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Thread: Anybody have some sort of mining degree?

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  1. #1

    Aug 2017
    Georgia/Alabama
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    Anybody have some sort of mining degree?

    I'm hoping that somebody on here can give me some first hand experience. I am just about to reach my 10 year mark in the military. I never had any desire to go to college because nothing has ever interested me enough to want to waste me time with something that may not be beneficial. The way I always thought was, if you were to do any sort of additional schooling, go to a trade school. Well, I recently got into searching for gold, which has lead down the path of researching, reading old USGS reports, following the history, etc. So, just out of curiousity, I looked into mining degrees, and WOW! There are some pretty steep salaries, but also competitive and hard to get in to career fields.

    Although my recent gold venture has proven a failure time after time, it has kept my interest literally the entire time. I'll have very frustrating days, and be right back at it the next day. The way I see it, why not get an education that would make me better at following the minerals, along with setting myself up for a promising career field after the military, while dedicating my studies to something I actually enjoy doing.

    So, my questions to you all are, what would be a good schooling path to get started in this? Keep in mind that all of my education would have to be done online. What courses, schools, classes, etc. would be the best bet to set myself up for success? I'm sure there are many other categories, titles, and positions out there, but I came up with these after a few searches on google: "trade and skilled" category to include operators, technicians, and miners. "Mettallurgist", "Geologists and Geosciences" to include mine geologists and exploration geologists (I also considered geological surveyor outside of mining). "Engineers/senior egineers". And hopefully someday fall into the "Management" category and be a project controls manager, general manager site director, etc.

    Any info any of you might have would be great. The bottom line is, I cant progress much further than I am now in the military without a degree. I don't want to go to college just to go to college. A degree within this field not only fits into my hobby life, but is also interesting. And, the military's retirement benefits aren't the greatest so I'm still going to have to work when I retire (I'll be 39).
    arizau likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just_curious View Post
    I'm hoping that somebody on here can give me some first hand experience. I am just about to reach my 10 year mark in the military. I never had any desire to go to college because nothing has ever interested me enough to want to waste me time with something that may not be beneficial. The way I always thought was, if you were to do any sort of additional schooling, go to a trade school. Well, I recently got into searching for gold, which has lead down the path of researching, reading old USGS reports, following the history, etc. So, just out of curiousity, I looked into mining degrees, and WOW! There are some pretty steep salaries, but also competitive and hard to get in to career fields.

    Although my recent gold venture has proven a failure time after time, it has kept my interest literally the entire time. I'll have very frustrating days, and be right back at it the next day. The way I see it, why not get an education that would make me better at following the minerals, along with setting myself up for a promising career field after the military, while dedicating my studies to something I actually enjoy doing.

    So, my questions to you all are, what would be a good schooling path to get started in this? Keep in mind that all of my education would have to be done online. What courses, schools, classes, etc. would be the best bet to set myself up for success? I'm sure there are many other categories, titles, and positions out there, but I came up with these after a few searches on google: "trade and skilled" category to include operators, technicians, and miners. "Mettallurgist", "Geologists and Geosciences" to include mine geologists and exploration geologists (I also considered geological surveyor outside of mining). "Engineers/senior egineers". And hopefully someday fall into the "Management" category and be a project controls manager, general manager site director, etc.

    Any info any of you might have would be great. The bottom line is, I cant progress much further than I am now in the military without a degree. I don't want to go to college just to go to college. A degree within this field not only fits into my hobby life, but is also interesting. And, the military's retirement benefits aren't the greatest so I'm still going to have to work when I retire (I'll be 39).
    When I was in college in the early 60's there was (and maybe still is?) a program where enlisted servicemen could apply for and attend college and get their degree, on the govt. dime, while still retaining their pay and rank.* I'm not sure but I imagine the obligation was Officer Candidate School afterwards plus 6 more years of active duty. That program, if it still exists, would take you right up to 20 years of service. With that you then could get the higher retirement benefits (probably O-2 but maybe O-3 in 6 years) from the govt. and, if that income was not enough you then could pursue employment in your college profession maybe even with a mining company. They and the military like engineers/science majors of all types. Might be worth checking into.

    Good luck and thank you for your service.

    *A friend from college was one of them. That was over 50 years ago but is how I remember his circumstances.
    Last edited by arizau; Jan 01, 2018 at 01:26 AM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    May 2016
    Georgia
    Equinox 800, Ace 400, AT Pro, Pro pointer AT,
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    Go into geology bud....you decide how far in depth. No pun intended..

