This section contains links to resumes of practising scientists, which I have found on the web. These current workers are principally assessing natural resources by computers. The link with the figure above is to an animation showing the different activities. With the link to the Encyclopaedia of
Australian Science you can get further information on companies in these resumes.
Alternatively, there are these searchable databases for current and past mineral surveyors.
The technologies/assets introduced by mineral surveying pioneers against the activity they were involved in is given on the About page.
The Computers in Geologyauthors list has scientists who have published on mineral surveying
The table below lists critical skills and qualifications for mineral surveying.
It is intended for curriculum planning for trainers and course coordinators.
Each item is ranked from 1 to 6 according to relevance of that particular item for the
six career stages listed. It is has links to the catalogues of the educational and academic publishers. More
specific mineral surveying texts are listed on the Heritage page of the
applied or allied geoscience degree qualifications
BAppSc in Applied Geology
BSc in Agriculture
BSc in Marine Science
BA in Oceanography
other degree qualifications or geoscience diplomas
BSc in Computer Science
Certificate IV in Geoscience
Applied Diploma of Cartography
certificates for allied disciplines
(eg: GIS manager, $71K a)
(eg: GIS supervisor, $63K a)
(eg: business-analyst/data-manager, $62K a)
(eg: technical coordinator, $51K a)
(eg: GIS coordinator, $57K a)
technical assistant (eg: GIS officer, $46K a)
LEGEND 1 : this capability is most relevant for this career stage 6 : this capability is least relevant for this career stage
NOTES aBruce Douglas (2006) The Skills Crisis,
POSITION, October-November 2006, pp 40-41.
1The schools listed above provide tertiary training, with a mineral surveying basis, suitable for industry and technical services. 2No generally accepted registration available, and really is there a need for it? The mining company BHP-Billiton does use the IIBA's BABOK Guide, whereas DAMA International has DMBOK®. 3Many people take more general earth science training and then top up with computing qualifications. This broadens the opportunity for finding work to get their initial experience. These schools provide that service. 4These educational institutions embrace the mineral surveying tradition.
But will I fit in (with my experience)?
Well the mining, quarrying and contstruction industries have a place for just
about anyone but to be a mineral surveyor you do need a certain aptitude.
Do you have these characteristics?
like to help people by solving problems
enjoy art, history and geography as well as science and maths
sensitive, thoughtful and romantic
have an interest in music
No it isn't a trick question, we are talking capital-intensive industry
here: imagination and brains beats brawn every time, so if you answer yes to
all those questions then you are a good candidate. And while it is has become fashionable for
educators to quote that people will change jobs and careers many times, this has always
been the case for mineral surveyors for years as mines close down, booms go bust and construction
projects get completed. It does require a determination to be of service to the
community and do whatever job you are asked to do.
However, to decide which
of the occupations would suit you
(Table 1 of the Jobs page gives a list), we need to look at your personality, and make some general
conclusions about where you can fit-in (though I find I am driven by the economic conditions into different roles).
If any human resource managers reading this have had success with professional development
programmes, say to encourage people into the field, or help field geologists cross back into
the office, I will happily reference them here:
The majority of mineral surveyors are employed by mining or
geotechnical consulting companies. They are outgoing and
compliant, are ideal for wheeling and dealing with government, the community and joint
venturers. They do make good field workers, but they love the cities and work out of offices.
If you would like this style of work consider a pure science degree from one of the
older universties such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, Western Australia or Tasmania
The second most numerous group, is possibly the least-outgoing
but the most co-operative, who fulfil compliance roles in the government surveys and
environment departments, the production geologists on mines where they are directed by engineers,
and were in the past, the computer geologists who felt uncomfortable managing a field
team and did not spend much time outside their offices. Also in the past, quite a few have found
on-going research positions at universities, supplemented with teaching when they have to.
Again the traditional universties are not a bad place to start but also government departments
recruit technical officers from the practical degrees of QIT, RMIT, University of New
South Wales, University of South Australia and the regional universities.
