Mining or Geological Engineer

Does this career fit your work personality?

Begin The Career Assessment Test
FIT Score
Discover your work personality strengths.
This is a Premium Feature X Find your
  • Best Fitting Careers
  • Work Personality Strengths
  • Work Style Preferences
  • and more
Job Outlook:
Little or no change
Education: Bachelor's degree
High: $158,540.00
Average: $101,290.00
Average: $48.70

What they do:

Conduct subsurface surveys to identify the characteristics of potential land or mining development sites. May specify the ground support systems, processes, and equipment for safe, economical, and environmentally sound extraction or underground construction activities. May inspect areas for unsafe geological conditions, equipment, and working conditions. May design, implement, and coordinate mine safety programs.

On the job, you would:

  • Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering, and management personnel.
  • Inspect mining areas for unsafe structures, equipment, and working conditions.
  • Select or develop mineral location, extraction, and production methods, based on factors such as safety, cost, and deposit characteristics.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Mining and geological engineers must take many factors into account when evaluating new mine locations and designing facilities. They must also plan for the restoration of the surrounding environment after operations end.

Decision-making skills. These engineers make decisions that influence many critical outcomes—from worker safety to mine production. The ability to anticipate problems and deal with them immediately is crucial.

Logical-thinking skills. In planning mines’ operations, mineral processing, and environmental reclamation, these engineers have to put work plans into a coherent, logical sequence.

Math skills. Mining and geological engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Mining and geological engineers must explore for potential mines, plan their operations and mineral processing, and design environmental reclamation projects. These are all complex projects requiring an ability to identify and work toward goals, while solving problems along the way.

Writing skills. Mining and geological engineers must prepare reports and instructions for other workers. Therefore, they must be able to write clearly so that others can easily understand their ideas and plans.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

94% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
91% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
84% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
79% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
78% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
77% Independence  -  Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
76% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
73% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
73% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
72% Leadership  -  Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
71% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
66% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
65% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


89% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
78% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

81% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
78% Support  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
72% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
67% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
67% Recognition  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
75% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
75% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
75% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
75% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
75% Category Flexibility  -  The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
72% Speech Clarity  -  The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
72% Mathematical Reasoning  -  The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
72% Speech Recognition  -  The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
69% Fluency of Ideas  -  The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
69% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
66% Flexibility of Closure  -  The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Skills | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

68% Reading Comprehension  -  Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
66% Mathematics  -  Using mathematics to solve problems.
66% Judgment and Decision Making  -  Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Job Details

Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
Determine operational methods.
Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
Prepare detailed work plans.
Review technical documents to plan work.
Estimate operational costs.
Schedule operational activities.
Prepare operational reports.
Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
Design structures or facilities.
Design industrial equipment.
Determine operational methods.
Prepare technical reports for internal use.
Coordinate safety or regulatory compliance activities.
Investigate safety of work environment.
Advise others on health and safety issues.
Develop software or computer applications.
Determine operational methods.
Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
Develop technical methods or processes.
Resolve operational performance problems.
Direct construction activities.
Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.
Design industrial equipment.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

98% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
95% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
83% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
81% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
80% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
79% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
79% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
77% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
75% Letters and Memos  -  How often does the job require written letters and memos?
74% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
72% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
68% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
67% Coordinate or Lead Others  -  How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
66% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
97% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

94% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
93% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
87% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
85% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
83% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
82% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
82% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
79% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
79% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
77% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
76% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
76% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
75% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
74% Providing Consultation and Advice to Others  -  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
72% Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others  -  Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
71% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
69% Training and Teaching Others  -  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
67% Developing and Building Teams  -  Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
67% Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information  -  Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

What Mining and Geological Engineers Do

Mining and geological engineers
Mining and geological engineers prepare technical reports for miners, engineers, and managers.

Mining and geological engineers design mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals such as coal and metals for use in manufacturing and utilities.


