How Do I Become a Mining Specialist?

Bryce Clinton

Before investigating how to become a mining specialist, it is necessary to know what type of mining specialist training you want, which can be either training in geology and hard rock mining, or training in data mining. These are two very different mining specialist careers, each with their own skill sets and industry-specific applications. In both cases, advanced schooling and work experience is usually needed.

Mining specialists plan out how to extract resources to minimize the chances of a cave in.
Mining specialists plan out how to extract resources to minimize the chances of a cave in.

To become a mining specialist in geology and hard rock mining, you might follow a sales path or an engineering path. Both will require substantial work experience, but the engineering path also requires an advanced degree. If you can begin working in the mining industry and gain experience and know-how concerning the industry as a whole, as well as operations, applications, safety standards, and costs, you might be able to work your way into an advanced sales or managerial position without specific schooling. This could take many years of working in the industry, but eventually you might become a specialist for a particular company or type of operation.

Another route is specialist schooling in geology and hard rock mining. There are many "school of mines" around the world that offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in mining engineering and different specialist mining niches. These programs will train you to work in the mining industry, giving you the skills you'll need to eventually become a mining specialist. Once you complete a program, you'll be able to enter the industry at a more advanced level than someone trying to work his way up from the bottom.

Even if you earn an advanced degree in mining engineering, you cannot be considered a specialist until you have significant experience in the field. For this reason, some companies and organizations run additional training programs tailor-made to different jobs in the industry. The goal with these programs is to cover the gaps that most students have as a result of being in school and not having worked in the industry. What is offered can include many types of training, mentoring, and applications acquisition. Only with on-the-job experience can you truly expect to become a mining specialist in geology and hard rock mining.

Another mining specialist path is to study computer science, data mining, and predictive models. Advanced programs in data mining can prepare you to become a mining specialist in marketing and advertising, business analytics, or researcher positions for various medical, scientific, and social science fields. Data mining has many applications, and in such a program you might learn numerous applications related to statistical methods, data extraction, predictive modeling, and analytics.

Informational data mining specialists come from different backgrounds and often have graduate degrees in computer science and business. In many cases they've become a specialist through experience in a particular industry; however, programs are available specifically for this field due to the great number of applications it has in different information industries. Finding the right informational data mining training involves approaching your career from either the math and computer science side, or from an angle specific to the industry you wish to work in.

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