A minerals or waste management surveyor uses maps and geographic information systems (GIS) to look for possible mining sites. They plan how to extract resources, such as metal ores, oil, gas and salt, and how to correctly dispose of the related waste products. They are also called mining surveyors.
You could be:
carrying out surveys, risk assessments, environmental impact assessments and mapping sites using global positioning systems (GPS)
using computer-aided design (CAD) and digital imaging software to produce 3D models of sites
calculating the value of mineral resources from the mining area
preparing planning applications, negotiating with local authorities and landowners and perhaps representing the company in court to argue for planning permission
writing and presenting reports to raise finance for a project
negotiating and preparing contracts for purchase or lease of land, access rights and facilities
making the site safe and arranging landscaping to restore the landscape, after mining has finished
checking leftover waste tips to ensure their safety and advising how waste materials should be safely disposed of
dealing with issues relating to landfill and waste management.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Pay rates for mineral surveyors are higher than average. Starting wage could be in the region of £20,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience this can rise to £30,000 to £40,000 a year. Senior mineral surveyors can earn up to £50,000 a year or more.
You will work from an office.
You will probably spend time on sites, working underground.
You may work irregular shifts including evenings and weekends.
You might spend some nights away from home.
Working conditions can be dark, dirty, dusty and cramped.
You must wear protective clothing: overalls, a hard hat with lamp and safety boots.
You must observe strict safety regulations when down a mine, and submit to regular searches.
You gain chartered or associate status by following one of the routes approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Studying a degree accredited by RICS in a subject such as geology, engineering, surveying or geography, followed by a period of supervised practical training (Assessment of Professional Competence - APC).
If your degree is not RICS-accredited, you can do an accredited postgraduate qualification.
You could enter a job with some subjects at National 5 and Highers and train towards the AssocRICS qualification (associate member of RICS) for 4 years.
Alternatively, if you have an HNC or Higher National Diploma, you could get a trainee job and work towards RICS associate membership with two years of supervised training.
Entry requirements for an HND are 2 Highers, and for a degree, 4 Highers. English and Maths are preferred.
At present there is no full time degree course in mineral surveying in Scotland, however the University of Exeter offers the MSc Surveying and Land/Environmental Management on a full or part time basis.
In addition to the above:
a driving licence is useful and often essential
you should be fit and agile enough to do a job where you may need to climb down into excavated sites.
Minerals surveying is a small specialism. There are jobs in local government and in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Other employers include the oil industry and private coal mining and quarrying companies. Many posts are abroad, in countries such as Malaysia, South Africa and Australia. Some jobs now deal with environmental issues, such as waste disposal and landfill.
an analytical mind and good problem solving skills
excellent negotiating skills
good written and spoken communication skills
You need to be able to:
work alone and as part of a team
interpret graphs, maps and charts
Once you have completed an accredited degree you would find employment as a trainee surveyor.
To qualify as a chartered surveyor you would complete your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) which is 24 months of structured training, consisting of on the job learning and assessment. This leads to RICS membership and the status of chartered surveyor.
Chartered Surveyors have to complete 20 hours continued professional development (CPD) every year.
To gain wide experience and get promotion, you may have to spend some time abroad.
With experience you might move into consultancy work.
The RICS publishes a list of accredited degree and postgraduate courses.