Career outlook for minerals surveyor

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would decide whether a piece of land is the right place for a mine or quarry. You would also help to restore the site after the work is complete.

You’d work with a team to assess the commercial potential of sites for quarrying, mining or landfill.

If the land is suitable, your team would:

  • Manage the site
  • Value its assets
  • Deal with ownership rights

You would do initial surveys and environmental impact assessments on a potential site.

If the plans were feasible, then you’d research the land and tax records to find out who owns it and the access to it. Next, you would prepare planning applications.

You’d value the mineral deposits on the site and negotiate the contract to buy or lease the land. It would be important to be able to interpret the complex legislation that covers the extractive industries.

You’d chart the surface area using global positioning systems (GPS). You’d also build 3D site models, using digital imaging, laser technology and computer-aided design (CAD) software.

You’d collect and analyse rock samples to get useful data about the land. Using geographic information systems (GIS) you would produce site maps showing the mine structures and the layers of the mineral deposits. You’d update these maps as the mine develops and expands.

You’d be responsible for spotting potential hazards and instability. So you’d investigate the rock structures and ground movements to produce risk assessments. This work is known as geomechanics.

Once all the useful minerals have been extracted from a site, you would work closely with mining engineers, development surveyors and planners to find the best way to restore the land. This could mean recreating the original habitat or preparing the area for leisure, industry or commercial use, including decontamination.

Working conditions


You would usually work 35 to 40 hours a week. Early starts, late finishes and weekend work may be required to meet deadlines.


Your duties would be split between the office and on site. Surface sites could be noisy, dusty, and dirty. If you are working underground, conditions may be damp and cramped. You would use protective clothing and equipment when on site.


Overnight stays away from home may be necessary, depending on the site's location.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Building relationships
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Negotiating

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You would need a degree (SCQF level 9/10) accredited by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant degrees include:

  • Geology
  • Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Geography

If your degree is not RICS-accredited, you can do an accredited postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) through a graduate traineeship with an employer or full-time study. 

There is currently no full-time degree course in mineral surveying in Scotland. 

Entry to a degree in mineral surveying (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Business management
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Geology science
  • Technologies subjects

Helpful to have

 A driving licence is useful for some jobs.