How to Become a

Mining Engineer

The complete career guide to be a Mining Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $107,880
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Mining Engineers use their knowledge and skill to manage mining operations and verify that these operations are carried out in a safe yet cost-effective manner.  They conduct feasibility studies, do environmental assessments and evaluate any kind of issues or problems regarding sustainability.

Recommended Schools

What is a Mining Engineer?

The following responsibilities are common for individuals in the Mining Engineering field:

  • Conducts research to determine the location and extraction method of a certain mineral within the ground
  • Considers factors such as safety, locations, extraction method and operational costs among other varying degrees within the ground during the extraction processes
  • Lays out and directs mining construction operations
  • Analyses labor requirements and costs, equipment needs and operational costs and put them into a budget plan
  • Collaborates in geological exploration to determine accessibility and value of a mineral deposit

A Day In The Life

Mining Engineers create systems that are used to locate and extract mineral resources from the ground.  They design new mining equipment and also make sure all mining procedures are safe and efficient.

They play a vital role throughout the entire span of a mining project.  Even before any digging takes place they strategize and come up with feasibility studies as well as assessments on the environment and its affects.

Once these processes are completed, they will then manage and oversee all the technical planning using mining computer software and developing the construction of the mine.  They will then oversee the mine construction processes and technical aspects of the development of the mine.

Once the mine has exhausted all its resources they are then responsible for managing the closing of the mine such as filling in mine shafts and adhering to the environmental standards to closing a mine.

Typical Work Schedule

You may be required to go abroad for extended periods of time for this position.  When they work on-site, the work hours are intense and long.  This job is not a typical 9-5 position.

Projected Job Growth

Many jobs for mining engineers are located in the United States, Australia, Africa and South America.  Some major companies to work for are Ferrex , BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Career Progression

  • Early Career – As a junior mining engineer they will be trained on-site under the supervision of a senior engineer.  They will be required to attend training lectures and classes
  • Mid-Career – As they progress from a training junior engineer and gain some experience, they can eventually work their way up to senior mining engineer or mine supervisor
  • Late Career – Eventually, some experienced senior professionals with seek out freelance opportunities or will work as consultants for mining companies

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Mining Engineer

Completing a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject like mining engineering, civil engineering or geology is necessary for this job.  Some courses that are essential for this job are geology, mining operations, metallurgy, environmental reclamation just to name a few.  They must also have a solid background in mathematics and science and have excellent problem solving skills.

They must also carry a state mining license as well.  Licensing requirements vary state by state but fundamentally each test requires a combination of written and preformed sets of skills and tests that the engineer must complete and pass in order to receive their miner’s license.

Mining Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Mining Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Mining Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $107,880, or $52 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $69,780 or $34 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #50 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Mining Engineer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Mining Engineers

  • 4.7%   Doctorate
  • 21.5%   Masters
  • 56.3%   Bachelors
  • 4.9%   Associates
  • 6.4%   College
  • 5.9%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Mining Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 500 jobs for a total of 8,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #372 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Mining Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Engineering services 2,000 200 0%
Metal ore mining 1,300 --- ---
Coal mining 900 -100 ---

Want To Be a Mining Engineer? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →