- Explore new sites, oversee operations and manage sites
- Requires analytical skills and a creative approach to problem solving
- You could move into related careers like civil & construction engineering
As a quarry engineer, you'll explore the best way to extract raw materials from the ground, using blasting, drilling and excavation methods.
You might also work in processing plants that refine raw materials, like china clay, slate and stone (aggregates) for use in industries like construction. Before a new mine or quarry is opened, you'll work with minerals surveyors to decide if mining plans are commercially workable.
To do this you'll:
- Use ground-surveying techniques to check the site's geology
- Drill earth and rock samples for lab testing
- Build up computer models of a site and its deposits
- Make recommendations on how to proceed
If mining goes ahead, you'll:
- Manage the day-to-day running of operations
- Oversee technical staff
- Produce progress reports
- Monitor health and safety
- Draw up plans to guard against emergencies like a tunnel collapsing or flooding
- Make plans for restoration of the site after quarry workings end
Your time will be split between the office and the quarry or mine. Conditions on site are likely to be dusty, dirty and cramped. You'll wear protective clothing at all times on site. On some contracts you may work away from home, possibly overseas, for weeks or months at a time.
This role would be ideal for someone with good analytical skills and a creative approach to problem solving, excellent maths and science skills, computer-aided design (CAD) and IT skills, excellent communication and presentation skills, the ability to prioritise and plan effectively, and budgeting skills.
You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in a relevant subject, like civil engineering, Earth sciences, geology, geophysics, minerals engineering, or mining engineering.
You may also be able to do a higher apprenticeship in minerals product technology. With experience, you could then become a quarry engineer.
You may need to relocate as many job opportunities are overseas.
You can join The Institute of Quarrying to help with your professional development.
With experience, you could move into related careers like civil, construction and environmental engineering.