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


22 Responses to “I want to be a Mining Engineer. What will my salary be?”

  1. Ben

    Hi Susan, I really love this blog. I am a BSc graduate majored with Physics and Mathematics and now want to pursure a career in the mining industry. At age 35, am I too old to start by doing short-courses in mining, then a Diploma in Mining? Another quetion is that, how easy is it to get practicals in mining yet not employed in the mines?

  2. Andiswa

    Hi im a learner in grade 11 i want to knw the marks that are required in order to study mining engineering.

    • Susan Kihn

      Dear Andiswa

      Thank you for your enquiry. With regards to the marks necessary to apply for mining engineering it is very important that you take the relevant subjects and get good marks in these subjects. Typically universities will expect you to have done maths and science at least in order to qualify. You will have had to get good grades in these subjects. The marks required varied tremendously from region to region, however I would say you should be looking at around 75% or so at least to ensure you get in. As I mentioned before this will also depend on where you are living and what the requirements are of the universities you are wanting to apply to. I would suggest you contact the universities and ask them what the requirements would be.

      Please note as well that we at CareerMine are not actively involved in the recruitment process with any of the recruiters on our site, but rather provide a service for companies to advertise their positions on CareerMine. If you are actively looking for a job in the mining industry, you may register on our website and post your resume. Your resume will then become searchable though our database and visible to the recruiters on our site. This service is for free. Please follow this link if you wish to proceed, in order to register.

      Once you have completed the above you can go to and select “my resume” or click on the link below in order to post your resume, by doing so your resume will be visible to the recruiters on our site. This service is for free:

      You may also Feature your resume which will ensure that your resume stays close to the top of the list and you will have a better chance of being contacted by a company. It is also highlighted and edited. The cost for 6 months is Can$80.00

      You can also do job searches, without a job access subscription you will be able to respond to some of the jobs on the site but not all of them, should you wish to be able to respond to all of the jobs on the site, you will need to take out a job access subscription. This costs $14.00 a month. Please follow this link should you wish to proceed:


  3. Asanda

    Hi Susan. I’m interested in working in mining industry, i hold a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, I also have a Trade in Aircraft Mechanic and offwhich I’m currently working as an aircraft mechanic in the Aviation industry. So I would like to know the chances for me to be part of mining engineering. I’m interested to become a mining engineer

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Asanda. Thank you for the feedback on the article. Should you be interested in moving into the mining industry I would suggest that you consider studying further in mining. You could consider doing one of our EduMine courses for a start. I would suggest you consider the Certificate in Mining Studies as you would need to gain some formal training in mining in order to help you make the transition. Good luck with this and continue with your studies. Regards. Susan.

  4. Jorge Iribe-Chavez

    Hi Susan, I have a question, if I study in Mexico Mining and Metallurgy, can I get a job in the US? Obviusly i studying English for this

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Jorge. Thank you for the interest you have shown in the article. So far as your question goes, if you are currently living and studying in Mexico in order to get a job in the USA you would need a work permit. Have a look at the article I have linked below, it gives a fair amount of information in terms of what the requirements are to work in the USA. Mining and Metallurgy are great qualifications and will hopefully help you if your dream is to move to the USA. Good luck, I hope that you find a wonderful job.

  5. Strahinja

    Hi Susan, I’m studying mining engeenering in Belgrade, Serbia (eastern Europe). I was wondering how hard is it to find job in mining in US? My degree in mining is approved in whole Europe. And also I was wondering is it better for me to stay in muy country for a year or two to get some working experience in mining, and then apply for job in US?

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Strahinja. Thank you for your response. The mining industry has been very depressed in recent years, which has made jobs scarce. It becomes even more difficult getting jobs in the USA etc as countries will normally try to fill their jobs locally before looking internationally and at the moment there is a trend that there are more job seekers available than jobs. For this reason I would suggest you try to get related experience first regardless as to whether it is in your country or overseas. It is important to gain work experience, as once you have good experience it tends to open doors for you internationally. Good luck with this. Regards. Susan.

  6. Rufaro

    Hi Susan . I’m a grade 9 learner in South Africa . I am interested in becoming a mining engineer and I want to know more about this job . I need help on which subjects to take to pursue a degree in mining engineering

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Rufaro. Thank you for the feedback on my article. A career in Mining Engineering is a wonderful choice where the sky is the limit. If you want to pursue an Engineering career, you can never go wrong by choosing subjects such as Science, Math, Technology and Engineering. These subjects can only widen your options later on in life rather than narrow them. Science and Math are highly regarded subjects and valued for the majority of careers, not just Engineering, so can never be limiting or hold you back especially if you are wanting to go into Mining Engineering. Study hard and good luck. Regards. Susan.

  7. TINO

    Im doing mining engineering at a university in zimbabwe. But l wish to be employed in south africa how difficult is it

  8. Oreabetse

    Hi Susan I’m Oreabetse and I’m currently in grade twelve and interested in becoming a MINING ENGINEER. I would like to ask if I would be allowed to do a job shadowing at any mine while I’m still in matric and at the age of 17?

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Oreabetse. Thank you for the message. I am not sure where you are based, however if in Canada there is a minimum age requirement for certain industries and workplaces set by laws. The Occupational Health and Safety Act sets the minimum ages to work as follows: 18 years of age for underground mines. 16 years of age at a mining plant or surface mine. I would assume that most countries have a minimum age that you would be allowed to work on a mine, even if just job shadowing. I would suggest you contact one of the reputable recruiters in your region that deals with the mines and ask them, otherwise maybe contact one of the mines directly and find out. Good luck with this. Regards. Susan.

  9. nchia

    Hi Susan am nchia I want to study mining and I do well in geology but I don’t really know maths. so pls I need ur advice. can I still do mining?

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Nchia, thanks for the feedback. So far as math goes it is as a norm a requirement to be able to get into both a mining engineering course and geology at university. You do not have to be brilliant at math but you do need to have studied it and passed it. Math in geology is more optional than math in other science or engineering majors – you would for an undergraduate course not have to do calculus and may only have to do statistics however this can vary depending on where in the world you are. I would suggest that if you are considering a career in mining to possibly consider becoming a Geologist rather as the level of math that you would be required to know and study would be a little less, however you would still need to be able to have completed math at school and have a reasonable level of ability with it. Good luck. Regards. Susan.

  10. Thagwana Nkhetheni

    I am doing grade 12 this year and I want to study under the field of Mining engineering at University of Pretoria and the study period is 4years will there be greater chances of employment after that period?

    • Susan Kihn

      Hi Thagwana, yes for sure your chances of employment will improve substantially once you are qualified. A 4 year degree is hard work and requires commitment but it will be worth it at the end of the day. I would suggest that you try to get as much “hands on” work experience as possible during and after your studies, in terms of internships etc even unpaid volunteer work if need be just to be able to get some valuable practical experience. However the sky is the limit so work hard and I sure your dreams will all come true. Regards. Susan.


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