What Do Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Do?
Before an area can be developed or mined, it has to be inspected for suitability, and the safety support systems that will be used must be carefully planned out. This is the role of mining and geological engineers.Positions in this field are opening up at a rate of around 300 opportunities per year. This is an increase of 12 percent in 10 years.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Skills and Abilities
To become a mining or geological engineer, you must have knowledge of mathematics and design. You need a thorough understanding of engineering and technology, including practical application of theories and processes. Familiarity with laws, legal codes, safety and environmental issues relating to the work is also necessary. Vital skills include problem solving, decision making, critical thinking and excellent oral and written communication. You will likely be called upon to direct the work of others, so it is important that you be able to relate well to people and to organize and oversee teams of workers.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Duties
As a geological engineer, you will have to select sites and plan operations for mining and underground development. Your daily routine will potentially include many different tasks:
- Analyzing information gathered from multiple sources, and making decisions based on that information.
- Deciding where mines should be drilled, according to the value and location of deposits.
- Deciding which tools and technologies should be used for a particular site.
- Ascertaining and documenting the exact processes, including labor and safety procedures, that will be used to extract materials.
- Scheduling operations and assessing timelines.
- Examining maps and other documentation to determine where to begin operations.
- Inspecting sites to ensure the safety of equipment and working conditions.
- Developing computer applications to assist in the mining process.
- Creating and overseeing safety programs.
- Advising and informing others about safety and health hazards.
- Preparing documents, including cost estimates and technical instructions, to inform others about the details of the project.
- Establishing routes and supervising construction of tunnels and shafts.
- Planning for environmental considerations, such as minimizing pollution and reclaiming water used during the operation.
- Monitoring productivity.
- Designing specialized equipment and machinery for unique situations.
- Resolving problems as they arise.
- Training and supervising workers and engineers.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Tools and Technology
You’ll be using computers, printers and specialty tools such as clinometers and geological compasses in your daily work as a geological engineer. During inspections, you’ll use safety equipment like gas detectors and personal protective equipment. The software you’ll use, in addition to basic computer aided design (CAD) programs, may include analytical software, project management software and data base and query software.
Education and Training for Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
You will most likely need a bachelor’s degree to begin working as a geological engineer. You might consider a program in mining and mineral engineering, geoenvironmental engineering or geophysical engineering. There is typically no on-the-job training involved in this occupation.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Salary
Most mining and geological engineers earn between $52,800 and $159,000 per year. The median wage is $43.34 for the United States as a whole, with engineers in some geographical areas earning more or less.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Jobs by Geography
Of the roughly 8,000 geological engineers employed throughout the United States, more than 10 percent of them work in Texas, where a 30 percent increase in this field is expected over 10 years. Texas also reports a median annual wage of $124,400 for this profession, the highest in the nation. A 37.6 percent increase is expected in Colorado, where the median annual wage is $103,700.