I want to be a Mechanical Engineer. What will my salary be?

What do you need to study in order to become a Mechanical Engineer?

Most companies hiring Mechanical Engineers will expect the applicant to hold at least a Bachelor in Science in Mechanical Engineering and an EIT (Engineer in Training) certificate or preferably a PE (Professional Engineer) certificate.

A Mechanical engineering degree programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. The programs typically last 4 years, but many students take between 4 and 5 years to earn a degree. A mechanical engineering degree program may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry. Theory is often another main focus, in order to prepare students for graduate-level work.

There are colleges and universities that offer 5 year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.

What do Mechanical Engineers do?

Mechanical Engineers apply the principles of physics and material science for the research, design, developing, building and testing of mechanical devices. They are involved in the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production and operation of tools and materials. They will also contribute to areas such as environmental control and pollution abatement, power generation, energy conversion and noise control.

A Mechanical Engineer may be called on to engineer or maintain parts on complex machines like generators, engines, and other highly mathematical applications. Mechanical Engineers will spend a great deal of time in creation, design, construction, and installation of many of the mechanical devices.

Typical duties would include the following:

  • Assess project requirements
  • Agree on budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers
  • Analyse problems and see how a mechanical device may solve the problem
  • Undertaking relevant research
  • Design or redesign mechanical devices, creating blueprints so the device can be built
  • Producing and implementing designs and test procedures
  • Measuring performance of mechanical components, devices and engines
  • Testing, evaluating, modifying and re-testing products
  • Writing reports and documentation
  • Providing technical advice
  • Analysing and interpreting data.

Mechanical Engineers working in the Mining Industry may specifically perform task that include the following:

  • The design and construction of resource development projects
  • Designing of new machines, equipment or systems
  • Investigating the account costs and material suitability
  • Conducting research in the use and application of different fuels, energy heating, and storage and pumping of liquids etc.

Mechanical Engineers will typically use many types of tools, engines, and machines, such as power using machines, such as refrigeration and air conditioning, power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, industrial production equipment, including robots used in manufacturing
Machine tools and tools for other engineers and material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations. Mechanical engineers use computers extensively, mainly to help in design. They will often use CAD (Computer Aided Design software to design plants.

What working conditions can you expect to work in as a Mechanical Engineer?

Mechanical Engineers will spend a fair amount of time in the field, but will also spend time in the office. When working in mining, they can typically find themselves working onsite on mines, possibly in remote locations where they may be exposed to extreme weather conditions. Mechanical Engineers will generally work in a team environment with other professionals, depending on the project they are involved in. If in mining they can expect to work closely with mining engineers and metallurgists amongst other professionals.

What can I expect to earn as a Mechanical Engineer?

Mechanical Engineers salaries vary tremendously depending on what region they are working in, what industry and in terms of how much experience they have. There are other factors that will influence the salary of a Mechanical Engineer, including what company they work for, whether the position is FIFO, and whether they are in a contract or permanent position.


I want to be a Mining Engineer. What will my salary be?

What do you need to study in order to become a Mining Engineer?

Students interested in entering mining engineering programs should take courses in mathematics and science in high school. A Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mining Engineering is required. Any Engineer who works in the public sector will need to be awarded a state certification as well. Mining Engineers have the option of working in either the private and public sectors. Should you be interested in a Research or Academic position, it will require a doctorate or master’s degree. Courses you will need to study during the course of your degree will cover areas such as geology, mining operations, mine design, metallurgy and environmental issues.

Master’s degree programs in mining and geological engineering are typically 2 year programs, and some of these programs require a written thesis for graduation.

Mining Engineers will generally have to have a strong background in maths and science, especially chemistry and physics. They will also have to have strong problem solving abilities, as well as the ability to communicate effectively. A Mining Engineer should typically be able to visualise 3 dimensional objects from 2 dimensional drawings. Mining Engineers will also need to have the ability to apply themselves to a variety of job situations, and have good communication skills

What do Mining Engineers do?

Mining Engineers design mines and will use engineering principles, technology and scientific theory for the safe and effective extraction of natural resources from these mines. Mining Engineers plan, design and operate the mining processes, both underground and above ground. Mining Engineers will be responsible for the overseeing of both mining operations and miners, and are employed by many mining-related organizations.

Mining Engineers will often work with Geologists and Metallurgical Engineers to find and evaluate new mineral deposits. Some Mining Engineers will be involved in the development of new equipment or direct mineral-processing operations to separate minerals from dirt, rock, and other materials.

What working conditions can you expect to work in as a Mining Engineer?

