What does a Mining and Geological Engineer do?
A mining and geological engineer has the job of designing mines to remove minerals (like metals and coal) in a safe and efficient way to use in utilities and manufacturing. These engineers also draw up technical reports for other engineers, managers, and miners.
Mining engineers arrange ways for transporting minerals to processing plants. They work mainly in remote locations in mining operations while others work near cities in sand and gravel sites.
How to Become a Mining and Geological Engineer
A mining and geological engineer requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program with courses in physics, geology, mine design and safety, math, and thermodynamics.
Normally, laboratory and field work, along with classroom study are part of the program. Only a few schools offer mining engineering programs and need to be accredited by the ABET which bases it’s programs on faculty, facilities, and curriculum.
One can obtain a master’s degree for this career field which includes a 2-year program in more specialized studies, such as mining regulations and mineral resource development. A written thesis for graduation is often required.
Engineers holding a master’s or doctoral degree often teach engineering at colleges or universities. It is not necessary for entry-level positions for a mining or geological engineer to be licensed. However, it is required for a professional engineer to have a (PE) license which allows them to hold more independent and leadership roles.
A PE license would require a degree from ABET accredited engineering program and passing the (FE) Fundamentals of Engineering exam, as well as about 4 years of relevant work experience and passing the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.
High school students that may want to consider this occupation should take classes in science and mathematics.
Job Description of a Mining and Geological Engineer
A mining and geological engineer has the task of designing underground and open-pit mines in a way that ensures it’s operation is environmentally sound and safe. They would supervise all construction of the mine’s tunnels and shafts and develop ways to transport the minerals to the processing plants.
He or she oversees the operation’s effectiveness and solve problems and provide solutions in relation to sustainability, land reclamation, water, and air pollution.
A geological engineer searches for mineral deposits and performs site evaluations. They devise ways to extract the minerals or metals in efficient and environmentally safe ways. A mining engineer would typically be more specialized in one kind of metal or mineral, like gold or coal. He or she would design and develop mines and develop the best way to extract the minerals or metal to the best advantage, gaining the most out of the deposits.
Some mining engineers work with metallurgical and geoscience engineers to study and find ore deposits while some may want to develop new equipment or direct mineral-processing operations that separate mineral from rock, dirt ,or other materials.
A mining safety engineer has the duties of ensuring workers safety and adherence to state and federal regulations. They inspect the mine’s air quality, roof, walls and equipment.
A mining and geological engineer should be skilled in mathematics, problem-solving, writing, and critical thinking. They should also have decision making and analytical skills.