Mining and geological Engineering

Mining and geological engineers design mines for the safe and efficient removal of minerals, such as coal and metals for manufacturing and utilities.

  • Geological engineers use their knowledge of geology to search for mineral deposits and evaluate possible sites. After identifying a site, they plan the extraction of metals or minerals in efficient and environmentally sound ways.
  • 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. Mining and geological engineers collaborate with other teams of engineers to:

  • Identify and extract natural resources from the earth’s surface
  • Ensure the safe and efficient removal of materials from mines
  • Develop the tools and techniques to better identify natural resources for use in manufacturing processes

In a related field, mining safety engineers use their knowledge of mine design and best practices to ensure workers’ safety and compliance with state and federal safety regulations. They inspect mines’ walls and roofs, monitor the air quality and examine mining equipment for possible hazards.


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program is required to become a mining or geological engineer. However, work as a credentialed professional engineer requires licensure. Requirements for licensure vary by state but generally require passing two exams.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Mining and Geological Engineers

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