Mining Engineers may work in offices or on mine sites. Depending on the type of mine, they may work in the open above ground, or underground where it can be cramped. Mining Engineers must be prepared to travel and will often stay away from home for extended periods. They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis. FIFO commonly involves flying in for a certain period of time whilst the Mining Engineer would be on site, and then flying home for periods when they are off work. Mining Engineers will often get to see the world as if working for large international companies, their job will often involve international travel.

What are the typical duties of a Mining Engineer?

  • Involved in the design of both open-pit and underground mines
  • Overseeing of the operations of the mine
  • Training and supervision of personnel
  • Looking into methods for transporting minerals to the various processing plants
  • Oversee the design and construction of mine shafts and tunnels in underground mines
  • To ensure that mines are operated safely and in the most environmentally effective ways possible
  • Oversee the production rates to assess the effectiveness of the mine operation
  • To be involved in finding solutions for problematic areas such as water and air pollution, land reclamation etc.
  • Design and develop mines and determine the best way to extract metal or minerals to get the most out of deposits, and to extract as much out of the mine whilst maintaining strict safety and environmental issues at hand, for the least amount of money.
  • Involved in trying to limit the amount of water used in the operation, and keep pollution to a bare minimum.
  • Prepare technical reports for miners, engineers, and managers

What can I expect to earn as a Mining Engineer?

Mining Engineers typically earn very good salaries. Engineers across the board are renowned to earn high salaries, and Mining Engineers are no exception. They spend many years studying, work hard and often have to make sacrifices in times of time spent away from their families, and for this reason it’s important that they are adequately compensated.

Engineer Salaries


I want to be an Environmental Engineer. What will my salary be?

What do you need to study in order to become an Environmental Engineer?

Students interested in a career in environmental engineering should consider taking subjects such as chemistry, biology, physics and maths in order to have the best chance of being accepted.

Entry-level environmental engineering jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. This would typically take 4 years and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. There are also universities that offer programs where students can gain practical experience at the same time as studying. Should you want to complete your masters this will take an extra year or two, depending on where in the world you are based.

What do Environmental Engineers do?

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How the mining downturn has affected Geologist salaries in Canada

The mining crisis worldwide has impacted many regions including Canada. Having looked more closely at the situation for Geologists in Australia, where we found that even though there have been job losses, salaries for Geologists have remained pretty constant for those still employed in mining. In some cases, Geologists are earning more now than they were a year or so back and it was encouraging to see that Geologists in Australia are not earning less now than in 2012.

I thought it would be good to do a comparison as to how Geologists in Canada are faring salary wise. We know that a number of small mineral exploration companies have been forced to close down, and that there have been job losses in mining in Canada. 2013 was not a good year for the mining industry worldwide, Canada being no exception. As metal prices fell, companies were forced to slash their costs and there were unfortunately some in mining in Canada that lost their jobs. So far 2014 has not been a particularly good year for those in mining either.

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How to Retain Young Professionals in Mining

Simon Houlding, Vice-President for Professional Development at EduMine writes:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current young professionals work group (up to age 35), commonly referred to as “millennials” or “Gen Y’ers”, spends an average of 1.8 years in a job before moving on. At any one time, 60% of this group are looking for new career opportunities while still employed.

Career and lifestyle aspirations are even more important to them than pay or their relationship with their managers. In addition, millennials do not need to be highly dissatisfied with their current job to make a change. If something more attractive comes across their radar screen, in the way of career advancement or lifestyle aspirations, they will leap, regardless of how long they have been with their current employer.

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What are mechanics in mining really earning?

Mechanics work across various industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation, forestry, agricultural and in the municipalities. Salaries for mechanics can vary tremendously depending on which industry they are working in. They can also vary a lot depending on where they are based. Mining has notoriously been a good industry to work in, and salaries have always been very competitive. Between 2001 and 2008 jobs for mechanics in mining rose dramatically, but there was a decline in 2009 due to the 2008 – 2009 recession. Things did pick up again but with the recent slump in mining, jobs for mechanics have been affected again.

The trend seems to be that the majority of those working as mechanics are still men. According to Service Canada, as many as 98.5% of Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanics in 2011 were men, which is very high when you compare it to all occupations where 52.7% of those employed are men. Given the nature of the job, it is unlikely that these statistics will have changed that much in recent years.
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How the downturn in mining has affected Geologist salaries in Australia

Even with the downturn in mining worldwide which has seen massive job losses as a result of mining companies downsizing, putting mines into maintenance mode or closing down, it appears not all is bad for Geologists working in mining in Australia. Besides other mining professions, we know that there are a lot of Geologists who have lost their jobs worldwide and in Australia. What I thought may be of interest, was to see how this downturn has affected Geologist salaries in Australia.

The data used has been used exclusively from the CareerMine Salary Survey results, and I have shown a comparison between what Geologists were earning in 2012 and what they are now earning in 2014.

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