Mining Engineers

Mining Engineer at Oil Rig Site

Mining engineers deal with the exploration, location, and planning for removal of minerals and mineral deposits from the earth. These include metals (iron, copper), nonmetallic minerals (limestone, gypsum), and coal. Mining engineers conduct preliminary surveys of mineral deposits and examine them to ascertain whether they can be extracted efficiently and economically, using either underground or surface mining methods. They plan and design the development of mine shafts and tunnels, devise means of extracting minerals, and select the methods to be used in transporting the minerals to the surface. They supervise all mining operations and are responsible for mine safety. Mining engineers normally specialize in design, research and development, or production. Mining equipment engineers may specialize in design, research, testing, or sales of equipment and services. Mines also require safety engineers.

There are approximately 8,000 mining and geological engineers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Oversee the exploration, location, and planning for removal of minerals and mineral deposits from the earth
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) More than 50 percent of all mining employees work in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, but opportunities exist in more than 25 states
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship; co-op
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Project Director, or Manager, or Professor
  • Mining Engineer
  • Junior Mining Engineer

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