Employee at work

Graduates & Students

Join Rio Tinto today and shape the world of tomorrow

Do you want to reinvent tomorrow and make a positive, lasting impact?

From day one, our graduates help shape who we are. We create an environment where you can go further. One that rewards curious and creative minds.

Your ideas can help us pioneer safer, smarter and more sustainable ways to produce the materials the world needs.

Join us and pioneer not just your career, but a better future for tomorrow.

Student programmes

We’re looking for motivated students who want to reinvent tomorrow and make a lasting impact.

Our vacation and intern / co-op programmes provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, apply skills to real-life projects, and get a taste of life at Rio Tinto.

The programmes vary in length and frequency depending on the region and can include opportunities to work in both office-based roles in bigger cities, or in remote locations where you relocate for the internship period or travel via a fly in/fly out schedule.

The best part? You can secure a graduate position at the end of the programme.

Lead the way

We're now accepting applications for our North American graduate and internship programmes.

Graduate Development Programme

We want you to help us shape the future of our company – and our industry.

Our two-year graduate programme gives you the tools and skills to innovate and invent – to challenge the way we do things and help us find a better way. Below is an overview of our programme.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • More

Year 1

You’ll focus on:

  • Our strategy, value and behaviours
  • Building networks and relationships with team mates, leaders and technical experts
  • Resilience and emotional awareness, caring for yourself and others, connecting effectively with a diverse range of people
  • Our value chain and expertise of our commercial, technical and functional groups
Employee in office

One-on-one coaching

Practical Support

You’ll have the opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced external coach who will give you practical support and tools to help you achieve your personal and career goals.

Gamified leadership simulation

A safe place to learn

Through game-based learning, you can practice the skills leaders use every day. As part of the simulation, you’ll have the opportunity to lead a virtual team and set objectives, provide feedback and motivate the team.

Man on laptop
Man talking in front of computer monitor

"Grad Talks"

Insights from our leaders

Starting a new role in a large and complex organisation like ours can be overwhelming. Through our grad talks, you’ll get to hear from leaders first-hand about their own experience at Rio Tinto, and see our strategy, values and projects in action.

Mine to market showcase

From the ground to the end product

Subject matter experts from across the business deliver interactive sessions on key disciplines like closure, automation, orebody knowledge, processing, tailings, water and more.


Year 2

You’ll focus on:

  • Collaborating with others, sharing ideas, innovating and developing new ways of working
  • Building curiosity, having an open learning mindset, adapting to change and being open to new and diverse ideas
  • Creating solutions to real-life challenges based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Developing creative problem-solving skills
  • Being courageous, thinking and acting strategically, learning how to anticipate change and seize opportunity
Woman smiling

"Grad Talks"

Spark your imagination

Hear from futurists and external thought leaders on topics like globalisation, technology and innovation and creativity. These offer a chance to gain new perspectives from external thought leaders who will challenge your thinking, inspire you to look at things in a different way, and share leading practices from a variety of industries.

Future skills masterclasses

A learning experience like no other

Work with external experts to learn new tools, methodologies and strategies to help you innovate and collaborate to create the best ideas and solutions. Then you can put what you’ve learned into action as part of the innovation project (see below).

Graduates discussing a project
BC Works laboratory

Innovation project

Deliver real-life impacts

Whatever your passion – tackling climate change, automation, or creating value from waste – this is your opportunity to be creative and propose solutions to change the way we work – now and in the future. Work with other graduates using what your learned in our masterclasses to bring your ideas to life.

Graduate festival

Pitch your idea

You and your team will pitch your final innovation project to a panel of internal senior leaders and experts. It’s your opportunity to demonstrate what you can bring to our business with your fresh and innovative thinking. Your idea could even be adopted by the business!

Oyu Tolgoi employees, Rio Tinto

And access to a whole lot more:

There are a range of resources available to you throughout the two-year programme:

  • Learning resources
    Access to world-class digital learning resources via LinkedIn Learning and our Graduate Insights.
  • Networking
    Collaborate with fellow grads via the Graduate Yammer group, Graduate Champions network or through our Coffee Roulette programme, where you can grab a (virtual) coffee with people from all around our business.
  • Mentoring and job-shadowing opportunities
    There are opportunities to connect with subject matter experts to help you grow your network and learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Technical resources
    In addition to learning on-the-job, you can also access online courses, webinars and tap into our internal technical expert networks to deepen your technical knowledge.

How to apply

Applications for the graduate and student programmes follow the university calendar in each region.

For graduate roles you need to:

  • have the right to work in the country where the position is based (citizens, permanent residents, student or postgraduate work visa holders)
  • have graduated with a relevant university degree and have less than two years of relevant work experience

For vacation and intern / co-op opportunities you need to be:

  • enrolled in a relevant university programme
  • returning to university after the vacation placement/internship
  • in the country where the position is based
Claudia, RoboCup Junior Mentor


Hear from our past grads

My original plan was a career in medicine. I didn’t actually know much about mining but I came across a drill & blast video and was very intrigued."


"I knew too that a mining engineering degree would create a lot of opportunities for me, including leadership roles – so I went for it!

There was a period where I didn’t think I was cut out for it. I wasn’t sure if this was an industry that would welcome me. I still remember the first time I walked into a mining lecture at university and I was the only woman in the whole theatre. I felt a little out of place. But at that moment, I knew I had to focus on what I wanted rather than think about barriers.

I’m so grateful for the tremendous support my mentors provided me during my graduate programme and I’m so thrilled to be able to do the same for others. I’ve already started mentoring other young women, giving them insights into the industry and making sure they know about the endless career opportunities available to them."


Graduate Process Engineer, Diavik Diamond Mine, Canada

From day one I’ve had a clear path set for me. I’ve worked with my supervisors from the start to set my learning objectives and re-visited them every four months to set new ones."

Maha, Graduate Process Engineer


"They’ve always given me hands-on experience where I can set objectives and goals myself and follow through on results. I’m the one responsible for my success, so I work harder to meet expectations.

Rio Tinto places more importance on the skills you bring to the table, how you work with others, your aspirations, your ability to think critically, and the value you place on safety.

I’m almost at the end of the two-year graduate programme. Right now, I’m working on several process improvement initiatives for fine diamond recovery. During the final year of the programme, you get to work with other grads from around the world on a solution to help address the UN’s sustainable development goals. Sustainability has always been a passion of mine, so it’s exciting that I get to work on such an important issue. We’ve learned new ways of thinking to help solve some of the problems the world is facing.

The mentorship sessions have been one of the most valuable opportunities; I’ve been able to speak with women in leadership roles in mining and seek their advice. Another great aspect is the networking opportunities – not only with other grads in the programme, but senior executives within Rio Tinto and other organisations too.”

Breanna, Drill and Blast Engineer, Kennecott copper operations, US


Drill and Blast Engineer, Kennecott copper operations, US

I’m passionate about emerging technology and how we can apply these new ideas to solve old problems."


"I was keen to learn about using drones in traditional survey work. So, as part of the graduate programme, I was able to get my professional drone licence and spend time with the survey team learning about how they use drones to keep people away from potentially hazardous environments while still collecting high-quality data. I hope to work more in mining automation in the future.

The Rio Tinto Graduate Programme gave me the flexibility to try different roles and work with many teams. Since I joined as an intern in 2015, I’ve worked in operations, asset management, drill and blast, and short-range planning. This meant I was able to learn from different teams across the mine site.

Not all my different experiences were exactly what I was expecting, but I found value and learned from them all!”