Mining and geological engineers design mines above and below the ground to remove minerals and metals used by manufacturing industries and utilities. They design methods to transport mined materials to processing plants, and monitor operations for safety and efficiency. Critically, they also develop solutions to manage mines’ environmental impacts, including land reclamation, and mitigating water and air pollution. Three types of engineers typically work in mining. Geological Engineers search for mineral deposits and evaluate possible sites, then plan how to extract the metals or minerals safely and efficiently. Mining Engineers specialize in mining a particular mineral or metal, such as coal or gold. Some develop new equipment or direct processing operations. Mining Safety Engineers ensure that workers are safe and mines meet safety regulations. They monitor air quality, and inspect mines and equipment for possible hazards. Mining engineers often work at mining operations in remote locations, although some work in sand-and-gravel operations near cities, or at mining firms or consulting companies in large urban areas. Most work full time, with additional hours when posted at mining sites. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program is required to become a mining or geological engineer. Relatively few schools offer the program. Licensure is not required for entry level jobs, but many experienced engineers obtain licensure for more advanced positions.
What they do:
Conduct subsurface surveys to identify the characteristics of potential land or mining development sites. May specify the ground support systems, processes, and equipment for safe, economical, and environmentally sound extraction or underground construction activities. May inspect areas for unsafe geological conditions, equipment, and working conditions. May design, implement, and coordinate mine safety programs.
On the job, you would:
Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering, and management personnel.
Inspect mining areas for unsafe structures, equipment, and working conditions.
Select or develop mineral location, extraction, and production methods, based on factors such as safety, cost, and deposit characteristics.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
reading work related information
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
group things in different ways
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Analytical or scientific software
bachelor's degree or certificate after college usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.