Engineers picture

It seems nowadays for many students that as soon as they show good academic results at school, that parents and teachers start encouraging them to consider engineering as a profession. For this reason so often you will hear students say that they are wanting to become an engineer but when questioned as to why, they are not really sure and will say things such as “my teacher said I should become an engineer as I will earn lots of money” or “my parents say I should become one as there is lots of job security”.

The truth is yes, it’s great to earn a competitive salary, and to be working in a profession where there is relative job security, but the reality is you really need to have the right temperament, and to have a passion for engineering, in order to make a career choice in engineering, especially one in mining.

For this reason it is important to look a little further than the salary that you can earn, and job security and really think about what makes you tick. Were you as a kid one of those that would love to take things apart and put them back to together again? Did you spend hours building constructions out of lego? or taking computers apart and putting them back together again? or building primitive structures or machines? If so, then engineering would probably be a career you should be very seriously considering.

It is important to remember that we spend most of our waking hours at work, with reports that as much around 30% of our lives are spent at work, and that most of our time that we awake is spent working. Also that the average person will spend roughly 90,000 hours at work over their lifespan, and that roughly 1 in 4 people say they find their work a source of stress, and nearly half say that they find their work very stressful. Keeping all this in mind it is really important to try to choose a career that you are going to love.

Engineering in mining can be a great career choice, for those who have the right aptitude and temperament for it. But how do you know if you are going to be happy working as an engineer, and especially in the mining industry?

If you are not sure if engineering is the right path for you to follow, you may want to consider the following and if you answer yes to most of the below questions, it may very well be a good option for you to consider.

  • Are you good at math and science?
  • Do you like math and science?
  • Do you like to solve problems?
  • Do you wonder how things work?
  • Do you like to think of new ways to do things?
  • Have you got an interest in natural resources?
  • Do you have an interest on the impact of mining on our environment?
  • Do you like challenges?
  • Do you like working in the outdoors?
  • Are you interested in knowing how things work?
  • Do you like working with computers?
  • Do you love travelling to new and often remote places?

If you answered yes to most of the above questions, the chances are you would make a great engineer and would be suited to the mining industry, and that engineering should be a career you should consider exploring further.

Engineers solve problems through the application of science and math, and the work can be challenging but highly rewarding if you have the right aptitude and temperament for it. Engineers need to have a desire to constantly be learning, as engineers are constantly learning new things, teaching themselves new things and researching new ideas.

You do need to keep in mind though that there are various different types of engineers in mining, so you would need to specialize in a particular field depending on your interests. So if you are curious about how things work, and have a keen mind for applying ways to solve real world problems, then engineering may be the perfect career choice for you. The fact that you will also be one of the highest paid professions in the world, even as a graduate, is an added bonus as is the fact that you will in all likelihood get the opportunity to travel worldwide, and explore new cultures and new lifestyles.


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