For Future Students
College and Career Planning
Mining involves much more than just digging minerals out of the ground. In order to effectively plan and run a mine, companies must work with experts in many different fields including health, science, engineering, environment, social science, business and law. See the descriptions below for just a few of the technical paths you can pursue for a career in the mining industry.
Geologists are scientists who understand the rocks, minerals and structures that make up the earth. They play a major role during exploration (finding and characterizing ore deposits), mine planning, mine operations and reclamation of closed mines. Other specialized career fields in geology applied to mining include geophysicists, geochemists and hydrogeologists.
How do I become a geologist?
Most mining geologists have a BS in geology, geoscience or earth science. Many also obtain an MS and PhD. The entry-level degree for many jobs in mining is an MS.
Mining engineers understand the entire mining process including the business and management aspects of mining. They use this integrated understanding to design the mine, choose the best equipment and best practices for excavating and processing. Some engineers specialize in ventilation (regulating the temperature and air quality in underground mines), mine automation and technology (how to manage the Terabytes of data generated from all the machines and how to use autonomous vehicles), and how to finance mines (the business of mining).
Why should I become a Mining Engineer?
How do I become a mining engineer?
Most mining engineers have a BS in geological engineering. Some also get an MS, ME or PhD.
Mineral engineers specialize in mineral processing (determining how to separate valuable material from waste rock) and extractive metallurgy (extracting elements from minerals). They apply their expertise in the chemistry of minerals to separate the economic from uneconomic minerals and to separate the elements in each mineral. They also play an important role in managing water quality at the mine site, the energy usage and environmental footprint of mines during and after mining.
Why should I become a Mineral Engineer?
How do I become a mineral engineer?
Most mineral engineers have a BS in mining engineering, extractive metallurgy, mineral engineering or chemical engineering. Some also get an MS, ME or PhD.