly-in fly-out or FIFO work in Australia has grown in popularity with the expansion of the mining and resources sectors, especially in states such as Queensland and Western Australia.

Major mining and energy companies require hundreds of skilled specialist workers, from engineers to truck drivers, electricians and boilermakers. With many major projects in regional or remote locations, the projects often source workers from the cities to fly in and out to help build and operate the mines. So, what is FIFO work?

FIFO work is where skilled workers travel from their city or central location home communities to a remote site to perform their duties in shifts. These workers are typically provided with food, accommodation and recreational facilities while on site and transit back to their homes while on a break. There are many advantages to being a FIFO worker and many opportunities in Australia as mining projects require a range of highly-skilled professionals.

What Does FIFO Stand For?

FIFO stands for Fly-In, Fly-Out and it recognises that workers travel into a remote site and out of the site again once their shifts or “swing” is done. The term is commonly used in sectors like mining, oil and gas and construction industries because the projects are typically located in remote locations, or even offshore. Some hospitality roles are fly-in fly-out roles as well, especially if they are servicing a mine or rig or are located on an island. Often roles are specifically advertised as being for a FIFO worker meaning the work is to be performed on a remote or regional site and the worker can live in a city or urban location.

If you are considering becoming a FIFO worker, here is everything you need to know about FIFO work.

What Is FIFO Work? 

So, what is FIFO work? FIFO work is performed in shifts where workers are rostered on for a set number of work days on site and then transported back to their home for a rostered period of rest[1]. With mining and resources project construction and operations typically running around the clock, ensuring workers are available through FIFO shifts, can mean work can continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week with different teams of workers.  This means major machinery can continue to operate without lengthy shut down or restart times and production doesn’t stop.

FIFO workers typically work in 12 hour shifts for a set number of consecutive days on site followed by a period at home. Rosters may include seven days on, seven days off, two weeks at work and one

week at home or six weeks at work and two weeks at home[2]. Some workers will spend longer on site and longer at home, depending on the nature of their work, their location and their agreement with their employer.

What Is FIFO Work in Australia?

There are many different opportunities in FIFO work. In the mining and resources industry, for example, a variety of skills are required to build and operate a mine. So, what is FIFO work in a mine? FIFO roles are required not just to support the mining operations, but to support the workers on site. FIFO jobs at a mine can include:

  • engineers
  • electricians to install and maintain electrical systems
  • truck drivers to haul coal or heavy equipment
  • mechanics to service the equipment
  • chefs and cleaners to take care of the workers on site
  • crane operators
  • security guards
  • nurses
  • boilermakers
  • plumbers
  • drillers
  • carpenters

All of these roles are important to the successful operation of the mine. It’s often difficult for operators to find local workers with these specialist skills, especially with many mining operations in remote locations and requiring staff around-the-clock. Some workers don’t want to live in isolated locations or want their families to be closer to cities or urban centres.

Establishing or expanding a mine might also require additional specialist skills for a dedicated period, but not full time. That’s why many mines turn to a FIFO workforce so they can source the variety and volume of highly skilled workers required to build and keep the mine running. FIFO arrangements are most common in Australia in Queensland and Western Australia where mines are typically found a long drive away from the closest major town. It is estimated FIFO arrangements make up 50 per cent of mining operations in WA and 40 per cent in Queensland’s Bowen Basin region[3]. No matter the commodity, the skills required on a mine site are generally the same.

Benefits of FIFO Work

There are many benefits to choosing FIFO work including attractive salaries and consecutive days or weeks of rostered time off at the end of each shift. The nature of the jobs, often isolated locations and shift work mean that FIFO work is typically better paid than similar jobs in cities. Salary packages can also include a range of attractive conditions and allowances. Most FIFO arrangements also include free transportation to site, accommodation, meals and recreational facilities in a village-style environment. Accommodation is usually in shared or single dongas which are furnished and professionally cleaned. Facilities can include a gym, pool, laundry, dining hall and other recreational spaces.

FIFO work means you can still live where you want to and don’t have to move away from family or friends. Rostered shift work also means your work and home life are separate and you have the opportunity to spend extended time with family and friends when you are home.

A Queensland survey of FIFO workers in 2016 found most were happy with their FIFO arrangements, and eight out of 10 would not change where they lived[4]. The majority (85 per cent) rated their physical and mental health as excellent, very good or good.

For young workers starting out in a trade, there are often many opportunities on big mining projects for apprenticeships or career development working alongside experienced, skilled colleagues.

Becoming a FIFO Worker in Australia

There are tens of thousands of FIFO workers in Australia and many opportunities to join a major mining or resources project. Most mining companies, like Bravus Mining and Resources, have links on their website to jobs portals where you can see current job openings or search for particular roles. Mining company Facebook pages may also have job openings listed. The website Mining Australia International (Mining Jobs - Mining Australia ( also offers help to connect job seekers with mining roles. If you are not qualified in a trade or a specialist worker and looking to work on a mine, having a C Class manual driver’s licence can open up some driving opportunities on site. Some roles may require a Heavy Rigid licence so you can drive trucks and buses[5].

Learn More About FIFO Work with Bravus

There are many opportunities for FIFO workers in a variety of roles in Australia. Bravus Mining and Resources has two major Queensland projects on the go, the Carmichael Mine and Carmichael Rail, creating thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities in the state. The mine will produce up to 10 million tonnes of coal per year while the 200km rail line will connect the mine to an existing rail line to the North Queensland Export Terminal. Both projects need the support of a variety of skilled workers and consider candidates from across regional Queensland.

To find out more about our projects and get the facts of the mine visit Projects | Bravus Mining & Resources.

To visit our jobs portal see here: Work with us | Bravus Mining & Resources

[1] The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre,, accessed May 2022.

[2] Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre, Working FIFO: Is it for me?, accessed May 2022.

[3] The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre,, accessed May 2022.

[4] Queensland mining and Energy,, accessed May 2022.

[5] Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre, Working FIFO: Is it for me?, accessed May 2022.