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Mining Engineer

Mining engineers develop and apply methods for locating, extracting, and preparing minerals and materials. These are used in the industrial, technology, manufacturing, and energy industries.

Also Known As

Design Engineer, Engineer, Professional Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Mining Engineers (2143) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Mining Engineers (C043) 
  • 2011 NOC: Mining engineers (2143) 
  • 2016 NOC: Mining engineers (2143) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Mining Engineers

2006 NOC: 2143

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to plan and design or select mining and mineral treatment machinery and equipment, to determine drilling and blasting methods, and to implement and co-ordinate mine safety programs

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to design, develop and implement computer applications for operations, such as mine design, modelling and mapping, and for monitoring mine conditions

DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising and co-ordinating the work of technicians, technologists, survey personnel and other engineers and scientists, and in planning, organizing and supervising the development of mines, mine structures and mine operations and maintenance

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

In general, mining engineers may:

  • Study mineral deposits to learn the size of ore deposits, their mineral content, and where they are located
  • Estimate the costs of developing and operating mines
  • Estimate grade and determine resources and reserves
  • Choose the best way to extract ore
  • Oversee the construction of mines and installation of plants and equipment
  • Ensure the use of proper drilling and blasting techniques
  • Choose the most efficient and economical equipment to transport ore, waste materials, and mineral products
  • Plan and manage tailings streams, including the construction of tailings dykes
  • Develop computer applications to use in various phases of mine operation
  • Coordinate the work of technologists, technicians, and surveyors
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of mines (work as pit foreperson)
  • Supervise and train others such as engineers, engineers-in-training, and co-op students with an emphasis on safety issues
  • Work closely with geoscientists and other engineering disciplines

Mining engineers develop plans for building, excavating, and supporting:

  • Mine shafts, tunnels, and rooms
  • Underground and open pit layouts
  • Waste disposal dumps
  • Haulage routes and methods
  • Mine ventilation
  • Drainage systems

Mining engineers generally work in 1 of 3 fields:

  • Mine development and procurement
  • Engineering and design
  • Mine production and management

Specialty areas include:

  • Mine operations and safety, including reducing risks from ground movement
  • Ventilation
  • Power and water supply
  • Communications
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Mining venture analysis
  • Mine reclamation and environment
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Mining engineers work in offices, labs, and mine sites. They work where mineral deposits are located. This is often near small, isolated communities. Those engaged in research, management, consulting, or sales may work in urban areas. However, they should get field experience first. Many Canadian mining engineers work in other countries.

At mine sites, they must wear protective equipment. This includes safety boots, gloves, hard hats, glasses, and hearing protection. They may work in enclosed spaces such as underground mine tunnels. They may also work at heights, such as near the edges of open pit mines.

Some mining engineers work full time with regular daytime hours. Others work shifts, spending a few weeks at a time at mine sites. For example, they may spend 3 weeks on site and 3 weeks off site.

Mining engineers may fly in and out to work at mines in remote locations.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mining engineers need:

  • Speaking and writing skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • An aptitude for math and science, especially chemistry and physics
  • The ability to see objects in 3D from 2D drawings
  • Computer skills
  • The ability to be decisive
  • The ability to apply themselves to a variety of work situations

They should enjoy:

  • Being innovative
  • Doing work that requires precision
  • Making decisions
  • Field work
  • Supervising others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

The minimum academic qualification for mining engineers is a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering. Mining engineers need doctoral degrees for teaching and research positions.

Mining engineers need to stay up to date with changes in skill requirements throughout their careers.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northwestern Polytechnic
University of Alberta
University of Lethbridge

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Engineer

Professional engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor, and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes, and structures.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and Engineering and Geoscience Professions General Regulation [pdf], you must register as a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering.

You do not have to register if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a Professional Engineer or use the word “engineer” in your job title.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Engineer.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mining engineers work for:

  • Mining, metal, non-metal, coal, and oil sands extraction companies
  • Consulting companies
  • Engineering contractors
  • Provincial or federal governments
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Financial institutions

With time on the job, mining engineers may advance to management positions. Sometimes they start their own consulting companies. Those with their own businesses may:

  • Prepare qualifying reports for a stock exchange as part of financing mineral development projects
  • Review mining plans for mining companies
  • Design and manage the start-up phases of mining and milling facilities
  • Develop strategies for mineral prospecting

Experienced mining engineers who have graduate degrees may move into engineering teaching and research positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2143: Mining engineers occupational group, 75.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2143: Mining engineers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Mining engineer wages and salaries vary significantly.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website: www.apega.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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