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Mining engineer: job description

Mining engineer: job description

Mining engineers assess the feasibility, safety and productivity of potential mine locations and plan, manage and optimise the extraction of surface and underground deposits.
Different countries have varying requirements for entry into the profession so it is important to research the requirements and gain a qualification that will be accepted.

What does a mining engineer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Mining engineers ensure that underground resources such as minerals, metals, oil and gas are extracted safely and efficiently. Typical job responsibilities include:

  • assessing the feasibility and the potential for commercial benefit of new sites
  • ascertaining extraction risks
  • producing models or plans for possible mining sites
  • planning and implementing extraction systems
  • using specialist computer applications to maximise planning and production
  • monitoring and evaluating underground performance
  • managing construction projects
  • ensuring that operations comply with health and safety requirements
  • making sure that the equipment used is safe
  • managing budgets
  • training and supervising staff
  • liaising with and advising managerial and technical staff
  • analysing data
  • keeping records
  • costing and organising supplies.

Typical employers of mining engineers

  • Mining companies
  • Quarrying companies
  • Extraction companies
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Large construction and manufacturing companies
  • Mining consultancies

Mining engineering is an international profession, with many jobs based overseas.

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services, specialist recruitment agencies and in publications such as TARGETjobs Engineering, Mining Journal and InfoMine, plus their respective websites. Speculative applications made early during the first term of your final year are essential. The Directory of Mines and Quarries may prove useful for contact information.

Qualifications and training required

To become a mining engineer, you will need a degree in a relevant subject such as mining engineering, civil engineering or geology. A postgraduate qualification can be beneficial and may be necessary for some posts. A list of accredited courses is available on the Engineering Council’s website.

Relevant experience gained via placements or by working in junior positions is extremely beneficial. Most courses offer periods of practical mining experience – these can provide a useful source of contacts for employment following the completion of academic studies.

Different countries have varying requirements for entry into the profession in terms of experience and academic qualifications, so it is important to research the requirements and gain a qualification that will be accepted.

Achieving chartered (CEng) status with the Engineering Council can help to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field. To become chartered, you will need an accredited bachelors degree with honours in engineering or technology, plus an appropriate masters degree (MEng) or doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). You will also be eligible with an integrated MSc. To find out more, take a look at our guide to chartership.

Key skills for mining engineers

  • Confidence
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Organisation and efficiency
  • Independence
  • Strong technical skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Managerial and interpersonal skills
  • IT skills.
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