Mining and geological engineers design mines for the safe and efficient removal of minerals, such as coal and metals, for manufacturing and utilities.
Mining and geological engineers typically do the following:
Mining engineers often specialize in one particular mineral or metal, such as coal or gold. They typically design and develop mines and determine the best way to extract metal or minerals to get the most out of deposits.
Some mining engineers work with geologists and metallurgical engineers to find and evaluate new ore deposits. Other mining engineers develop new equipment or direct mineral-processing operations to separate minerals from dirt, rock, and other materials.
Geological engineers use methods grounded in their knowledge of geology to search for mineral deposits and evaluate possible sites. Once a site is identified, they plan how the metals or minerals will be extracted in efficient and environmentally sound ways.
Mining safety engineers draw on their knowledge about mine design and best practices to ensure workers’ safety and to ensure compliance with state and federal safety regulations. They inspect mines’ walls and roofs, monitor the air quality, and examine mining equipment for possible hazards.
Engineers who hold a master’s or a doctoral degree frequently teach engineering at colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition