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What is the best FIFO roster?

If you’re considering a Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) job in the mining industry, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right FIFO roster. Your roster determines your work-life balance, income, and overall job satisfaction. Here we’ll break down the basics of FIFO rosters to help you find the best one for you.

What is FIFO?

FIFO stands for Fly-In-Fly-Out, a work arrangement where employees travel to remote job sites for a specific period and then return home for a break. This setup is common in industries like mining and resources, and FIFO rostered jobs will often be advertised by a specialist mining recruitment agency.

Understanding FIFO rosters

FIFO rosters are schedules that dictate when you work and when you’re off. They come in various shapes and sizes, but the most common ones include:

  • 8/6 roster: This means you work eight days straight and then have six days off. It’s a good option if you prefer longer stretches of work followed by extended breaks.
  • 2/1 roster: Here, you work two weeks on-site and then have one week off. This roster offers a balance between work and leisure.
  • 4/2 roster: You work four weeks straight, followed by two weeks off. This can be financially rewarding but might be challenging due to the extended time away from home.
  • Even-time roster: In this FIFO roster, you work an equal amount of time on-site and off-site, like two weeks on, two weeks off. It’s great for maintaining a consistent work-life balance.
  • Flexible rosters: Some companies offer flexible options where you negotiate your schedule. This can be a great choice if you have unique personal needs or preferences.


Choosing the right FIFO roster for you

Selecting the best FIFO roster depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. Here are some factors to consider:

Personal life:

If you have family commitments or hobbies you enjoy, a roster with longer breaks, like 2/1 or even-time, may suit you better.

Financial goals:

Rosters with more consecutive workdays often result in higher income due to overtime and allowances. If you’re looking to maximise your earnings, consider a roster like 4/2 or 8/6.

Health and well-being:

Extended periods away from home can be physically and mentally taxing. Think about your tolerance for extended work stints and how well you can manage the time apart from loved ones.

Career goals:

Some rosters may offer more opportunities for career advancement or specific roles. Research the industry and company to understand how rosters align with your professional aspirations.


Consider the location of your worksite. If it’s far from home, you may prefer a roster that allows for less frequent travel.

Travel preferences:

Think about how you handle travel. Frequent flights might not bother some, while others may find them tiring.

Rotation length:

Rosters can vary in length from a few days to several weeks. Choose one that aligns with your comfort level for time spent on-site.


Research, research, research

Before making a decision, read up on the best ways to get into FIFO and talk to people you know who work or have done FIFO work, especially those in roles similar to yours. They can provide invaluable insights into the lifestyle and roster that may be the best fit.

Choosing the right FIFO roster is an important part of your career and overall lifestyle. It affects your work-life balance, income, and overall job satisfaction. Consider your personal circumstances, financial goals, and well-being when making this decision. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so take the time to explore your options and seek advice. Finding your ideal FIFO roster is key to a successful and fulfilling career in the resource industry.


For a more detailed look at whether mining is a good job in Australia, read more here.

Read our blog on the average salary for a FIFO engineer here.

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