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Become A Mine Engineer

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Working As A Mine Engineer

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $86,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mine Engineer Do

Mining and geological engineers design mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals such as coal and metals for use in manufacturing and utilities.

Duties

Mining and geological engineers typically do the following:

  • Design open-pit and underground mines
  • Supervise the construction of mine shafts and tunnels
  • Devise methods for transporting minerals to processing plants
  • Prepare technical reports for miners, engineers, and managers
  • Monitor mine production to assess the effectiveness of operations
  • Provide solutions to problems related to land reclamation, water and air pollution, and sustainability
  • Ensure that mines are operated in safe and environmentally sound ways

Geological engineers search for mineral deposits and evaluate possible sites. Once a site is identified, they plan how the metals or minerals will be extracted in efficient and environmentally sound ways.

Mining engineers often specialize in one particular mineral or metal, such as coal or gold. They typically design and develop mines and determine the best way to extract metal or minerals to get the most out of deposits.

Some mining engineers work with geoscientists and metallurgical engineers to find and evaluate ore deposits. Other mining engineers develop new equipment or direct mineral-processing operations to separate minerals from dirt, rock, and other materials.

Mining safety engineers use best practices and their knowledge of mine design to ensure workers’ safety and to maintain compliance with state and federal safety regulations. They inspect mines’ walls and roofs, monitor the air quality, and examine mining equipment for possible hazards.

Engineers who hold a master’s or a doctoral degree frequently teach engineering at colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Mine Engineer

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program is required to become a mining or geological engineer, including a mining safety engineer. Requirements for licensure vary by state but most states require applicants to pass two exams.

Education

High school students interested in entering mining engineering programs in college should take courses in mathematics and science.

Relatively few schools offer mining engineering programs. Typical bachelor’s degree programs in mining engineering include courses in geology, physics, thermodynamics, mine design and safety, and mathematics. Programs also include laboratory and field work, as well as traditional classroom study.

Programs in mining and geological engineering are accredited by ABET, whose accreditation is based on a program's faculty, curriculum, facilities, and other factors.

Master’s degree programs in mining and geological engineering typically are 2-year programs and include coursework in specialized subjects, such as mineral resource development and mining regulations. Some programs require a written thesis for graduation.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Mining and geological engineers must consider the wider implications of their immediate work to plan for restoring environmental health. They must be able to consider several competing, but interconnected, issues at the same time.

Decisionmaking skills. These engineers make decisions that influence many critical outcomes—from worker safety to company profits. The ability to anticipate problems and deal with them immediately is crucial.

Logical-thinking skills. In planning mines’ operations, mineral processing, and environmental reclamation, these engineers have to put work plans into a coherent, logical sequence.

Math skills. Mining and geological engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Mining and geological engineers must explore for mines, plan their operations and mineral processing, and design environmental reclamation projects. These are all complex projects requiring an ability to identify and work toward goals, while solving problems along the way.

Writing skills. Mining and geological engineers must prepare reports and instructions for other workers. Therefore, they must be able to write clearly so that others can easily understand their ideas and plans.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mining or geological engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

In several states, engineers must earn continuing education credits to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, provided that licensure requirements in the other states meet or exceed the first state’s own requirements.

Advancement

Beginning mining and geological engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects and they are given greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a staff or team of engineers and technicians. Some eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial or sales jobs. In sales, an engineering background enables them to discuss a product's technical aspects and to assist in product planning, installation, and use. For more information, see the profiles on architectural and engineering managers and sales engineers.

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Mine Engineer Jobs

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Mine Engineer Career Paths

Mine Engineer
Project Engineer Consultant
Senior Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Systems Engineer Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Manager Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Planning Engineer Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Planning Engineer Project Manager Owner
Chief Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Planning Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Mining Manager General Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Mining Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Mine Superintendent Superintendent Operations Manager
Operations Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mine Superintendent Superintendent Project Superintendent
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mine Superintendent Superintendent Maintenance Manager
Special Projects Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Production Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Team Leader Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Manager Of Electrical Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Consultant Engineer
Senior Project Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Geotechnical Engineer Senior Structural Engineer
Senior Civil Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Geotechnical Engineer Senior Structural Engineer Senior Civil Engineer
Project Management Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Consulting Engineer Contracting Engineer Structures Engineer
Senior Structural Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Mine Engineer?

