Mining, Energy & Utilities
Metallurgical technicians develop test programs and test ore samples for mineral processing, metal refining, or research purposes.
What does a Metallurgical Technician do?
Metallurgical technicians develop test programs and test a wide variety of ore samples for mineral processing, metal refining, or research purposes. They provide technical support to metallurgists and metallurgical engineers.
As a metallurgical technician, you would:
- obtain and prepare ore samples for testing
- develop the appropriate testing program
- test materials under the direction of metallurgists and other professionals
- set up and use a range of complex testing and scientific equipment
- analyse, record and report results.
- set up, operate and clean laboratories and scientific equipment.
Key skills and interests
To become a metallurgical technician, you would need:
- to enjoy technical and research activities
- strong analytical skills
- good maths and science skills
- an aptitude for working with computers and complex scientific equipment
- accuracy and attention to detail.
Working hours and conditions
Most metallurgical technicians work full time. You would usually work a standard number of hours per week, although this may include shift work or fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) hours if you are working at a remote mining location.
Metallurgical technicians work in laboratories, factories, or at mine sites. Working at mine sites may involve travel, FIFO conditions, or long periods away from home.
How to become an Metallurgical Technician?
Entry Level Education
To become a metallurgical technician you usually have to complete a VET qualification in manufacturing technology (metallurgy), engineering or engineering technology.
Alternatively, you could complete a degree in metallurgy, mineral science, or earth science. To get into degree courses, you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Graduate metallurgists often start their careers as metallurgical technicians before moving into roles as metallurgists.
Employment of metallurgical technicians is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Within the mining industry there is a current slowdown in new mines being built, however new investment in mining resources such as tech metals means the industry will continue to offer opportunities. Increasing developments in modern technologies and how metals are used in the production of them, will also continue to grow and offer employment opportunities.