Mining and Understanding Gems Pays Off With a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering Degree Program
Some build houses, some build skyscrapers. Brilliant engineers also devise new systems and invent new machinery for factories. But others prefer to work in gold mines.
According to the projections of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, at least 78,000 new workers will be needed in the mining industry by 2019. In 2011, the number of mining workers surged to 40,000. The industry is still growing despite its slack in the mid 90’s.
Relatively, mining workers, particularly Mining Engineers will be called in time for the expected boom. The analysts say that the available vacancies will outnumber qualified engineers soon. With a salary scale of US $56,000 to US $90,000 per year, more students should look closer to this profession.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, one of the leading schools offering degrees in Mining Science and Mining Engineering, recently revealed that out of the 259 students who graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees last year, only 17 took up Mining Engineering.
This means that the projections are true – the job vacancies in the Mining industry will soon outnumber the qualified engineers needed for the job.
Finding the Gold Mines
Leading universities and schools now offer degrees in Engineering. One specialization is the Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering. This degree focuses on the study of designing and developing mines, the science of extraction of minerals and the qualities of minerals and other natural resources.
Those who want to take up degree programs in Engineering should have basic courses in science and mathematics from high school.
The usual Mining engineering degree programs cover courses such as thermodynamics, mineralogy, geology, physics, mine design and safety, mathematics and relative engineering courses such as engineering and design, management, tunneling, geo-technical engineering and graphics. However, although many universities offer engineering degrees, only few offer Mining Engineering. The programs entail many hours of field work and actual practice. Programs in mining and geological engineering are also accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
A four-year bachelor’s degree in Mining is needed to get a master’s degree in Mining Engineering. The course outline for the master’s degree includes mineral resource management and mining regulations.
As for the license requirements, a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work and a completion of a license examination.
Duties of Mining Engineers
Mining Engineers usually work with Geological Engineers. They both perform the following duties:
- They design both open-pit and underground mines
- They Supervise construction and development of mine tunnels, as well as shafts in underground operations
- They come up with transportation systems for transferring minerals to processing area
- Prepare technical reports all concerned parties
- Supervise production and operations
- Draw up solutions to various concerns in the operations like land reclamation, water pollution, air pollution and sustainability
- Ensure safety and security of workers
- Observe environmental and mining laws relevant to the project
The industries that employed the biggest number of Mining Engineers in 2010 were architectural and engineering related services, metal ore mining, coal mining, oil extraction mining, nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying.
The Mining Engineering career is not limited to men. Even women can join the Mining engineering field as long as the person has the abilities and qualifications. There are many positions available due to the scarcity of qualified Mining Engineers.