Mining engineer: job description
Mining engineers assess the feasibility, safety and productivity of mine locations and plan, manage and optimise the extraction of surface and underground deposits.
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
training and supervising staff
liaising with and advising managerial and technical staff
costing and organising supplies.
Typical employers of mining engineers
Large construction and manufacturing companies
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. You can also find tips for finding and applying for jobs with smaller engineering companies here.
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. Some employers will ask for a 2.1 degree but others will accept candidates with a 2.2 degree. Take a look at our list ofengineering employers that accept 2.2 degrees
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 and you can read our article on engineering postgraduate options to explore your options.
Relevant experience gained via placements or by working in junior positions is extremely beneficial. Take a look at our list ofengineering employers who offer industrial placements and summer internships. Most mining engineering degree 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
Problem-solving and analytical skills
Organisation and efficiency
Strong technical skills
Managerial and interpersonal skills
Owned buildings at another site may be used as alternate workspace if a building cannot be occupied. This depends upon the location of the building and whether the building would be affected by the same hazard that prevented use of the primary building. The alternate facility may be a viable business recovery strategy if the building can be configured with the required equipment or existing equipment can be configured to need business requirements.
Systems and Equipment.
Evaluate these systems to determine whether they meet the needs of the program. Identify and plan to overcome emergency communication system limitations such as weak radio or cellular service or areas where a warning system cannot be heard. Upgrading this critically important system may be required. Verify that these systems are in reliable working condition.
If fuel, battery backup power or batteries are required, make sure the system can run for the required time and chargers are available. Document how to operate these systems and mark the locations of controls. Make sure the information is available during an emergency. Many of these systems also require periodic inspection, testing and maintenance in accordance with national codes and standards. Train staff so a knowledgeable person is able to operate systems and equipment.
Materials and Supplies.
Be sure to compile a list of available resources using the Emergency Response Resource Requirements and Business Continuity Resource Requirements worksheets as a guide.
Preparing for an emergency, responding to an emergency, executing business recovery strategies and other activities require resources that come from outside the business. If there were a fire in the building, you would call the fire department. Contractors and vendors may be needed to prepare a facility for a forecast storm or to help repair and restore a building, systems or equipment following an incident.
The following external resources should be identified within plan documents. Include contact information to reach them during an emergency and any additional instructions within the preparedness plan.
Public Emergency Services.
Contractors and Vendors.