Mining and geological engineers typically do the following:

  • Design open-pit and underground mines
  • Supervise the construction of mine shafts and tunnels
  • Devise methods for transporting minerals to processing plants
  • Prepare technical reports for miners, engineers, and managers
  • Monitor mine production to assess the effectiveness of operations
  • Provide solutions to problems related to land reclamation, water and air pollution, and sustainability
  • Ensure that mines are operated in safe and environmentally sound ways

Geological engineers 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 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 geoscientists and metallurgical engineers to find and evaluate ore deposits. Other mining engineers develop new equipment or direct mineral-processing operations to separate minerals from dirt, rock, and other materials.

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

Engineers who hold a master’s or a doctoral degree may teach engineering at colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Work Environment

Mining and geological engineers held about 7,500 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of mining and geological engineers were as follows:

Engineering services 35%
Metal ore mining 14
Coal mining 9
Government 6
Oil and gas extraction 3

Many work where mining operations are located, such as mineral mines or sand-and-gravel quarries, in remote areas or near cities and towns. Others work in offices or onsite for oil and gas extraction firms or engineering services firms.

Work Schedules

Most mining and geological engineers work full time and some work more than 40 hours a week. The remoteness of some mining locations gives rise to variable schedules and weeks during which they work more hours than usual.

Getting Started

Bachelor's Degree
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.

How to Become a Mining or Geological Engineer

Mining and geological engineers
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program is required to become a mining or geological engineer.

Mining and geological engineers, including a mining safety engineers, typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering to enter the occupation.


High school students interested in studying mining or geological engineering should take classes in math and science.

College students typically get a degree in an engineering field. Because relatively few schools offer programs in mining engineering or geological engineering, a degree in civil or environmental engineering or geoscience is often acceptable. Bachelor’s degree programs in mining engineering typically include courses in geology, thermodynamics, and mine design and safety. Bachelor’s degree programs in geological engineering typically include courses in geology, chemistry, and fluid mechanics. Both types of programs also include laboratory and field work, along with academic study.

Employers may prefer to hire mining and geological engineering candidates who have graduated from a program accredited by a professional association such as ABET.

Master’s degree programs in mining and geological engineering typically are 2-year programs and include coursework in specialized subjects, such as mineral resource development and mining regulations. Some programs require a written thesis for graduation.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mining or geological engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

In several states, engineers must earn continuing education credits to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, provided that licensure requirements in the other states meet or exceed the first state’s own requirements.


New mining and geological engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult projects and they are given greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Engineers may advance to become technical specialists or supervise a staff or team of engineers and technicians. Some eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial or sales jobs. In sales, an engineering background enables them to discuss a product's technical aspects and to assist in product planning, installation, and use. For more information, see the profiles on architectural and engineering managers and sales engineers.

Job Outlook

Employment of mining and geological engineers is projected to show little or no change from 2022 to 2032.

Despite limited employment growth, about 400 openings for mining and geological engineers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Employment growth for mining and geological engineers will depend on demand for coal, metals, and minerals. These resources are used in many products, including construction materials, electric vehicles, smartphones, and computers. Rising demand for these products may create some jobs for mining and geological engineers. However, decreased demand for coal and increased automation of mining activities are expected to offset some of this growth.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about mining and geological engineers, visit

Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration

For information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

Technology Student Association

For more information about licensure as a mining or geological engineer, visit

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying

National Society of Professional Engineers

For information about accredited engineering programs, visit


Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of mining and geological engineers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Architectural and engineering managers Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in the fields of architecture and engineering.

Bachelor's degree $159,920
Civil engineers Civil Engineers

Civil engineers plan, design, and supervise the construction and maintenance of building and infrastructure projects.

Bachelor's degree $89,940
Environmental scientists and specialists Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Bachelor's degree $76,480
Geological and petroleum technicians Geological and Hydrologic Technicians

Geological and hydrologic technicians support scientists and engineers in exploring, extracting, and monitoring natural resources.

Associate's degree $49,590
Geoscientists Geoscientists

Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth.

Bachelor's degree $87,480
Hydrologists Hydrologists

Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.

Bachelor's degree $85,990
Mechanical engineers Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices.

Bachelor's degree $96,310
Petroleum engineers Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface.

Bachelor's degree $131,800
Sales engineers Sales Engineers

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses.

Bachelor's degree $108,530
Health and safety engineers Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers combine knowledge of engineering and of health and safety to develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage.

Bachelor's degree $100,660

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.