Skills Metallurgical Engineering Technologist near Vancouver (BC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a metallurgical engineering technologist in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Geological and mineral technologists and technicians (NOC 2212).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Conduct or assist in environmental audits, in the design of measures to minimize undesirable environmental effects of mining and oil and gas operations
  • Assist in hydrogeological field and laboratory studies
  • Prepare notes, sketches, geological maps and cross sections
  • Conduct or supervise mining studies
  • Supervise oil and gas well drilling, well completions and work-overs
  • Perform physical and chemical laboratory tests
  • Assist in preparing rock, mineral or metal samples
  • Prepare or supervise preparation of rock, mineral or metal samples
  • Assist in evaluation and analysis of petroleum and mineral reservoir
  • Conduct or direct surveys or survey programs

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

Reading
  • May read instructions and precautions on labels of chemical products they use for laboratory work. (1)
  • Read e-mail from co-workers, clients and contractors on a variety of topics. For example, they may receive brief e-mail requesting advice, noting scheduling changes and confirming test results. They may read longer e-mail giving project details such as the procedures for decontaminating abandoned mine sites. (2)
  • Read manuals and books such as the American Society of Metals Handbook or the Geological Survey of Canada Guide to increase their knowledge about developments in extracting and producing mineral and petroleum resources. (3)
  • Read a variety of provincial and federal legislation for aspects or their work such as exploration, resource extraction, site remediation, transportation of dangerous goods, employment standards and waste disposal. For example, they read Canada's Environmental Protection Act which contains regulations intended to prevent pollution and to protect the environment and human health. (4)
  • Read lengthy reports which provide detailed descriptions of future exploration, mining, drilling and remediation projects. For example, they read geological reports that explain topography and geology of exploration and development sites, field reports describing the test results for minerals and petroleum samples and contamination reports describing polluted sites and recommending remediation measures. (4)
Document use
  • Scan labels on laboratory chemical products or soil and water samples to identify the materials collected, quantities, weights, dates and locations of collections. (1)
  • Review lists of possible contaminants and checklists for safety guidelines including emergency contact numbers. (1)
  • Use tables to record test data and measurements such as flotation results, pH levels, chemical composition values and weights. They also scan tables of geological, hydrological and metallurgical data to compare their test results with historical data. (2)
  • Review work schedules to monitor project timelines and make adjustments to prevent or accommodate delays. (2)
  • Read data logger records. For example, they may review data from well loggers to identify a variety of features such as levels, flow rates, temperatures and pressures. (3)
  • Fill in various safety and regulatory forms such as well completion and resource assessment forms, incident reports and accident forms. (3)
  • Plot and analyze graphs to identify patterns in geophysical data that affect exploration activities and land usage. For example, they analyze seismic graphs showing dimensions and depths of underground structures. They identify spikes on graphs which may indicate geophysical or mineral anomalies and use these to predict viability of resource explorations. They analyze hydrographs to measure discharge rates from rivers and creeks and to understand the effects of new drainage systems and land use changes. (4)
  • Study scale drawings and computer-generated models of surface and subsurface formations. For example, they may analyze cross-sections of geological strata to determine the thickness of soil, clay and rock layers or study cross-sections of mine shafts to identify remaining ore deposits. They scan the drawings to determine the density, composition and porosity of the various subsurface layers and to identify productive formations and locations. (4)
  • Analyze and take measurements from topographical and geological maps. They study the maps to identify geological features and terrain contours that may indicate the presence of natural resources, and to compare them to other sources of historical data. Some maps such as those from contaminated sites, are very detailed and show contour lines, elevations, angles, water tables, buildings, fences and underground pipes. (4)
  • May study aerial photographs to gather information for oil and gas exploration sites. (4)
Writing
  • Write brief e-mail to co-workers, contractors and clients to update them on project developments. (1)
  • Record observations, comments, notes about locations, unusual findings, sampling protocols and problems encountered when conducting field research or when performing laboratory tests. They use these field or lab notes as reminders when they compile reports. (2)
  • May record minutes of health and safety meetings. They often use templates for meeting minutes and may enter brief notes into table formats for easy references. (2)
  • May write company-specific procedures for using new equipment by selecting and modifying previous instructions published in operating manuals. They organize procedures in a format that others can easily follow. (3)
  • Write progress reports for clients, detailing work completed and recommendations when necessary. They describe, highlight and explain the data contained in the reports. The reports are written in plain language so they can be understood by managers, clients and the general public. (4)
  • May write reports of failure analysis for metallurgical investigations. They document their research objectives, processes, findings and conclusions. In these reports they present lab results, root causes of poor quality, identify defects and suggest corrective actions. (4)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Prepare travel expense claims for business trips. They calculate travel expenses at per kilometre rates, add per diem amounts, additional expenses and total them. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May monitor budgets for laboratory equipment and supplies. They track material costs and quantities to work within the budgets established by their organizations. (2)
  • May establish and monitor budgets for large projects within their department, They budget for material costs, employee hourly rates and outside resources that may be required. They may review tenders from contractors to compare prices, quality and availability. They ensure that the work has been completed before recommending final payment. They compare actual expenditures to budgeted amounts and explain any variances. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure ground water levels using water level meters. (1)
