A minerals and waste management surveyor, also called a mining surveyor, use maps and geographic information systems (GIS) to look into possible mining sites, and how resources, such as metal ores, oil, gas and salt, can be extracted as well as ensuring waste products are disposed of responsibly.
You could be:
- carrying out surveys 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 probable yield and value of resources in 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
- after minerals are extracted and mining ceases, making the site safe and arranging landscaping to restore it, as far as possible, to its original condition
- 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, dangerous and claustrophobic.
- 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. This is accompanied by 4 years of supervised structured on the job training towards the AssocRICS qualification, as an associate member of RICS.
- Alternatively, if you have a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) 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.
There are other factors to consider.
- You need good IT skills including using computer-aided design (CAD) and surveying software.
- 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.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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Job Outlook Scotland
Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)
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Job Outlook Scotland and UK
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What Does it Take?
You need to have:
- awareness of health and safety issues
- knowledge of planning and environmental laws
- good scientific, IT and maths skills
- a methodical and accurate approach
- an analytical mind and good problem solving skills
- excellent negotiating skills
- good written and spoken communication skills
- organisational skills.
You need to be able to:
- work alone and as part of a team
- interpret graphs, maps and charts
- make decisions
- meet deadlines.
- 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 48 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.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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