Did you know that Mining Engineers are one of the most well paid professionals in the world? With an average starting salary even better than a Harvard graduate’s initial pay, a Mining Engineer is that lucrative career path that you didn’t know about.
Mining engineering is that field of engineering that deals with extraction and processing of minerals from beneath earth, water or any other naturally occurring environment, through application of science and technology. As an industry, Mining provides over 120 occupations to choose from. Out of these hundred odd professions, Mining Engineer happens to be one of the most well known career paths. A multi-faceted discipline in its own right, mining engineering is further specialized in a various sub-domains such as mine design and evaluation, corporate management, merchant banking or consulting.
The mining industry has gone through a sea of change across the past decade owing to introduction of new technologies. Several other factors such as globalization, economic reforms and environmental consideration have also affected mining engineering in an immutable manner. While pursuing a career as a mining engineer you will be undertaking a variety of tasks ranging from ensuring safe recovery of minerals to processing them, marketing and financially managing them. With such a wide curve of roles and responsibilities, there is little doubt that an individual looking to make a career here should be supported by an equally broad skill set.
Skills required for becoming a mining engineer
You should have a natural inclination towards nature and natural resources. An outdoor personality who loves to travel and work in natural conditions rather than office environment makes a good mining engineer. Besides, decision making ability and a strong-headed mind are very crucial as there will come many crunch situations when you would be required to make tough choices. A good communicator is always at an advantage as he is able to clearly convey his decisions to his team members. Since mining is a physically intensive work, it is a given that a mining engineer should posses high standards of physical fitness, which has to be maintained throughout the career.
Education & Training
Candidates aspiring to make a career in this field need to have a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering. The duration of such a program is normally four years and the course structure covers topics such as surface mining, mineral processing, computer application in mining, environmental management in surface mining, mining machinery and others. The entire program covers theoretical as well practical aspects of mining, devoting a large share of time to on-the-field training and laboratories. The typical bachelor’s degree is Bachelor of Technology or Bachelor of Engineering. This undergraduate course can be followed by a Masters in Technology for achieving greater specialization.
Roles and responsibilities
Most mining engineers specialize in mining of one metal or metal group. Their work is to survey the land and find a mine where there are chances of finding the maximum output of the minerals. They have to ensure that while conducting mining of minerals, all safety precautions are taken. Their work includes managing mining projects and monitoring them for their environmental impact and efficiency.
A mining engineer has to be prepared for long working hours. Besides, their work requires them to visit different sites spread across the whole country, especially during the initial days of their career. This effectively means that they are able to spend less time with their respective families. However, this factor is compensated for by the companies in form of extra allowances and better salaries. Most jobs are found overseas and therefore one should be prepared to lead life in unfamiliar environments and with some level of personal isolation. However, the up side of this arrangement is that one gets exposed to a foreign culture and gets to experience new customs and traditions.
Job Prospects & Outlook
In India, the top three cities looking to hire mining engineers are Panaji, Bhubaneshwar and Nagpur. However, the most promising mining jobs are often found in overseas countries. United States is an active recruiter of mining engineers. Here the growth prospects are quite bright with Bureau of Labor projecting a job growth of 10% from 2010 to 2020. As per a research quoted by Bloomberg, the industry is on a growth path and will continue to remain in this gear at least for the next 6-10 years. Since, only a few opt for mining engineering as their profession, there aren’t enough qualified people to take up this job. This is good news for those already in this field or are mulling over moving into this profession, as salaries will continue to drive north.
Therefore, individuals looking for a challenging career that provides ample adventure, great salaries and excellent growth opportunities should make it a point to consider a career as mining engineer as a serious option.
A blogger by profession and an engineer by qualification, Saurabh Tyagi started his career in new media 3 years back. Since then his writings has been published on leading online blogs. Currently he freelances for major Indian brands like Shiksha.com, Naukri.com amongst others.