  • Weigh rock, soil and particle samples using scales. They may add up the total weights of all samples to ensure that maximum weight capacities for transport vehicles are not exceeded. (2)
  • Measure the thickness of rock samples using micrometers. (2)
  • Prepare solutions for laboratory testing and metallurgical etching. For example, they may calculate quantities of chemicals needed to make ammonium acetate solutions. (2)
  • Calculate flow and base rates for streams, ponds and wells using water meters, stream gauges and velocity meter measurements. (3)
  • Measure the dimensions of geological rock formations, stress fractures, faults and mineral veins using specialized equipment such as theodolites and global positioning systems. They take multiple measurements and compass readings to obtain elevations, directions and angles of these structures. (3)
  • Measure site dimensions when establishing claims or collecting rock and soil samples. They calculate areas based on the measurements and set up coordinate grids for all sample locations. They may calculate volumes of waste rock to be removed and tonnage of ore to be recovered. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Analyze laboratory tests to determine the amounts of contaminants in soil and water and track the progression of bioremediation treatment in accordance with government regulatory guidelines. (2)
  • Compare measurement data to statistical tables and graphs to determine if samples meet requirements. They may typify the mechanical properties of mineral samples by averaging the results of several hardness tests. (2)
  • Analyze data with two measurable variables. For example, they may analyze the porosity of rock by measuring the distances and heights from known water sources. They use this analysis to determine types of sediments, porosities and potentials for resource extraction. (3)
  • May compare production data against quality control test values in order to isolate and assess production problems. For example, they may use temperature and humidity readings to identify variables that may contribute to product failures. (3)
  • Analyze geological, environmental and metallurgical data to identify viable natural resource extraction sites and to assess environmental factors. For example, they may analyze flow rates and pond volumes over time to determine how much water can be drawn from the pond before affecting water quality. (3)
  • Project future outcomes by comparing historical data to present data. For example, they project future run-off by analyzing present measurements and factoring in probable changes such as increasing urban development. They use the projections to determine measures to counter adverse environmental effects. (4)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate time required to carry out projects. The estimates vary according to the size of the projects and the need for specialized consultants. Their estimates are guided by experience with similar projects. (2)
  • Estimate depths necessary to drill to reach oil, gas, minerals or water. (2)
  • Estimate the land areas of claim sites. They may take rough measurements from aerial photographs or walk around the perimeters of sites. (2)
  • May estimate the value of petroleum and mineral deposits. They consider the types and quantities of resources involved, where they are located and how easily resources can be extracted. They may also estimate rate of return on investments based on annual production costs. (3)
Oral communication
  • Communicate with contractors to clarify instructions and provide directions for excavation work on sites. (1)
  • Delegate tasks and provide information and guidance to staff members under their supervision. For example, they explain test procedures to students and junior technicians and teach them how to adjust mineral processing equipment. (2)
  • May present safety information to employees who are exposed to hazardous chemicals or dangerous equipment on excavation and exploration sites. They explain the safety risks and outline procedures to follow in case of accidents and incidents. (3)
  • Discuss test results and seek opinions about project developments with supervisors. For example, they may provide their analyses of well and drill hole logs and seismic data to geologists and seek their opinions about the potential for finding various resources. (3)
  • Exchange information with regulators from provincial and federal government departments to report discoveries, discuss conservation commitments and negotiate development guidelines. (3)
  • Present test results and other project data to customers. They provide recommendations and often use plain language to help clients understand technical terms. For example, they may present results of soil contamination investigations and data to support their conclusions. (3)
  • Discuss project timelines and delays with co-workers from their project teams. They offer solutions to problems and determine actions required to successfully complete the projects. For example, they may suggest rescheduling contractors' works due to poor weather conditions. (3)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • Find that laboratory equipment and test instruments are not working properly. They consult user manuals for directions and attempt repairs themselves. If not successful, they call on service technicians to fix the faults. (2)
  • May become disoriented when working in remote areas. They orientate themselves by identifying topographical features noted in their journals and using compasses and maps to find routes back to bases. (2)
  • May have difficulty locating specific landmarks in field sites because of poor quality or outdated maps. They verify the geographic locations with co-workers and attempt to identify the landmarks by sight. (2)
  • May have insufficient data to conclude site investigations and evaluations. They gather more background information and revisit sites to collect more samples. (2)
  • May be denied access to field sites by landowners or government agencies. They check maps to locate alternative access routes and contact their supervisors for advice on how to proceed. (2)
  • May deal with clients who are reluctant to accept test conclusions. They perform additional tests to confirm their evidence is correct. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide which access routes to use to reach survey locations in order to minimize environmental damage and inconvenience for landowners. They look at maps, consider the presence of animal migration routes and cropland and devise ways to avoid conflicts. (2)
  • Decide which laboratory equipment to buy or recommend for purchase based upon quality and costs. (2)
  • Decide what equipment and supplies to take to remote site base camps. The equipment and supplies selected depends upon the nature of the explorations, number of people on site, duration of the projects, environmental conditions and transportation costs. Failure to pack the right supplies can hinder or preclude exploration activities. (2)
