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All About Mining and Geological Engineers

Mining or Geological Engineer Definition Conduct sub-surface surveys to identify the characteristics of potential land or mining development sites. May specify the ground support systems, processes and equipment for safe, economical, and environmentally sound extraction or underground construction activities. May inspect areas for unsafe geological conditions, equipment, and working conditions. May design, implement, and coordinate mine safety programs.

Life As a Mining or Geological Engineer

  • Implement and coordinate mine safety programs, including the design and maintenance of protective and rescue equipment and safety devices.
  • Lay out, direct, and supervise mine construction operations, such as the construction of shafts and tunnels.
  • Examine maps, deposits, drilling locations, or mines to determine the location, size, accessibility, contents, value, and potential profitability of mineral, oil, and gas deposits.
  • Design, develop, and implement computer applications for use in mining operations such as mine design, modeling, or mapping or for monitoring mine conditions.
  • Conduct or direct mining experiments to test or prove research findings.
  • Design mining and mineral treatment equipment and machinery in collaboration with other engineering specialists.

What Every Mining or Geological Engineer Should Know

Mining and Geological Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Other Mining or Geological Engineer Job Titles

  • Mine Production Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Geophysical Engineer
  • Exploration Engineer
  • Safety Representative

Job Opportunities for Mining and Geological Engineers

There were about 7,300 jobs for Mining or Geological Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Mining or Geological Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 600 positions for Mining or Geological Engineer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Mining or Geological Engineer are North Dakota, Colorado, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Utah, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Mining or Geological Engineer Make?

Mining and Geological Engineers make between $54,550 and $151,030 a year.


Mining and Geological Engineers who work in California, New Mexico, or Florida, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Mining and Geological Engineers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $97,670
Alaska $112,110
Arizona $81,150
California $123,060
Colorado $108,130
Florida $113,200
Idaho $74,990
Illinois $92,530
Indiana $72,840
Kentucky $94,810
Maryland $76,360
Michigan $78,700
Minnesota $101,710
Nevada $85,640
New Mexico $140,130
New York $90,240
North Dakota $80,350
Ohio $89,260
Oregon $76,810
Pennsylvania $90,510
Utah $93,580
Washington $99,490
West Virginia $76,050
Wyoming $93,990

Tools & Technologies Used by Mining and Geological Engineers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Mining and Geological Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Statistical software
  • Oracle Primavera Systems
  • Carlson SurvCADD
  • Maptek Vulcan
  • MineSight
  • Trimble Geomatics Office
  • Gemcom Surpac

Becoming a Mining or Geological Engineer

Are there Mining and Geological Engineers education requirements?


What work experience do I need to become a Mining or Geological Engineer?


Where Mining and Geological Engineers Are Employed


Mining and Geological Engineers work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Mining or Geological Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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