So you are considering Mine Surveying as a career option, a challenging and rewarding career with great opportunities. The following information is a brief introduction on how to become qualified as a surveyor and progress towards recognition as a Registered or Authorised Mining surveyor.
The survey manning at a typical mine site includes a qualified mining surveyor who in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia is also required to be Registered/Authorised by the statutory surveying authority in that state (more on that later); An assistant or assistants who may be progressing towards achieving registration/authorisation and a trainee or graduate who is studying or training to later become a mining surveyor. Each position requires a higher level of educational and practical experience.
There are many avenues to commencing a career in mining surveying. Traineeships for school leavers or young relatively inexperienced surveyors, entry level jobs requiring surveying but not necessarily mining experience and Graduate programs offered by many of the larger mining companies. Positions are typically advertised in local, regional and national newspapers and range in locations from major regional centres to remote operations where access is primarily by aircraft (fly in, fly out). Salary packages for surveyors are generally more attractive when compared to non mining disciplines and are dependent upon qualifications, experience and the location of the operation.
Tertiary surveying education often covers a diverse range of surveying specialties however graduates from TAFE collages and Universities who choose mining surveying as a career typically gain mining surveying knowledge from practical exposure at a mine, adapting the techniques learnt from TAFE/university to the mine environment. Although some educational institutions offer mine surveying elective subjects in addition to core mining surveying subject, while others offer well rounded Mine Surveying courses.
Get the latest news about surveying careers, course changes, STEM resources and info on free surveying events on the following website:
Achieving Registration/Authorisation as a Mining Surveyor
Mining takes place in every State and Territory in Australia by open cut and underground mining methods, extracting resources ranging from mineral sands, rock for road base, coal, tin, copper, zinc, gold, uranium and many others. Each state is responsible for regulating the mining which takes place and for setting the standards to which mining must occur. This includes the surveying and drafting standards for mining surveys and for the preparation of mine plans. In New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, the supervising surveyor at each mine must be assessed as competent to fulfill this role by holding a recognised tertiary qualification, meeting the specified minimum amount of experience in the mining industry, completing project assessments and in some cases, passing written examinations. Successful completion of this process enables the surveyor to be registered/authorised as a Mining Surveyor in that state.
The process for gaining the statutory qualification
Although mining is conducted in every state and territory of Australia, not all states require mining surveyors to have statutory qualifications ie Registration/Authorisation
New South Wales
In New South Wales, mines are required to use a Registered Mining Surveyor to carry out surveys and prepare plans of the mine. The process to become a Registered Mining Surveyor, firstly requires a surveyor to meet a number of criteria including holding an approved educational Qualification (Minimum of 3 year degree), minimum mining surveying experience and pass a number of assessments some of which include the completion of a specified project. These assessments are carried out by the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information (BOSSI) and the successful candidate will be granted a certificate of Competency as either 'unrestricted' for opencut and underground surveying or 'Opencut' for opencut surveying only. Registration of the Surveyor is the final step and is again granted by BOSSI under the Surveying Act 2002, however registration is required to be renewed annually by paying the prescribed fee and meeting the necessary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement.
For further information visit the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information website:
Queensland has similar requirements to NSW, where individuals are required to obtain a certain level of training and practical assessment of a project they have developed. Surveyors are to register with the Surveyors Board of Queensland (SBQ) as a graduate after completing the course of study (a minimum 3 year university course). After registration as a Graduate Surveyor, the surveyor applies to the SBQ to enter a Competency Training Agreement (CTA), between himself/herself, a supervising surveyor (generally their supervisor at work), and the SBQ. During this CTA (approx. 2 years), the surveyor gathers a portfolio of evidence in the form of Career Episode Reports (CERs), that prove he/she has gained competence in the elements of each unit of the competency framework.
Additionally a Professional Assessment Project (PAP) is required to be submitted to the SBQ for assessment. A PAP is to be decided upon and an application and a project proposal is to be submitted to the Board for approval. Once approval has been granted the Graduate surveyor can start the PAP as detailed in the proposal. Upon completion of the PAP by the Graduate Surveyor the report is submitted to the Board for assessment.
Final assessment is completed through an interview process with the SBQ.
Similarly to NSW, QLD registrations are renewed annually and a fee payable. CPD is not a requirement in QLD but a system of auditing exists whereby 10% of all surveyors are randomly audited each year, are asked to prove that they have maintained experience and knowledge as per the elements identified by the board. This is done so by means of the CERs.
For further information visit the Surveyors Board of Queensland website for more details.
Western Australia requires surveyors who make and draw surveys to be 'Authorised Mine Surveyors' this authority is granted by the Mines Survey Board under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 to candidates who hold a recognised Degree or Diploma and who have met the mine surveying experience requirements. Authorised Mine Surveyor’s certificates are granted as either Grade 1, allowing surveyors to supervise work in underground and opencut mines or as Grade 2 allowing surveyors to supervise work in open cut mines only.
Further Information on Authorised Mine Surveyors can be found on the Department of Mines and Petroleum website: http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au
WA Central TAFE – Work Based Training Mine Surveying program
AIMS Scholarship - Curtin University
An annual scholarship at Curtin University is usually offered by AIMS - keep watching this site for details.
WA Mines Survey Board
Details here: http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/What-is-the-Mines-Survey-Board-8547.aspx
Role of the Australian Institute of Mining Surveyors
AIMS is a professional body representing the interests of Mining Surveyors and strives to support each mining surveyor in maintaining their competency by providing opportunities to learn of advances and development in technologies and legislation through seminars, workshops and an annual conference. AIMS is also involved in providing input into how mining surveying is regulated, through consultation with government and mining industry bodies. AIMS does not however, assess surveyors for professional competence, but provides a representative/s to the panel of examiners in some states.