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Mineralogists study minerals in terms of their form, crystalline structure, physical and chemical properties.

Areas of specialization in which they can apply their knowledge include:

- Geological Exploration
- Metallurgical Extraction
- Civil Engineering
- Fire-Resisting Materials Industry
- Ceramic Manufacture
- Cement Production
- Building Research

Petrographic microscopes are used in the research for and analysis of minerals or finely ground mineral powders. If microscopic analysis does not give exhaustive results, X-ray apparatus and electron micro-analysis are used.

Satisfying Aspects
- opportunity to specialize in an interesting and varied field
- playing a key role in the development of metalliferous metals

Demanding aspects
- microscopic analysis can be frustrating
- possible eyestrain

A mineralogist should:
- have patience and perseverance;
- be attentive;
- be systematic;
- be inquisitive and curious;
- have an open mind and be intuitive;
- have good vision;
- be observant;
- be able to communicate clearly in speech and in writing.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Geography, Economics

Degree: BSc with Chemistry and Geology as major subjects

Post-graduate training: for researchers, at least an honours degree in Geology (with specialization in Mineralogy) is required. Only a few universities offer Mineralogy as a subject, eg US, RU. A masters degree in Mineralogy is recommended.

Registration with the South African Council for Natural Scientists (SACNAS) is required.

- Geological Survey Branch of the Department of Minerals and Energy
- National Institute of Metallurgy (extraction process mineralogy)
- CSIR (fields such as ceramics, road construction materials, etc.)
- ISCOR (iron and steel production and control of raw materials)
- private companies in mining, ceramics and fire-resisting materials production.
- self-employment, with the necessary experience, can be an independent consultant

Contact the above-mentioned employers and tertiary institutions for more information.