Mining Engineering Degrees

What degrees can I earn in mining engineering?

Campus-based and online engineering degree programs in mining engineering offer several degree options for students wanting to start a career in this field. Most of the top mining engineering degrees are from bachelors and mining engineering graduate programs, including doctorate level degree programs. While associates degrees are not typically offered for entry into the mining engineering field, an associates in mining engineering technology may be a good fit for someone interested in working on a team led by a mining engineer.

Mining engineering certificate

Certificates in mining engineering are available to provide postgraduate education to engineers with a bachelors or masters in the field. An engineering certificate offers greater proficiency in an area of concentration, such as surface mining or rock mechanics. Length of time and required credit hours for completion may vary, but typically range from 12 to 18 credit hours over 2 to 3 semesters.

Mining engineering associates degree

An onsite or online engineering associates degree program may be the best fit for someone seeking a career as a mining engineering technician. Technicians work with the engineering team and execute plans as designed by the mining engineer. Credit hours for an associates range from 60 to 80 credit hours and will likely take 2 years to complete. Programs may require competency in calculus or trigonometry for admission.

Mining engineering bachelors degree

A campus-based or online engineering bachelors degree in mining engineering is offered as either a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering or as a Bachelor of Engineering with a focus mining engineering. As with most bachelors degree programs, the degree takes 4 years to complete 120 to 140 credit hours. Prerequisites for entry into the bachelors degree program may include completion of courses in advanced mathematics and physics.

Mining engineering masters degree

A Master of Science in Mining Engineering or Master of Engineering with a mining engineering concentration are the 2 mining engineering masters degrees typically offered by colleges and universities. Programs range from 30 to 40 credit hours over 2 to 3 years. Onsite or online engineering masters degree programs will likely require a minimum GRE score set by the institution, as well as completion of advanced calculus and physics courses.

Mining engineering PhD

A PhD in engineering and ScD, or Doctor of Science, are the highest degree options in mining engineering, with requirements for completion varying by institution. Most programs will involve a high level of scientific research related to mining engineering, and can last as little as 2 years and as long as 8 years. The mining engineering PhD program will likely culminate in the completion of a dissertation, and will require earned credit hours ranging from 50 to 120 hours.

Are there any mining engineering degree programs online?

Some of the top engineering schools offer mining engineering degree programs online, providing students with a high level of scheduling flexibility. While most programs are offered as hybrid or partial online programs, requiring some courses to be completed onsite, the number of mining engineering programs offered fully online continues to rise.

Online degrees in mining engineering

As you pursue a mining engineering associates degree online, be aware that most career opportunities available to graduates with an associates in this field will be for mining engineering technician jobs. If you are interested in becoming a professional engineer, you are encouraged to research accredited mining engineering online colleges that offer bachelors and masters degree programs.

While you complete your mining engineering bachelors degree online you will want to identify networking opportunities outside of your education program. Attending a campus-based program provides regular contact with faculty and other professionals in the field, whereas it may be more challenging to make the same connections while attending an online program. Seek out professional associations and attend conferences and networking events that will offer similar opportunities to make valuable contacts.

It is a good idea to ensure that your mining engineering online masters degree is from an accredited engineering program at an accredited college or university. The licensing body for engineering requires graduation from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited program. In addition, attending a university accredited by 1 of several national accrediting agencies is required for state and federal financial aid.

A doctorate in mining engineering will require a great deal of research, and 1 of the challenges of attending mining engineering schools online is the potential lack of laboratory resources that will be available to you. The best mining engineering online program will accommodate your research needs and will work with you to ensure that you have access to the facilities necessary to complete your work.

What kinds of mining engineering classes will I take in my program?

The first 2 years of your undergraduate program in mining engineering, whether you take onsite or online engineering courses, will likely be comprised of core requirements in introductory engineering, calculus and physics. As you proceed in your program, you will take courses that focus more on your major, such as geology, mine planning and environmental sustainability.

As a graduate student taking mining engineering online courses or onsite courses you will have the opportunity to delve more deeply into mining engineering courses with classes in rock mechanics, surface mining and underground mining. If your program requires a thesis project in order to graduate, you will select a mining specialization upon which to focus your research.

Finally, as a PhD candidate in mining engineering, you will engage in independent research on a topic related to your area of interest. Your earned credit hours during this program will focus on taking a PhD qualifying examination, as well as completion of your dissertation proposal and final dissertation defense.

What mining engineering careers can I choose from?

Mining engineering jobs will typically fall into 1 of 3 categories specializing in metal and mineral extraction, mine safety and geology. The best careers in mining engineering will rely upon daily teamwork and will utilize the most advanced mining technology.

Mining Engineer

Mining engineers design and oversee the construction of mines used for extracting metal and mineral deposits. Mining engineering jobs typically require a bachelors or masters in mining engineering and place a high value on years of experience. Average salaries in this field range from $54,000 to $101,000 depending upon education and experience.

Mining Safety Engineer

Mining safety engineers are charged with worker protection and employer adherence to state and federal environmental and mining safety guidelines. Engineers in this field will make random inspections of mines to spot potential safety hazards and will ensure use of safety equipment and mining best practices.

There are many opportunities available to mining safety engineers with a bachelors degree, and a typical mining engineering salary for this position ranges from $50,000 to $126,000.

Geological Engineer

A geological engineer conducts site investigations and environmental evaluations to ensure that the projected site of a major building project is suitable for its intended use. Jobs for geological engineers require a minimum of a bachelors degree and pay an average salary of $50,000 to $126,000.

Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree in mining engineering?

While not all engineers choose to pursue licensure, some mining engineering jobs may offer increased salary or benefits to engineers with a Professional Engineering license through mining engineering certification. The first step toward this type of engineering certification is to take the Fundamentals in Engineering exam. Upon receiving a passing grade, you will be considered an engineer in training until you earn enough work experience to be eligible to sit for your licensure exam.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration offers multiple opportunities for continuing education for mining engineers. In addition to publication of the popular peer-reviewed journal Mining Engineering Magazine, the society offers numerous educational courses that respond to current needs in the industry. These courses are a sure way to further your mining engineering training.