The next group are your Alpha types, who love an audience, their own opinions
and sharing them, and these are the teachers and lecturers. There is a massive amount of work
to be done lifting the general understanding of nature and it this group
who spend most of their time in the major capital cities, talking to young adults. Generally, this crowd won't
be found in the bush and tend to do their field work in company or at exotic rather than remote locations.
You should aim for a post-graduate degree from a university with a reputation for research: University of Tasmania,
Waite Institute, University of Western Australia, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, and Monash University.
For secondary school teaching take a pure science degree from these or the traditional universities, and add a post-grad
The smallest group are the independent quiet types, who are determined to improve things,
and sacrifice everything else. They can be found in the technical services groups of companies
and government departments,and often spend too much time in the field. They make good field workers as they don't mind
the loneliness. More of this group are becoming database geologists, after retiring from the field in their thirties,
as their technical knowledge and practical experience is an advantage over the hide-in-the-office types who used to do the programming,
and their self-reliance gives them the confidence to tackle large database problems, working at it for days. A degree from
a good research university is one-way to start, but the more hands-on-types will appreciate the thoroughness, rigour and mathematics
of the former schools of mines, such as Curtin University. An extensive list is given in
It is the last group, the minority, who most of the examples on the Computers in Geology website are dedicated to. They represent to me the
ideal mineral surveyor, so if you are still interested and you would like to see the kind of work that is involved,
Click Here to download a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of
worked examples and fact sheets from mineral surveying;
or see if you can visit these sites. Both the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School and Simtars do HAZMAT courses for the public. At Fort Polk, the US Army Chemical Corps has civilian volunteers participate in their annual training exercise filmed as "Dragons in the Box".
central office, BHPBilliton Mitsubishi Alliance, Emerald, Qld, Australia
If you have the characteristics given above, then you should think about training for a career in mineral surveying. Table B above gives examples
of the courses you will need to undertake. I have only put those institutions that I am familiar with their
curriculum, you can compare these with your local suppliers to find some where suitable. Equally, unfortunately, some courses are
not mentioned because they focus on the discussion or policy of the science, and graduates from these courses will
find they struggle with the mathematics and practicalities required for a mineral surveying career. Often
these courses will identify with large corporations who recruit their graduates to staff their
bureaucracies (and they get well paid for it, mind you) but for the earth-minded person it is unsatisfying,
and further you find yourself alienated, working among people who don't have the same values as yourself.
Thankfully, the Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) commissioned a salary survey by Corporate GIS Consultants
and Bruce Douglas (see NOTES in "PLANNER FOR A MINERAL SURVEYING CAREER" above) has published the average
salaries for each career stage via POSITION magazine. Currently there are many
exploration companies who are paying above these rates, but they may be intending the scientists to be a dupe
or secondly expect them to carry the burden of the field sampling without any intent on proper career development.
It takes many years and a variety of tasks to develop a good mineral surveyor and sure there is a good deal of field work,
but many new entrants to the industry are not being treated in their best interest. Of course there are also many suitable
graduates who are prepared to take the inflated salaries for the few years that they are available and then
take a Graduate Diploma of Education to become a teacher, or buy a business. As long as you know what the
likely outcomes are, and you have your plan in place. I reckon about 5-10% of the total number of geologists
who graduate make a career in mineral surveying.
This first class of research groups, with the support of their vice-chancellors,
have research infrastructure for prototyping and a development programme; so they
make the rest of us look stupid. I have ranked them below in order of teaching support,
research and data support. Scientists working as geoscience
data coordinators will recognise that the order also reflects the level of
integration of the systems; and subsequently is an analogue for the ease
with which an individual can fulfil their responsibilities under JORC
(as inferred by Pearson above).
Table 5 : The Computers in Geology rank of research universities
university and research groups
c.f. Computers in Geology
AuScope offering in Table 5 is certainly a "thumbnail dipped in tar" compared to the
American programmes, but it is superior to
the research groups below. For while they have the support of their department managers,
they are just researching mineral surveying, with the odd prototype, but definitely no development
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