Discover the work life of a female Geologist Technician
Happy Women’s Day to all the women in Africa!
To celebrate the day, we have a special article prepared for you. 🙂
We speak to Sandra Ndlovu, a Geologist Technician and we find out from a female’s perspective exactly how it is to work on a mine and the challenges that she faces as a working mother and wife…
Sandra Ndlovu works in the field of Mining within the Geology department. Her skills are Mapping techniques (surface and underground), Interpretation of geological data (rock types, alteration and structure), Drilling and sampling supervision as well as participation and contribution to safety initiatives. She also has the ability to Identifying and eliminate hazards.
Growing up in a Mining town she knew that she wanted to work in the mining industry. She was inspired by the men who worked daily, putting on their work suits to go down the mines.
Given that the mining sector is a predominantly male-dominated sector, she was faced with a particular challenge and had to work hard to be able fit in as well as achieve her goals just as a man could.
How to become a Geologist: Advice from Sandra Ndlovu
For one to establish themselves in the Geology industry you have to have a Diploma in Mining Geology or a Degree in Geology. When undertaking these courses you will gain theoretical knowledge of handling Geological work such as mapping, sampling, report writing and supervision of subordinates. On the job training is also essential to get to do the actual work during your training.
What Salary can a Geologist expect to earn?
- A Trainee can expect to earn between US$300- US$800
- After 10 years of experience one can expect to earn from US$2000- US$4000
Female Perspective: The reality of working as a Geologist
“Working in the field of geology and balancing with family is not easy at all. Spending time away from home might be an adventure but not for too long especially if you are a mother and wife. I love to work in the field but mining towns can be located far from home and is also a difficult environment to be in as a woman.
Most mining shifts are more work than play (for example 14/7, 19/9), so most of your time is spent at work than at home. “You feel like a stranger at home.”
How Sandra Ndlovu overcomes the challenges of working on the mines
The only way to overcome this challenge is to talk to your family:
- Make them understand that I have to work for the benefit of the family
- Ensure that you have quality time with family
The next hotspot in Africa for Oil & Gas and Mining:
As far as African countries are concerned Sandra Ndlovu thinks Tanzania will be the next hotspot in oil and gas mining after large volumes were discovered there. “Tanzania has launched gas and oil exploration with success being reported.”
Sharing advice to stay ahead: Outlook for the next 5 years:
In the coming 5 years I foresee a digital world, “digital mining industry” and the cutting down on manual labour. This means one has to equip ourselves with computer and mining software skills to survive the industry!
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