Day in the Life
Mining and geological engineers solve problems relating to finding,
extracting, and preparing natural resources for a multitude of uses in
manufacturing and utilities.
Mining and geological engineers work on many different tasks, including designing either
open-pit or underground mines. Their duties may include
supervising construction or coming up with transportation plans for the
minerals, coal, or metals they extract. Some mining and geological
engineers focus on safety issues, while others develop new advances in
mining equipment that can either increase safety or production or both.
Some engineers will help improve separation processing systems for
separating minerals from rocks, dirt or other materials in their raw
state. Others will assist in valuating a mining operation, to
determine the likely profits from the facility and work in teams to
determine measures for increasing profits while maintaining quality and
The type of job
a mining engineer has will often determine how much they work
inside or outside. Many mining engineers work to solve problems
related to land reclamation and water and air pollution, which will
cause them to visit sites for evaluation. While some desk work is
likely, most mining engineers will spend a good deal of time on job
sites. There are international travel opportunities for some mining
engineers, as their expertise is needed on a global basis.
Some mining engineers work on a consulting basis, and may spend most
of their time in an office.
all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with
coworkers. For example, some mining engineers work with geologists and
metallurgical engineers to locate and appraise new ore deposits.
Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking for
advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and work
with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive,
analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of
a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing.
Communication abilities are important because engineers often interact
with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.