Red-shirt surveyors are among the least-well-paid workers in Australia, and a survey of a dozen firms in the industry found they were less likely to have any job security than other workers.
Red-shirt respondents who had been in the workforce for four months or more were far less likely than the average worker to have a job security and were far more likely to be offered lower pay, the survey of 10 companies by a Melbourne-based think tank found.
“There are really few, if any, jobs for red-shirted surveyors.
There are a few job opportunities in the construction industry, a couple of job opportunities with mining companies and some job opportunities as surveyors for the insurance companies,” surveyor Mark Tully said.”
You’re always competing for that first one.
It’s not the only job.
You might be working for an energy company, or a bank.”
Red-shirts also said they felt under pressure to do their job and to be more efficient and responsible.
Redshirt surveyor Adam Dutta said red-shirts could make a career out of “looking for oilfields”.
“You have to be a very smart surveyor, you have to have that very good knowledge of the industry, that you’re not just looking for oilfield jobs,” Mr Duttas said.
The industry has long relied on red- shirts for work and it’s estimated there are around 200,000 of them.
They’re not paid well and the pay is generally lower than other surveyors, who typically earn between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.
“It’s a job that I think we’re still missing out on, especially for younger people, to actually be able to move on to something else,” Mr Tully told the ABC.
The red-shift surveyor said it’s important to have an education and a strong sense of identity to make a good career out here.
“The more you know about the industry you can see where you can find opportunities and where you might be able get a job,” he said.
Red shirt surveyors were less confident than others in the sector.
“I think the biggest thing is that you have a lot of confidence and you don’t feel like you can be judged or that you can’t be held to a standard that other people have,” Mr Mott said.
Mr Dutts job is to provide technical support for the oil industry in Melbourne and regional Australia.
“We do a lot for the industry and we’re often asked by the oil companies to do surveys, to go in and check out the oilfields, the coal mines, the gas,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Tully is one of the people who has found his way to the red- shift sector after leaving the mining industry.
The Australian Petroleum and Gas Association (APGA) has said there are about 30,000 red-stick surveyors in the nation.