  • Decide which methods to use to prepare samples for analysis. Depending upon how much information is required, they may choose to maximize variations in test samples through cutting, grinding, polishing or etching. (2)
  • Decide where to take samples from and how many samples to collect. They consult topographical maps and use their knowledge of geological structures and anomalies to determine which rocks and soil are likely to provide the best information about subsurface formations. Sound sampling is critical to their work and selecting inadequate sample sites will yield poor quality data. (3)
  • Decide which decontamination processes are effective for specific hazards. They select remediation treatments after considering the geology of sites, contaminant properties, extent of contamination, existing land uses and regulatory guidelines. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Decide which access routes to use to reach survey locations in order to minimize environmental damage and inconvenience for landowners. They look at maps, consider the presence of animal migration routes and cropland and devise ways to avoid conflicts. (2)
  • Decide which laboratory equipment to buy or recommend for purchase based upon quality and costs. (2)
  • Decide what equipment and supplies to take to remote site base camps. The equipment and supplies selected depends upon the nature of the explorations, number of people on site, duration of the projects, environmental conditions and transportation costs. Failure to pack the right supplies can hinder or preclude exploration activities. (2)
  • Decide which methods to use to prepare samples for analysis. Depending upon how much information is required, they may choose to maximize variations in test samples through cutting, grinding, polishing or etching. (2)
  • Decide where to take samples from and how many samples to collect. They consult topographical maps and use their knowledge of geological structures and anomalies to determine which rocks and soil are likely to provide the best information about subsurface formations. Sound sampling is critical to their work and selecting inadequate sample sites will yield poor quality data. (3)
  • Decide which decontamination processes are effective for specific hazards. They select remediation treatments after considering the geology of sites, contaminant properties, extent of contamination, existing land uses and regulatory guidelines. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians are responsible for organizing their job tasks and accomplishing their work goals under the overall guidance of geologists and engineers. They often work on more than one project at a time and plan job tasks on weekly or monthly basis. Their job task planning and organizing responsibilities depend upon their area of specialty, project requirements, size of their companies and the time of year. For example, some technologists and technicians work in shifts at field sites while others work in offices entering and analyzing data. Many divide their time between the office and the field. They also change their plans to coordinate work with contractors. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians participate in strategic planning with their supervisors and provide feedback on projects' schedules and budgets. They may coordinate the schedules of team members, assign tasks and supervise people both in-office and on-sites during projects. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember what kind of equipment was used to process samples in past projects. They recall problems or defects encountered in previous processes and use the knowledge to assist them in current projects.
  • Remember contacts' names, faces, jobs and responsibilities to facilitate communication.
  • Remember job numbers so they can refer to them quickly to access the files.
Finding Information
  • Consult geologists and engineers with specialties in different areas for their advice and input on numerous details during project developments. For example, they may seek advice on sources of access for locations of historic explorations or how to sample specific minerals. (2)
  • Seek specific geological and mineral information from websites and databases available via the Internet. For example, they access provincial government websites to perform freedom of information searches, find the locations of exploration projects and view production results from existing wells. (2)
  • Seek information about the geology and geography of exploration sites using aerial photographs, previous studies, survey and topographical maps. For example, they identify areas that receive heavy snowfall in order to select water conservation sites. (3)
Digital technology
  • Use graphic software. For example, they use presentation software to create slides with text, graphs and pictures for presentations. (2)
  • Use communication software. For example, they use e-mail programs to communicate with co-workers, clients and team members, and to send and receive attachments such as maps and files. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they use Internet browsers to research equipment updates, download government policies, access maps and print reference materials. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, they write letters, create project plans and draft reports using word processing programs such as Word and Word Perfect. They may embed tables, charts and drawings in longer reports. (3)
  • Use database software. For example, they create databases to store maps, track and manipulate project management information such as timesheets, task lists and completion dates. (3)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, they set-up and track project timelines, monitor budgets, produce charts and graphs from test data and compile statistics. They embed formulas into the spreadsheets to automatically perform calculations. (3)
  • Use other computer and software applications. For example, they may export data from digital cameras and use imaging software to analyze sample information. The software systems enable them to measure dimensions, manipulate images, create maps, add exploration data and display the results. They may also use mine-engineering software. (3)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians work collaboratively with geologists, engineers, other technologists and technicians and other staff on the same project. They spend portions of their time creating maps and analyzing research data in support of geologists, engineers and other team members. They may conduct field work and collect samples independently. (3)

Continuous Learning

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians learn through courses offered by technical institutes, colleges, universities and through in-house workshops offered by their employers. Training is both self-directed and encouraged by their company. For example, they may receive training on new computer programs and software updates. They also acquire new learning by communicating with their co-workers, colleagues and peers and reading available books, manuals, reports and journals. (2)

Labour Market Information Survey
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