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Are you considering exploring career options as a Geologist in mining, but need to know more about what to expect?


Nicole Callaghan a Geologist in Alaska tells us all about the pros and cons she experiences in her job as a Geologist:

“I was working in Alaska. What I enjoyed most is that there is always more to learn and a diverse set of people you can learn from in the industry.

Many of the people that are working in the mining industry have worked at a variety of mines and seen different deposits, allowing them to offer a wide set of experience.The geology of any area is only known to the extent that it has been studied, and there is always the availability to learn more about an area. In all of the tasks that I did, I was up close to the rocks, and that allowed me to see slight variations and changes.

This also makes it challenging, since like any science, the knowledge set is always changing and evolving. What I liked least about this job is that there were times when the work could get tedious . For example, with logging core, you would see the same hanging wall or foot wall rocks a lot, and be describing and looking at the same thing over and over again, sometimes for days at a time”.

Nicole’s advice for students studying to become a Geologist in mining

“For anyone wanting to become a geologist, it is important to realize that it is hard work, long hours, and getting a job is all about experience. It was normal for me to be lifting heavy objects and have at least one sore muscle or bruise.

My work day was 11 hours long, but including travel time to and from the mine site lasted closer to 14 hours. In addition, the mining community is tight knit, where your reputation is important. Anyone wanting to work in the mining industry should get involved as early as possible. Student still in college should try to take part in internships or non degree jobs so that they can start to build experience and a reputation in the business.

It is also important to remember that you can never have too much training. Any time there is an opportunity to learn something new, take it. Understanding the jobs of everyone at the mine, whether related to geology or not, will make you a better mine geologist. A mine is a work environment where many different occupations have to work together in order to be successful. So stay proactive and always keep moving forward and learning as much as you can”.

2 Responses to “Advice from a geosciences professional for students considering a career as a Geologist in mining”

  1. jresquival

    That’s a good point that you can never have too much training. Even the mining industry is evolving with software technologies over time. That must be why experience is so important- you need to know the tools of the trade.

  2. Chris Winters

    Susan, I can definitely see why geologist students would want to begin with internships if they happen to be seeking employment in the mines. I find it interesting that more mineral deposits are getting to be much more commonly used in engineering projects. It seems like an excellent way to lead to much greater designs and techniques for creating new innovative projects.


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