Mining Consultant Education – From High School to Grad School
Mining engineers require in-depth education in a number of fields. For entry-level mine engineering jobs, you’ll need at the very minimum a bachelor’s degree. To start off on the right foot on the path to a mining consultant job, begin by ensuring that you have the right admissions requirements prior to applying to colleges.
Mining School Admission Requirements
The top mining and engineering schools have rigorous standards for admissions. Undergraduate engineering schools like to see students with solid backgrounds in geometry, trigonometry, calculus, algebra, biology, chemistry, and physics. Beyond mathematics and science, you should also have completed courses in English, humanities, social studies and computer and information technology.
Co-ops and Internships
It’s never too early to start garnering experience. Look for a college that offers opportunities to gain real world knowledge and experience through mining co-ops and internships. This will earn you college credit and help kick start your resume as a mining consultant. Some universities allow and encourage their professors to serves as mining consultants to private companies and government bureaus and departments. Such consultant/professors can provide a valuable in for you as a student seeking experience.
Courses of Study
Mining degrees for undergraduates will almost always take you a full four years to complete. It’s best to declare your major early and begin working towards your degree as soon as possible, as it’s not uncommon for engineering students to spend five years as an undergraduate. You’ll usually spend the first two years studying basic sciences, introductory engineering, social sciences, humanities and mathematics. Depending on your focus, you will also take courses on mining safety, structural geology and geology for engineers. The last two years of your mining engineering education will include further specialty courses, such as physical mineralogy, mining method and equipment, principles of explosives engineering, material handling in mines and environmental aspects of mining.
Given the heavy course load requirements for mining engineering students, AP courses in high school are recommended.
In the U.S., mining engineering degrees from programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) carry much more weight in the marketplace than degrees from other mining schools, or online schools that offer mining courses. Colleges with ABET accredited programs include:
Colorado School of Mines, University of Kentucky, University of Arizona, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Montana Tech, University of Nevada-Reno, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Pennsylvania State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, University of Utah, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and West Virginia University.
While a master’s degree in mining isn’t required for an entry level mining consultant job, a graduate degree will fetch you a higher salary. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for mining engineers and geological engineers is $72,160. The average starting salary for mining engineers with bachelor’s degrees is $54,381, while the highest 10% of mine engineers earned $128, 410.