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Become A Seismic Engineer

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Working As A Seismic 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

  • $72,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Seismic 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 Seismic 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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Seismic Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.2%

Unknown

5.9%

Female

5.9%
Ethnicity

White

39.5%

Asian

24.7%

Black or African American

14.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Unknown

9.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

German

16.7%

French

16.7%

Chinese

16.7%
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Seismic Engineer Education

Schools

Clemson University

12.9%

University of Houston

9.7%

University of Dayton

6.5%

Brigham Young University

6.5%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

6.5%

Tennessee Technological University

6.5%

University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

6.5%

Southern Methodist University

6.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.2%

Manhattan College

3.2%

Colorado School of Mines

3.2%

Drexel University

3.2%

Villanova University

3.2%

Rice University

3.2%

Lamar University

3.2%

California Southern University

3.2%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.2%

University of Delaware

3.2%

University of Wisconsin Extension

3.2%

New Mexico State University

3.2%
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Majors

Geology

19.6%

Mechanical Engineering

15.2%

Civil Engineering

15.2%

Electrical Engineering

10.9%

Engineering

6.5%

Physics

6.5%

Computer Science

4.3%

Information Systems

2.2%

Business

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

Industrial Engineering

2.2%

Geological Engineering

2.2%

Computer Engineering

2.2%

Mathematics

2.2%

Chemistry

2.2%

Project Management

2.2%

Architecture

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

50.0%

Bachelors

34.8%

Doctorate

10.9%

Other

4.3%
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Real Seismic Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Seismic Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Mar 01, 2015 $101,400
Seismic Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Sep 17, 2016 $100,100
Seismic Engineer-Data Processing Westerngeco Resources, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $94,800
Seismic Engineer III Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Mar 28, 2015 $94,650
Seismic Engineer ARUP North America Ltd. San Francisco, CA Feb 05, 2015 $91,395
Seismic Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Sep 17, 2016 $91,000
Seismic Engineer-Data Processing Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $91,000
Seismic Engineer 2 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Nov 10, 2014 $89,000
Seismic Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Frisco, TX Jun 21, 2015 $87,000
Seismic Engineer ARUP North America Ltd. San Francisco, CA Jul 31, 2015 $83,500
Seismic Engineer Konecranes Nuclear Equipment & Services, LLC New Berlin, WI Oct 01, 2015 $80,000 -
$105,000
Structural and Seismic Engineer ARUP North America Limited Los Angeles, CA Oct 14, 2015 $79,040
Seismic Engineer Westerngeoco Resources, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 14, 2011 $78,000
Seismic Engineer Westerngeco Resources, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 15, 2011 $78,000
Crosswell Seismic Engineer In Charge Schlumberger Technology Corporation Shreveport, LA Oct 15, 2012 $76,918 -
$83,980
Seismic Engineer-Data Processing Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $76,800
Engineer 2/Seismic Analysis Engineer Shaw Environmental, Inc. Aiken, SC Sep 30, 2012 $64,000 -
$74,000
Seismic Engineer Konecranes Nuclear Equipment and Services LLC New Berlin, WI Oct 01, 2012 $63,440 -
$85,000
Engineer 1-Seismic Analysis Engineer Shaw Project Services Group, LLC Aiken, SC Feb 22, 2013 $62,000 -
$72,000
Seismic Analysis Engineer 2 Shaw Environmental, Inc. Aiken, SC Sep 15, 2010 $62,000 -
$75,000
Seismic Engineer Westerngeco Resources, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2009 $61,000
Seismic Engineer-Data Processing Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Jan 01, 2012 $58,437 -
$70,000
Lead Seismic Engineer Morris Material Handling, Inc. New Berlin, WI Oct 01, 2009 $57,470 -
$85,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Seismic Engineer

Average Yearly Salary
$72,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$49,000
Min 10%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$72,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Vertex
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Seismic Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Seismic Engineer in the United States is $72,871 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $49,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

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Top Skills for A Seismic Engineer

  1. Data Processing
  2. ACI
  3. Seismic Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed training materials for land data processing.
  • Performed seismic qualification of MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility process equipment, supports and piping.
  • Manage and direct the manipulation of large data volumes, ensuring quality outcomes.
  • Provide technical support to the sales team.
  • Created basic UNIX scripts to backup server configurations on daily and weekly basis.

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Top 10 Best States for Seismic Engineers

  1. California
  2. New Mexico
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Alaska
  5. Wyoming
  6. Alabama
  7. Washington
  8. Colorado
  9. Minnesota
  10. Florida
  • (2,075 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (120 jobs)
  • (393 jobs)
  • (229 jobs)
  • (202 jobs)
  • (379 jobs)

Top Seismic Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Seismic Engineer Employers

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