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2012
    Chickasha,Oklahoma
    765
    1168 times
    Prospecting
    Thank you for your serviceYou can put that geology degree to work in the oilfield also. Not a lot of longevity it bust every 5 yrs or so but the money is big and fast when it booms.
    http://www.mylandmatters.org/Maps/GeologyOK/GetMap

    http://www.mylandmatters.org/


    "If the Gold dont care neither do I"
    Shawn Pomrenke

    4" Proline 2" Jobe combo 2.5" Keene 2.5" subbie Drywasher Spiral Wheel Minelab Detector

  5. #5
    us
    Oct 2011
    Austin, TX and Motherlode
    50
    46 times
    Prospecting
    Hello! Always nice to see people interested in mining fields on a professional level.

    I am a geologist and have both an undergraduate degree and a masters in geology with focus on thesis in geochemistry. I will try and give you a little insight into career opportunities a geologist might have.

    I work in the oil and gas world and if that is of interest you need to know the following. Unless you want to do field work that will not satisfy your enjoyment of geology you WILL need a masters. You cannot even get an interview at the oil and gas companies without one. So make sure you really love it. Additionally you will almost certainly be located in Houston.

    If you want to pursue other fields in geology the most common are environmental consultant or working at a geotechnical company. You don't need a masters for either of those but it certainly helps especially with the geotechnical firms.

    In terms of working at mines I'm pretty sure an undergraduate degree is all that is needed.

    When picking your school whether online or in person make sure the school is not one that theoretical as it sounds you are interested in working in the field. Practical and applied curriculums are very important for this. I went to a top school and while it was very valuable I didn't get skills for on the job. I learned the path to becoming a professor and that was my main fault with the theoretical approach.

    If you can move around and attend a school in person I would HIGHLY recommend university of Nevada Reno. They have a fantastic mining program. I know you mentioned doing it online, but geology is very hands on and I think you would disadvantage yourself in terms of learning.

    Finally another aspect that people overlook when exploring geology is the prerequisites that you need to complete your degree. You must be able to pass calculus, chemistry, and calculus based physics.

    If you want any more info just shoot me a pm. Hope this helps. I love being a geologist and if you put in the hard work it is rewarding. It also doesn't hurt with the gold prospecting hobby either

  6. #6
    se
    Sep 2006
    Sweden
    White's V3, Minelab Explorer II & XP Deus.
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    I'd start by figuring where you want to be. In the mines? Out in the field, prospecting? Working with the geologists? Or being the geologist?
    etc etc.

    I have a few friends who dipped their toes in the mining field by being field technicians. It had them in close contact with the geologists and got them a feel for the trade. At least one of them is now working in the prospecting side of the trade.
    Some food for thought!
    Geologists are gneiss, tuff, and a little wacke.

  7. #7
    us
    Dec 2016
    Colorado
    37
    42 times
    Prospecting
    What do you do now in the service?

    Do you want to be in an office or out in the mine?

    Where do you want to live?

    I work at an underground block and cave semi precious metals mine, my job title is field pump mechanic. Wages are all over the board, we start completely green operator trainees at $17ish an hour and then experienced hourly hands who pick up overtime are pushing 6 figures, experienced true underground miners (either jackleg drillers or jumbo operators with mucking and blasting experience) are over 6 figures. Our wages are lower than somewhere like Elko Nevada by a fair amount. Most equipment operators, mechanics, mill operators/ mechanics, and laborers are hourly.

    We'll hire people to drive haul truck, muck or mill operators with 0 experience and after 6 months they are able to transfer crews to a skilled trade if something is open and they usually move up the pay grade pretty quickly. I think my job requires 6 months of pump experience or a year of a mixture of school and work in industrial maintenance, the rest is learned on the job. Most of the hourly guys at my mine have little to no school besides maybe the mechanics and worked their ways up the food chain. Different companies/ even different properties within the same company have very different cultures and it's not uncommon for guys to bounce around. Most but not all hourly mining jobs have screwy hours and many require flipping days to nights. My current schedule is 12 hour day shifts Sunday through Tuesday or Wednesday and the other half of our department works the same shift but switches day to nights to give an example. Working a 9-5 Monday through Friday usually doesn't happen in mining. Many of the salary guys are on 4 10's straight days and no weekends.

    If you are interested in a job that requires a degree they are usually salary jobs, about 2/3rd's of our salary guys probably come underground once a month or less. The surveyors, ground support engineer, ventilation engineer, and some times the geologists are underground a lot more. We have a couple geologists, a bunch of engineers (mainly mechanical), and some environmental people up stairs with degrees. Much of our management started out hourly and then got promoted to management and can go pretty far without a degree. We also employ computer people, HR people, accountants, buyers and the like who don't really "mine" but are still around it on a daily basis.

