This major allows you to study minerals like coal, metals, and diamonds and how to remove them from the earth safely and in an environmentally friendly way. As a mining engineer you get to help plan and design mines as well as manage them. This program will teach you the science behind mining and minerals. You will also learn about mineral processing and refining methods. Mining engineers usually specialize in one mineral or metal, so you get a broad education and then choose one subject that interests you the most.
Some courses that you may take could include: calculus, geology, chemistry, surveying, physics, soil and rock mechanics, mining, mineral extraction, mineral processing, metallurgy, and engineering.
As a Mining Engineer you may have to make decisions that will affect profits, but more importantly the lives of miners and workers. At school you will learn how to anticipate problems and ways to immediately deal with crucial problems.
You will be using math and science to solve and analyze problem sets. These problems will not be easy, but with persistence and help from your peers and professors you will be able to solve them. Team work is important in this field. College is a great time to refine your communication skills to prepare you for your professional work.
Your professor will expect you to be able to think logically. You should be able to plan mine operations and mineral processing in a logical sequence which will help prepare you for the real world. Writing is also very important to a mining engineer. Your writing needs to be clear and concise so that others able to understand your plans.
Mining Engineers find work in several different fields. You could work with geologists and metallurgic engineers to find new mineral deposits. Others are interested in developing new equipment or processing operations.
Employment is expected to grow about 10% through 2020. This growth will come from the demand for mining operations and changes in federal policy. Also, job prospects look good for people breaking into this occupation because many mining engineers will be reaching retirement age.
Graduates with a degree in mining engineering average $68,519 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $104,605.