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.