    Mining is one of those fields where once you get your foot in the door there's lots of opportunity out there but it can be very difficult to get your first mining job. Many of the jobs are in less than desirable locations as well. I work at one of the few larger mines you can easily commute from a big city to. Benefits are usually better than average but divorce rates are also higher than average.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Indiana
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    Perhaps you will find this link helpful...................
    Free Online Geology Courses from Top Universities

  9. #9

    Aug 2017
    Georgia/Alabama
    Minelab GM1000 White's GMZ White's Spectrum XLT
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    These are all great responses so far. I figured that I would want to do some sort of geology that involved mining of precious metals. I'm not really concerned with where I live at as long as it's in some good gold bearing areas, possibly silver or platinum. I want to be credentialed to the point where I could easily land a job with some mining operations. But also have the knowledge to go forward and do some of that stuff myself. I think that a degree in geology could only get me so far, but if I aimed my degree towards geology and Mining and surveying then I could get a pretty good job regardless of whether I just wanted to be a geological surveyor, maybe someday up Professor, or working around the mining industry. Maybe not those exact type positions, but within the realm of those positions

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2012
    New Mexico USA
    2,135
    1553 times
    Prospecting
    I've done some work here. They get to blow a lot of stuff up.
    There are exploring the effect of explosives on ceramics to increase strength.
    They study many things also related to geology. Also lighting.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Me...and_Technology
    Chop wood..Carry water

  11. #11

    Aug 2017
    Georgia/Alabama
    Minelab GM1000 White's GMZ White's Spectrum XLT
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Well that's another added qualification that I have I would imagine. I have army schooling for demolitions as well as certified on the broko torch which burns at 10,000 degrees and can cut through ANYTHING. Including more than 2 feet of rock. I have dealt with various charges to include concrete charges, push principal, cutting principal, and blast principal. I personally like using water for tamping. It doubles the effects of the charge, along with decreasing the overpressure/psi by 50%. I'm also familiar with different effects of demo for hallways, corners, etc, and how that effects the psi within a given structure. I think that knowledge would be very useful when working underground. I not only can calculate charges to figure out the net explosive weights (N.E.W), but also figure out how to use the lowest N.E.W to achieve the largest/strongest effect.

    Pretty much, I want the education and qualifications to be a one stop shop. Having been in charge of multiple people/operations can land me a leadership role, demolitions qualifications could put me in an engineer type position, hazmat qualifications could help with material usage and disposal, and a degree in mining/geology could put me in a position to survey, assay, identify minerals and other commonalities to locate certain commodities, advise/assist, and follow the geology to potentially beneficial deposits.

    I'm just not too familiar with the terms in order to figure out what I want to do, or the education that I would need to get into those/that area of expertise. Essentially, I'm trying to be a subject matter expert in geology/mining so I could secure a position with any business affiliated with the mining industry but also be highly looked upon by those employers...if this makes sense

  12. #12
    us
    Jul 2015
    Denver, CO
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    I’m an army vet who got tired of being a nurse and I’m using my GI bill to become a geologist. Go for it man

  13. #13

    Aug 2017
    Georgia/Alabama
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    I feel ya man. I just never knew what I wanted to go to school for. Now I know. I just want to make sure I follow the correct path for what I want to get in to

  14. #14
    us
    Feb 2010
    976
    858 times
    When I was on a survey crew at at surface coal mine, I trained a summer help kid how to set up tripods. He's now the C.E.O. of Amax coal. He went to the School of mines in Rolla,MO. The School of mines in CO. is also very good. Good luck.

  15. #15
    us
    Dec 2016
    Colorado
    37
    42 times
    Prospecting
    Where are you stationed now? A couple mine tours and talking to some people in the industry might not hurt. If you end up in Colorado I could probably give you a tour.

    How many years do you have left in the service?

    Mine engineering might be what you want to do. I believe they work geology, the survey crew, mechanical engineers, miners, ground support crew, ect. to put it all together.

    Experience in mining is worth 10 times more than school. No matter how much school you have no mining company is going to let you loose for a couple years. Most mining companies will pay for mining related degrees while you work for them.

    It does look like there's some online bachelors degrees in mining engineering. Atlantic international university had 1 in a 2 minute Google search. I'm not sure how good of an idea a 100% online mining engineering degree is.

    Your experience sounds like you could walk on to a blasting crew as a hand and then move up the ladder.
    tamrock likes this.

 

 
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