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Job Photographs

  • Two men, wearing safety helmets and high-visibility clothing, are standing at the foot of a large rock face.

    Assessing the stability of a rock face next to a major road.

  • A man is sitting at a table, drawing on a large map.

    Maps are made and analysed to work out the advantages and disadvantages of potential sites.

Minerals/Mining Surveyor

Introduction

Minerals/mining surveyors map mineral deposits. Their tasks include working out the potential use and value of mineral deposits, managing and developing mines, and forecasting the possible environmental effects of mining, such as air pollution.

Also known as

  • Surveyor, Minerals
  • Surveyor, Mining

Work Activities

Minerals/mining surveyors map mineral deposits, such as gold and diamonds, and work out their potential use and value. They prepare surveys to support planning applications and to find out if it's possible to mine a potential site.

Minerals/mining surveyors forecast possible environmental effects of mining, such as air pollution. If a planning application is rejected, the surveyor may give evidence in a court appeal.

Once planning permission has been given, minerals/mining surveyors draw up legal contracts to establish rights to access land and work mines.

Minerals/mining surveyors make detailed investigations of sites to value mines or quarries and mineral deposits. They also manage and develop quarries and mines, and advise mine managers on financial matters.

After all minerals have been taken from a mine, minerals/mining surveyors give advice on restoring the site to its former state, or suggest ideas for development. They plan and record the location of quarries and mines and their waste, and prepare plans on the completion of tipping.

Underground mine workings can be dark, damp and dirty. Many safety regulations apply to mine workings and minerals/mining surveyors must wear hard hats on-site and below ground.

Minerals/mining surveyors often have to travel as part of their work.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

As a minerals/mining surveyor, you need:

  • The ability to understand technical drawings and diagrams.
  • Good IT skills and experience of using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • To be good at maths.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • A wide knowledge of mining economics, planning legislation, health and safety issues, and mineral properties.
  • An interest in geography.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

Minerals/mining surveyors earn in the range of £21,000 - £26,000, rising to £34,000 - £45,000 with experience. Salaries of over £60,000 are possible for senior positions.

Hours of work

Most work around 35-40 hours, Monday to Friday. However, you may have early starts and late finishes, and you may need to work some weekends.

Demand

Employment levels are expected to fall over the coming decade, although not as rapidly as over the past few years.

Jobs in these industries are still mainly held by men. They take almost 9 in 10 jobs.

Full time employees are expected to be the main casualty of projected job losses.

Where could I work?

Employers include mining and quarrying companies, mineral estate owners and local authorities.

Opportunities for minerals/mining surveyors occur with employers in towns, cities and rural areas throughout the UK.

Gaining experience usually involves moving to areas where minerals are found.

Opportunities occur for minerals/mining surveyors to work in other countries, for example, in Europe and Australia.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for minerals/mining surveyors to work in private practice as consultants, or in surveying and managing mineral estates for small mining companies and large landowners.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Universal Jobmatch, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

The most direct route into this career is to take a relevant accredited degree followed by training and work experience.

The most widely recognised qualifications are offered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).

Relevant degree subjects include surveying and minerals.

You don't always need a degree related to surveying to become a surveyor. Degrees in other subjects will often be acceptable. People with communication and business skills are highly sought after by this profession.

Entrants studying courses not accredited by the RICS will need to take a postgraduate conversion course which has been approved by the Institution.

The University of South Wales runs an HND in Surveying. This can be used as a route on to a full degree course, or as entry to technical surveyor positions.

Training

Following the education stage, you will receive training on-the-job. To become a fully qualified member of the RICS, you'll need to undertake at least two years' structured learning whilst in employment. Full members of the RICS are given chartered status. This is the highest level of competence in a profession.

There are a number of postgraduate courses related to surveying available in the UK.

Progression

Experienced surveyors can move into senior roles, eg, chief surveyor. Some surveyors become self-employed.

Qualifications

For entry to a suitable accredited degree course, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels, including Maths, Geography and/or any science subject.
  • GCSEs at grade C or above in your A level subjects.
  • A further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths (if not offered at A level).

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • Edexcel (BTEC) Level 3 National qualifications.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma.

However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check university prospectuses for more details.

The usual entry requirement for any degree course is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C or above in 2/3 other subjects.

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • Edexcel (BTEC) Level 3 National qualifications.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma.

However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check university prospectuses for more details.

To enter a relevant foundation degree, you will need:

  • 1 A level.
  • A GCSE at grade C or above in your A level subject.
  • A further 3/4 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • Edexcel (BTEC) Level 3 National qualifications.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma.

However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check university prospectuses for more details.

For entry to the HND in Surveying available at the University of South Wales, you'll need at least:

  • 120 UCAS points.
  • Three GCSEs at grade C or above, including Mathematics and English language.

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • Edexcel (BTEC) Level 3 National qualifications.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Check the university's prospectus for more details.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Successful late entrants often have substantial relevant experience at technician level. For example, adult entrants can progress as technical members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A background in planning or construction is also useful.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

If you are a graduate without an accredited degree, you can take a two-year postgraduate conversion course in surveying. Preference may be given to those with a related degree subject such as construction or building.

Numerous institutions offer postgraduate qualifications in surveying via distance learning.

Statistics

  • 5% of surveyors work part-time.
  • 15% have flexible hours.
  • 4% work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

The RICS is the main professional institution for people working in surveying careers.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Address: RICS HQ, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD

Tel: 0870 3331600

Email: contactrics@rics.org

Website: www.rics.org

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland

Scottish enquiries

Address: 9 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7DN

Tel: 0131 2257078

Email: scotland@rics.org

Website: www.rics.org

University College of Estate Management (UCEM)

Address: Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AW

Tel: 0800 0199697

Email: courses@cem.ac.uk

Website: www.cem.ac.uk

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

Address: Dominion House, Sibson Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 7PP

Tel: 0161 9723100

Email: education@cices.org

Website: www.cices.org

Surveying Your Future?

Publisher: Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

Website: www.cices.org/pdf/Careers%20Leaflet%202010.pdf

Become a Surveyor

The Survey Association

Website: www.becomeasurveyor.com

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