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Can you dig it?

Byline: KATIE MCLOUGHLIN

What does a career as a quarry engineer involve? Before a new mine or quarry is opened it is a quarry engineer's job to work with minerals surveyors to decide if mining plans are commercially workable.

To do this they use groundsurveying techniques to chart the geological make-up of a site; drill earth and rock samples for lab testing and build up computer models of a site and its deposits, before making recommendations to clients about how to proceed.

If mining goes ahead, they manage the day-to-day running of operations; oversee technical staff; monitor health and safety, and draw up plans to guard against emergencies such as tunnel collapse or flooding.

What skills are needed? You'll need strong analytical skills, problem-solving ability and an excellent knowledge of rocks and minerals, plus strong maths, science and IT skills. A working knowledge of computer-aided design packages is required, and you'll need strong communication, presentation and budgeting skills, to be able to plan effectively, work in a team and be willing to relocate if necessary, as many job opportunities are overseas. What training do you need? You normally become a quarry or mining engineer by completing a foundation degree, BTEC HND or degree in minerals engineering, minerals surveying, mine and quarry engineering, geomatics or civil engineering.

Some employers will provide on-the-job training in the form of a graduate apprenticeship scheme. Others may encourage you to attain a postgraduate qualification in, for example, mining law in relation to health and safety; applied geotechnics; industrial rocks and minerals; mining engineering and mining geology. The Institute of Quarrying and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining have details of organisations offering postgraduate training.

What are the opportunities for career progression? Opportunities in the UK tend to centre around quarrying and underground construction projects, such as tunnels and waste storage facilities. Jobs in mining engineering are more commonly found overseas. With experience, you could move into related careers like civil, construction and environmental engineering. What is the salary? (Guideline only) Starting salaries can be between pounds 20,000 to pounds 23,000 a year. Experienced quarry engineers can earn between pounds 25,000 and pounds 35,000. Quarry engineers with project or operational management jobs can earn over pounds 40,000 a year. ? Institute of Quarrying,www.quarrying.org ? Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), www.iom3.org ? Details for information. Jobs not necessarily available.

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Quarry engineers have vital roles in surveying and in day-to day operations
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2012
Words:416
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