Careers in Mining and Mining Engineering
Industry Description - What Mining Companies Do
Mining and Quarrying is the search for, and extraction, and processing of naturally occurring solid minerals from the earth. Mined minerals include coal, metals such as iron, copper, or zinc, and industrial minerals such as potash, limestone, and other crushed rocks.
Companies in the Mining sector primarily engage in mining, mine site development, and beneficiating metallic minerals and nonmetallic minerals, including coal.
The term "mining" is used in the broad sense to include ore extraction, quarrying, and beneficiating (e.g., crushing, screening, washing, sizing, concentrating, and flotation), customarily done at the mine site.
Beneficiation is the process whereby the extracted material is reduced to particles which can be separated into mineral and waste, the former suitable for further processing or direct use. The operations that take place in beneficiation are primarily mechanical, such as grinding, washing, magnetic separation, centrifugal separation, and so on.
The range of preparation activities varies by mineral and the purity of any given ore deposit. While some minerals require little or no preparation, others are washed and screened, while yet others, such as gold and silver, can be transformed into bullion before leaving the mine site.
Establishments in the Mining sector include those that have complete responsibility for operating mines and quarries and those that operate mines and quarries for others on a contract or fee basis.
The Importance of the Mining Industry
Metals and other minerals are an essential source of raw materials for the building and chemical industries and are also a critical part of the production of everyday electronics and consumer products like batteries for mobile phones and electric cars.
The mining industry plays an important role in the economy. As a supplier of coal, metals, industrial minerals, sand, and gravel to businesses, manufacturers, utilities and others, the mining industry is vital to the well being of communities across the country.
Minerals are essential to nearly every aspect of our lives and our economy, including utilities, the primary metals industry, non-metallic minerals industry (glass, cement, lime, ceramics), and the construction industry.
Careers and Job Opportunities in Mining
Mining operations are often the leading employers in the communities where they operate. More than 300,000 people work directly in the mining industry.
In addition to the actual extraction process, mining offers careers in many production, management, technology and scientific roles. These include heavy equipment operators, engineers, chemists, geologists, and environmental conservationists and consultants.
The Range of Careers in Mining and Mining Engineering Include
- Environmental Compliance Coordinator
- Geological Engineer
- Mine Electrician
- Mining Engineer
- Finance Specialist and Manager
- Mine Safety Engineer
- Mine Safety Manager
- Mineral and Rock Research and Science
- Mining Consultant
- Open Pit Mining Manager
- Planning Engineer (Surface and Underground)
- Process Mining Digital Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Tech Specialist Mining Systems
- Underground Mining Commissioning Specialist
- Continuous Mining Machine Operators
- Driller and Blaster
- Extraction Workers, Helpers
- Mill Maintenance & Operations Supervisor
- Mine Aggregates Production Worker
- Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators
- Mine Mechanic Journeyperson
- Mine Production Technician
- Mining Roof Bolters
- Mobile Equipment Operator
- Scale Clerk
- Shovel Operator
- Shuttle Car Operator
- Surface Mining Supervisor
- Underground Mining, Machine Loading
Colleges and Universities with Mining and Mining Engineering Programs
Please click the links below to learn more about Majors and Programs in Biology, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Business and Management, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Mining Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geological Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Economics.
- University of Alaska – Fairbanks - College of Engineering and Mines
- University of Arizona - Mining and Geological Engineering
- Colorado School of Mines - Science and Engineering Mine Research
- University of Kentucky - Mining Engineering Department
- Michigan Tech - Mining Engineering Department
- Missouri University of Science and Technology - Mining Engineering
- Montana Tech – School of Mining and Engineering
- University of Nevada, Reno - Mackay School of Mines
- New Mexico Tech - Institute of Mining and Technology
- University of North Dakota - College of Engineering and Mines
- Pennsylvania State University - College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering
- University of Utah - Department of Mining Engineering
- Virginia Tech - Department of Mining and Minerals
- West Virginia University - Department of Mining Engineering
- Institute of Quarrying - Distance Learning NSSGA Partner
Mining Job Boards - Entry Level Positions to Engineering and Management
- Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration
- National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association, Job Board
- Mining Job Search
- Mining News – Job Board
- Mining.com - Job Search
- Mining People International – Job Search
Mining Associations - Learn More, Networking and Apprenticeship Opportunities
Mining Associations and Organizations
There are many organizations dedicated to help promote mining and mineral products. Many states that have active mining operations have local mining associations that can assist with state-specific information.
State Mining Associations
- Alabama Coal Association
- Alaska Miners Association
- American Exploration & Mining Association
- Arizona Mining Association
- Colorado Mining Association
- Georgia Mining Association
- Idaho Mining Association
- Indiana Coal Council, Inc.
- Iron Mining Association of Minnesota
- Kentucky Coal Association
- Lignite Energy Council
- Maryland Coal Association
- Mining Minnesota
- Montana Mining Association
- Nevada Mining Association
- New Mexico Mining Association
- Ohio Coal Association
- Pennsylvania Coal Alliance
- Tennessee Mining Association
- Texas Mining and Reclamation Association
- Utah Mining Association
- Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance
- West Virginia Coal Association
- Wyoming Mining Association
- American Coal Council
- Eastern Coal Council
Metals & Minerals Organizations
- American Association of State Geologists
- American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers
- American Institute for Professional Geologists
- Florida Phosphate Council
- Geological Society of America
- Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
The International Society of Mine Safety Professionals
Click on the Sections Below to Learn More About Careers in the Mining Industry.