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Mining Engineer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Determines the location and plans the extraction of coal, metallic ores, non-metallic minerals, and building materials such as stone and gravel. Conducts preliminary surveys of deposits or undeveloped mines, planning their development; examining them to determine whether they can be worked at a profit; making geological and topographical surveys; evolving methods of mining best suited to character, type, and size of deposits; and supervising mining operations.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Natural Resources pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Selects locations and plans underground or surface mining operations, specifying processes, labor usage, and equipment that will result in safe, economical, and environmentally sound extraction of minerals and ores.
  • Designs, implements, and monitors the development of mines, facilities, systems, or equipment.
  • Inspects mining areas for unsafe structures, equipment, and working conditions.
  • Examines maps, deposits, drilling locations, or mines to determine the location, size, accessibility, contents, value, and potential profitability of mineral, oil, and gas deposits.
  • Selects or develops mineral location, extraction, and production methods, based on factors such as safety, cost, and deposit characteristics.
  • Prepares technical reports for use by mining, engineering, and management personnel.
  • Monitors mine production rates to assess operational effectiveness.
  • Prepares schedules, reports, and estimates of the costs involved in developing and operating mines.
  • Lays out, directs, and supervises mine construction operations, such as the construction of shafts and tunnels.
  • Devises solutions to problems of land reclamation and water and air pollution, such as methods of storing excavated soil and returning exhausted mine sites to natural states.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Civil Engineer -- Performs engineering duties in planning, designing and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and other facilities.
  • Geological Engineer -- Conducts geological and geotechnical studies to assess suitability of locations for civil engineering, mining and oil and gas projects; and plan, design, develop and supervise programs of geological data acquisition and analysis and the preparation of geo
  • Mine Inspector -- Inspects underground or open-pit mines to ascertain compliance with contractual agreements and with health and safety laws.
  • Mine Safety Engineer -- Inspects underground or open-pit mining areas and trains mine personnel to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and accepted mining practices designed to prevent mine accidents.
  • Seismic Engineer -- Performs seismic surveys to reveal promising oil and gas reserves.
  • Geophysical Engineer --