Mine Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.4%

Female

8.4%

Unknown

6.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Asian

9.9%

Black or African American

8.4%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.9%

Portuguese

12.9%

French

6.5%

Hindi

6.5%

Russian

3.2%

Nepali

3.2%

Chinese

3.2%

Dakota

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Urdu

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

Polish

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Italian

3.2%
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Mine Engineer Education

Schools

Colorado School of Mines

14.2%

University of Kentucky

9.4%

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

8.2%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

7.6%

University of Arizona

7.3%

University of Utah

6.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Montana Tech of the University of Montana

5.4%

West Virginia University

5.4%

University of Nevada - Reno

5.1%

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

4.5%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.9%

University of Idaho

3.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.0%

Michigan Technological University

2.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

2.1%

Bluefield State College

1.8%

New Mexico State University

1.5%

University of Phoenix

1.5%

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

1.5%
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Majors

Mining Engineering

63.5%

Civil Engineering

7.8%

Business

7.4%

Geological Engineering

3.8%

Engineering

3.3%

Geology

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.8%

Management

1.3%

Finance

1.3%

Civil Engineering Technologies

1.1%

Chemical Engineering

0.9%

Project Management

0.9%

Computer Science

0.7%

Petroleum Engineering

0.7%

Statistics

0.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

0.5%

Mathematics

0.5%

Economics

0.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.5%

Industrial Engineering

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.2%

Masters

24.9%

Other

10.6%

Doctorate

4.3%

Diploma

1.9%

Certificate

1.8%

Associate

1.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$86,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$47,000
Min 10%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Median 50%
$158,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Rio Tinto America
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Mine Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mine Engineer in the United States is $86,825 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $158,000.

Real Mine Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Mining Engineer AMEC E&C Services, Inc. Mesa, AZ Sep 07, 2014 $183,855
Principal Mining Engineer AMEC E&C Services, Inc. Mesa, AZ Sep 24, 2013 $178,500
Global Mining Engineer GSE Lining Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 01, 2013 $167,000
Mining Engineer SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc. Denver, CO Jan 09, 2016 $140,000
Mining Engineer Consultant Runge Inc. Lakewood, CO Mar 01, 2014 $135,000
Senior Open Pit Mining Engineer SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc. Lakewood, CO Mar 05, 2015 $135,000
Senior Mine Engineer Coeur Mining, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 03, 2014 $133,560
Data Mining Engineer Robert Bosch LLC Palo Alto, CA Aug 26, 2016 $131,302
Senior Mining Engineer Rungepincockminarco Lakewood, CO Nov 24, 2014 $130,000
Data Mining Engineer Robert Bosch LLC Palo Alto, CA Aug 28, 2015 $125,000
Senior Mining Engineer Hatch Associates Consultants, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Feb 28, 2015 $125,000
Senior Mining Engineer Hatch Associates Consultants, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Dec 01, 2014 $125,000
SR. Mine Engineer Freeport-McMoran Corporation Phoenix, AZ Aug 09, 2014 $92,900
Senior Mine Engineer Freeport-McMoran Corporation Oro Valley, AZ May 13, 2013 $92,000
Data Mining Engineer Elite Analytics LLC. Willowbrook, IL Jan 01, 2016 $91,682
SR. Mine Engineer Freeport-McMoran Morenci, Inc. Morenci, AZ Aug 25, 2015 $91,000
SR Mine Engineer Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc. Morenci, AZ Sep 15, 2014 $91,000
Underground Senior Engineer, Mining Engineer III Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Carlin, NV Feb 05, 2014 $90,854 -
$124,903
Senior Mine Engineer Freeport McMoran Corporation Oro Valley, AZ Jan 18, 2014 $90,700
Mine Engineer Barrick Turquoise Ridge Inc. Golconda, NV Aug 19, 2016 $90,000
Mine Engineer II Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc. Morenci, AZ Oct 01, 2014 $79,400
Mine Engineer II Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc. Morenci, AZ Jan 01, 2014 $79,300
Open Pit Mine Engineer Barrick Gold U.S. Inc. Ely, NV Sep 02, 2015 $79,271
Project Mining Engineer Agapito Associates, Inc. Grand Junction, CO Jan 19, 2015 $79,144
Lead Mining Engineer Purdy Materials Inc. Lafayette, IN Sep 16, 2015 $78,000
Mine Engineer II Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc. Morenci, AZ Sep 12, 2013 $78,000
Senior Mine Engineer Newmont USA Limited Carlin, NV Sep 13, 2015 $77,709 -
$97,709
Mine Engineer II Freeport-McMoran Minerals Corporation Oro Valley, AZ Aug 27, 2015 $77,300

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Top Skills for A Mine Engineer

  1. Mine Planning
  2. Safety Standards
  3. Ore Control
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed training programs for Indonesian Mining Engineers and technicians in engineering and short-term mine planning procedures.
  • Operated pickup truck at Dutch Creek mine according to Mid-Continent Resources safety standards.
  • Operated as a Project Engineer, Chief Surveyor for the mine, and the Director of Ore Control operations.
  • Learned and used AutoCAD for drawings, reproduction and maintenance of existing engineering drawings, and presentations as requested by management.
  • Scheduled equipment replacement schedules for haul trucks and shovels.

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Top 10 Best States for Mine Engineers

  1. California
  2. Alaska
  3. New Mexico
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Florida
  6. Colorado
  7. Wyoming
  8. Washington
  9. Minnesota
  10. Arizona
  • (2,018 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (372 jobs)
  • (256 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (375 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (183 jobs)

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