Mining and geological engineers essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $84,300
- 2011, number of jobs: 6,630
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 10 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Mining and geological engineers; what they do:
Not everyone gets to help society while also having an underground adventure, but mining and geological engineers do! The word “geology” tends to make people think of someone gently hammering at a delicate section of rock searching for clues about the past, but a mining and geological engineering focuses on the major task of making the land and underground mines safer and more sustainable for the future.
Companies continually develop new mines around the world as they discover new resources and locations of those resources. Mining engineers and geological engineers are the individuals behind the design and construction of open-pit and underground mines, tunnels, and other underground operations.
Both a mining engineer career and a geological engineer career include preparing technical reports for miners, engineers and managers as well as monitoring efficiency of production. Both a mining engineer career and a geological engineer career include developing methods of efficient transportation of minerals from mines to processing plants.
Playing a large part in helping to secure a future with sustainable energy, engineers in mining and geological engineering are also heavily involved in developing solutions for land reclamation, water and air pollution, and overall sustainability.
Mining and geological engineers job titles:
- Mining Engineers
- Mining Safety Engineers
- Geological Engineers
- Planning Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Mine Safety Manager
- Mine Engineering Supervisor
- Mine Engineering Manager
Mining and Geological Engineers, Education, Certification and License Requirements
Mining engineers and geological engineers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Few schools offer a Bachelor’s in Mining and Geological Engineering specifically; many individuals in this career field earn a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering or a Bachelor’s in Geological Engineering or a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, or Agricultural Engineering. Many research positions in the mining and geological engineering field require a Masters or Doctorate degree.
Mining and geological engineers programs cover subjects such as:
- Mine design
- Mining operation
- Environmental reclamation
Mining Engineers working in the public sector must obtain a state certification, obtained after passing two tests conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The first test covers the fundamentals of engineering (FE) which individuals can take immediately following university graduation. Individuals with four years of relevant work experience can take the second test which covers the principles and practices of engineering (PPE).
Typically, mining and geological engineers must continue taking educational credits to keep their licenses updated. Most states recognize other state’s licenses, so long as the requirements meet or exceed the first state’s requirements.
Career Advancement Opportunities
After working under a more experienced engineer for some time or receiving training through company seminars and classes, a mining and geological engineer may advance via working on more difficult projects or through managing a group of engineers or technicians. Some mining engineers and geological engineers move into a managerial position or sales work.
Mining and Geological Engineers Job Outlook
Forecast: 10 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for mining and geological engineers. This growth is on par with the average for all occupations. This overall occupation is small.
A demand for mining engineers and geological engineers will likely grow as the world demand of low-sulfur content coal increases, as well as due to changes in federal policy related to coal deposits on federal lands in some Western states.
As the global need for alternative energy sources increases, so will the demand for mining and geological engineers to develop means of exploration and mining of those alternative materials.
Mining and Geological Engineers Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $84,300
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $107,160
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $64,910
Mining and Geological Engineers Major Employers
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Metal ore mining
- Coal mining
- Oil and gas extraction
- Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying