A fair amount of the Mining Engineers who qualify in the United Kingdom will not spend much of their working life based in the United Kingdom. Even if they are based in the United Kingdom, the chances are that they will spend extended periods of time, working away from home. The vast majority of Mining Engineers from the United Kingdom will find themselves based in South America, Australia or Africa amongst other regions. For Mining Engineers who specifically want to work in the United Kingdom, there are not a lot of traditional Mining Engineering roles available. There are however jobs available in related areas such as tunneling, quarrying and also construction.
What can Mining Engineers in the United Kingdom expect to earn?
Mining Engineers based in the United Kingdom can typically expect to earn a starting salary of between £20,000 and £25,000. Once a Mining Engineer in the United Kingdom has around 5 years’ experience, they can expect their salary to increase to around £45,000. Once Mining Engineers have around 10 years plus experience, they can expect to earn an average of around £65,000. We do however have reports from our salary survey of Mining Engineers based in the United Kingdom who are earning from £75,000 up to roughly £90,000, with 10 years plus experience.
For Mining Engineers who enjoy the expatriate life and are based overseas, they can expect to earn considerably more. According to the preliminary results from our salary survey, Mining Engineers from the United Kingdom who are based in Peru with 10 plus years’ experience are earning around £120,000. There are also reports of Mining Engineers, with 10 years plus experience from the United Kingdom who are working as expatriates in Chile to be earning around £135,000. British Mining Engineers based in Africa can expect to earn anything between £80,000 and £140,000 depending on where in Africa they are based, and obviously depending on the amount of experience they have, some are earning more. The more remote and isolated the mine is, the better the pay.
What you can expect to earn as a Mining Engineer from the United Kingdom varies tremendously depending on the employer. Overseas salaries will vary widely depending on the project, contract and where you are based. However the golden rule is that the more demanding the work location, the more extreme the terrain and weather conditions, the more isolated the mine, the more unpleasant the working conditions, the more you can expect to earn. Benefits for these jobs where you would be based overseas are also very good. If you are based overseas, in addition to receiving highly competitive salaries, many companies will also offer risk benefits, including highly lucrative bonuses, excellent leave including one or more flights back home to the employee’s country per year. Medical cover will generally also be offered, often including broad coverage that may depending on where the Mining Engineer is based include coverage for overseas, and medical evacuation coverage.
The hours can be long, especially when you are based overseas. Mining Engineers who are based overseas ,are likely to be site for anything up to 3 months, and then have a couple of weeks leave where they can go home, or spend time elsewhere.
Although the money that can be earned overseas is always a great temptation for Mining Engineers from the United Kingdom, they do need to also keep in mind the sacrifices that one has to make when it comes to family commitments. Working overseas for extended periods can lead to feelings of personal isolation and can also create problems in relationships with families. However there are also many positives including the exposure that one can get to different cultures, being given the opportunity to see and live in countries that under normal circumstances you would probably never see, great career advancement and experience, and of course very good salaries.