Mining is a huge industry in Northern Nevada. As someone who has yet to figure out where they're going in life, chances are you've probably considered a career in mining, or even engineering, at some point.
According to Metallurgical Engineer Blaine Olson, mining provides the materials society needs.
"Mining and Engineering provide the raw materials that are used to build everything we have. In that way, I guess you could say we help make the world a better place," said Olson.
Olson Explained his role in mining.
"My job is to make sure he process plant that removes the gold from the ore is running efficiently and effectively, by monitoring the existing processes and looking for ways to improve them, up to, and including new processes. I spend a lot of time using mathematics, chemistry, and physics. I also have to understand how economics, budgeting, and financing work to justify the money for my new projects; some of which cost millions of dollars," said Olson.
Metallurgical engineering may sound like a difficult field, but Olson said, "The thing I like best about being a metallurgical engineer is the challenge. There is nothing better than overcoming a really tough problem that has taken a lot of time and money to solve. It's kind of like that feeling of winning a big game in school."
Often times, just coming out of high school, we feel great pressure to know exactly what career we want to spend the rest of our lives on. The truth is, even people who are successful and passionate about their chosen careers go through the same thing.
"I don't know when exactly I decided to be a metallurgical engineer. I was interested in science and math when I was in High School, and began exploring engineering my freshman year in college," said Olson. "I had friends who were upperclassmen who were metallurgical engineers, and they would talk about it a lot. As I learned more about it, I became more and more intrigued by all the different things metallurgical engineers do. It didn't hurt that I found out it also paid well."
According to "Time Magazine" metallurgical engineering is the ninth highest earning major, with the average person making $80,000 a year. It its also a field that requires at least a Bachelor's of Science degree in engineering, although some people go on to get a master's, or even a doctorate degree.
"Engineering is a very challenging and rewarding field. To be an engineer, you will have to work very hard in college spending a lot of time studying when you wish you were doing something else," said Olson. "I had several friends in college who just gave up because they thought it was too hard. My advice would be to never give up, because it is all worth it in the end. Engineering is truly an amazing occupation. I can't imagine doing anything else."