Pursuing A Career In Mining And Geological Engineering

Finding a great job with good pay is definitely everyone’s goal nowadays and to achieve this goal, investing on your education is essential. In this competitive job market condition, having the tools that will help you earn the job you want like education and training are definitely important since it can provide you advantage. When it comes to great careers, one of the highest paid and also in demand professions nowadays is mining and geological engineering.

Based on reports, employment opportunities for mining and geological engineering professions are expected to grow slightly faster than the average rate for the coming years providing great job opportunities for people who want to enter this profession. Basically, a person needs to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or specialized engineering fields like geological engineering or mining engineering in order to qualify for the mining and geological engineering jobs.

However, research jobs and higher positions usually require a master’s degree in mining and geological engineering plus continuing education is also required so engineers are updated with the vast changing technologies and other developments related to their profession and the industry. According to salary reports, mining and geological engineers receive some of the highest starting salaries in the industry today.

Mining And Geological Engineering Nature Of The Work

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, largest percentage, which is 28% of the total mining and geological engineers, employed in the country is working in the architectural, engineering and related services industry. 14% are working in the metal ore mining industries while 13% work in coal mining industries. Others are working in oil and gas extraction, and nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying industries.

EngineeringMining and geological engineers are the ones that find, prepare, and extract minerals, metals and coal for manufacturing and mining services. They design mining structures and supervise mining operations ensuring that the site and the whole operation are safe, economical, and environment friendly. A lot of issues are being faced by mining industries today especially in terms of its effect to the environment, sustainability, and human health. Mining and geological engineers make sure that these issues are considered while also making sure that mining operations are efficiently done.

Computer knowledge and skills are definitely a must for mining and geological engineers since they produce and design products and plans using computers and other advanced devices. While most of the mining and geological engineers today work in mining sites, some are working in laboratories and offices. Engineers in this field are usually required to work 40 hours a week but long hours of work may be required when there are deadlines that must be met.

Education, Training And Qualifications

As mentioned above, a bachelor’s degree in engineering can qualify a person for entry-level mining and geological engineering jobs. However, if you want a better career in this field and land the best jobs like in the research and development fields, then you should consider getting a higher education or a master’s degree in engineering.

There is a lot of engineering degree programs available today and finding the right program is important so you can earn the right education and training needed for the job you want. Some engineering schools offer full time engineering programs so students can immediately finish their degree while some schools offer an extended program so students can study part time while also working and supporting their own education.

Through the development of computer technologies, online courses in engineering are now also available allowing students who cannot study through the conventional schooling methods due to financial, time, and location constraints to earn their degrees through online or distance learning.

License Requirements

All states in the United States require mining and geological engineers to obtain a license especially if they are going to work for the public or in government offices and agencies. To become a licensed mining and geological engineer in the US, a person must first complete an accredited bachelor in engineering degree program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET.

Geological Engineeringfrom the degree, aspiring mining and geological engineers must also earn first at least 4 years of work experience on the specific or related field before they can be qualified to get the licensure exam. Some engineering graduates prefer to take the first part of the exam right after graduation so they can become an engineer intern and qualify for entry-level jobs in mining and geological engineering. After earning the 4-year work experience requirement, you can then get the second part of the exam and finally earn your license as an engineer.

Certifications are also available and provided by various organizations and government agencies. Although voluntary, earning professional certifications in a specific field of expertise in engineering can help engineers gain better job opportunities especially when applying for senior technical and managerial positions in a company.

Top Schools Offering Mining And Mineral Engineering Programs

There are a lot of schools offering engineering programs in the US. Graduating from a prestigious and quality school will not only provide you quality education and training but will also help you gain advantage in terms of employment.

According to Campus Explorer data, here are some of the top mining and mineral engineering schools in the US today:

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University In Blacksburg,  Virginia
  • Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • University of Kentucky in Lexington

Job Outlook And Salary

According to the US BLS, there are more than a million engineering jobs in the country but only around 7,100 are licensed or certified mining and geological engineers. Employment growth in other engineering professions is usually just the same as the average rate in other professions. However, due to higher demand for safer and more sustainable mining practices, more and more mining and geological engineers will be needed in the coming years. Only few engineers choose this engineering field that can lead to higher demands in the future.

The median annual salary of mining and geological engineers is around $79,440. The highest 10% earners receive annual income of $119,300 or more while the lowest 10% earners receive annual income of about $48,400. The average starting salary of mining and geological engineers is around $65,000 one of the highest starting salaries for professionals with bachelor degrees.

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