The lure of high incomes are key for students wanting to enter the mining industry.
Nearly one in two students interested in the industry base that on pay, while only one in five consider it for the career opportunities, industry research has revealed.
Mining's in a transition period after 164 per cent jobs growth between 2005 and 2015.
New opportunities exist for drone pilots, environmental and social scientists and engineers, Ric Gros from the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services industry group believes.
But the survey also found 45 per cent of students had never considered a career in mining, while 40 per cent knew nothing about it.
Mining industry, academic and government leaders will meet in Melbourne on Thursday for a summit to consider the skills and education opportunities needed in the future.