Mining Engineer Mataaro Waro

Mining engineers plan, prepare, design and manage the development of opencast (above ground) or underground mines. 

Employers often prefer to employ registered mining engineers.

Mining engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare designs, plans and schedules for mines and mining operations
  • research and develop new mining methods and technology
  • determine the equipment needed to develop a mine
  • consult with clients, professionals and government officials
  • oversee work at the mine site
  • ensure safety and environmental standards are met and maintained
  • carry out economic analysis on mineral deposits.

Physical Requirements

Mining engineers need to be reasonably fit as they may need to work underground and inspect heavy equipment.

Mining engineers may also be required to undergo regular drug and alcohol tests.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for mining engineers includes:

  • mine and quarry work
  • engineering or surveying work
  • supervision or management experience
  • heavy vehicle and earthmoving experience
  • accounting and finance management experience
  • operating or repairing machinery.

Personal Qualities

Mining engineers need to be skilled at:

  • project management, people management and leadership
  • writing clear proposals, reports and presentations
  • identifying, analysing and creatively solving problems
  • remaining calm in emergencies, and working under pressure
  • acting on their own initiative, and as part of a team
  • finance and budgeting.


Mining engineers need to have knowledge of:

  • mining methods and different mining processes
  • quarry or mine products
  • the practical aspects of operating a mine
  • new production methods and technology.


Mining engineers:

  • usually work between eight and 10 hours a day, and may also work weekends, evenings, and be on call
  • work in offices, laboratories and mine sites, often in isolated locations
  • may work in conditions that may be hazardous, noisy and dirty
  • may work in cramped or confined conditions in underground mines, or varied weather conditions in opencast mines
  • may travel or work overseas.

Mining Engineers can earn around $70-$75K per year.

Pay for mining engineers varies depending on experience and where they work.

  • Graduate mining engineers usually earn between $70,000 and $75,000 a year.
  • Experienced mining engineers usually earn between $75,000 and $210,000.

Sources: MITO, 2018; Minex National Health and Safety Council, 2018.

Mining engineers may progress to become self-employed consultants or mine and quarry managers.

Mining engineers can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Academic and Research Mining Engineer
Academic and research mining engineers work in universities or research centres. They may specialise in fields such as rock engineering, mining economics, or geology project design.
Coal Mining Engineer
Coal mining engineers work in open pit or underground coal mines.
Consultant Mining Engineer
Mining engineers who work as consultants are involved in a wide variety of projects, mining methods and different technical areas. They use computer programs to model the mining process and design, and can work on open pit and underground mines.
Open Pit Mining Engineer
Open pit mining engineers work in surface mines that are open to the daylight, such as quarries. These mines may also be referred to as open-cut or opencast mines.
Underground Mining Engineer
Underground mining engineers work in deep mines that are usually located several hundred feet underground. The minerals in these mines are removed mechanically and transferred by shuttle car or conveyor to the surface.

Years Of Training

4 years of training usually required.

To become a mining engineer you need to have a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in one of the following majors:

  • civil engineering
  • environmental engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • natural resource engineering.

Some mining companies employ geology graduates who then study to complete mining engineer qualifications.

Mining Engineer