Mining Engineers plan and direct the engineering aspects of locating and extracting minerals, petroleum and natural gas from the earth.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Four in five workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may also be required.

Tasks

  • conducting preliminary surveys of mineral, petroleum and natural gas deposits with prospectors, Geologists, Geophysicists, other mineral scientists and other engineers to determine the resources present, the feasibility of extracting the reserves, and the design and development of the extraction process
  • preparing operation and project cost estimates and production schedules, and reporting progress, production and costs compared to budget
  • determining the most suitable methods of ore extraction taking account of such factors as depth of overburden, and attitude and physical characteristics of deposits and surrounding strata
  • preparing plans for tunnels and chambers, location and construction of mine shafts, layout of mine development and the application of appropriate mining techniques, often using computer modelling
  • assessing the natural, technical, financial and safety risks associated with the phases of the project development, construction and operations
  • determining the safety of processes, order of extraction and safety of mine walls, evaluating the risk of slippage and advising on the prevention of slippage and rock falls
  • planning and coordinating the utilisation of labour and equipment consistent with efficiency targets, statutes, safety guidelines and environmental conditions
  • planning and conducting research and providing advice on engineering operations for the exploration, location and extraction of petroleum and natural gas
  • determining location for drilling
  • deciding on types of derrick and equipment including seabed platforms
  • devising methods of controlling the flow of oil and gas from wells

Job Titles

  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)

    Plans and directs the engineering aspects of locating and extracting minerals from the earth. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Process Engineer (Mining)

  • Petroleum Engineer

    Plans and directs the engineering aspects of locating and extracting petroleum or natural gas from the earth. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Mud Engineer, Petrophysical Engineer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,037 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    11700
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    83.9%
  • Female Share

    16.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    93.6%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 11,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia has a large share of Mining Engineers.
  • They mainly work in: Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Construction.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 41.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,037 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20054900
20065800
20077000
20087300
20097800
201011300
20118900
201212300
201311300
201412200
201511700
20209000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsMining EngineersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings20371230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMining EngineersAll Jobs Average
Full-time93.668.4
Part-time6.431.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.840

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Mining72.7
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services18.7
Construction2.5
Wholesale Trade2
Other Industries4.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMining EngineersAll Jobs Average
NSW1531.8
VIC7.725.5
QLD1719.8
SA10.56.8
WA48.311.2
TAS02
NT1.51.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMining EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-244.8-9.99.9
25-3430.4-23.423.4
35-4435.3-21.721.7
45-5411.4-21.121.1
55-598.1-8.78.7
60-643.4-5.95.9
65 and Over6.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMining EngineersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males83.9Males53.6
Females16.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMining EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate33.7-8.68.6
Bachelor degree45.7-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 1220.7-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Four in five workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may also be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Mining Engineers who can communicate clearly, have strong interpersonal skills and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Engineering and Technology

    92% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  2. Design

    81% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  3. Mathematics

    76% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. Law and Government

    73% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  5. Production and Processing

    73% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

Occupational Information Network Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    94% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Interacting With Computers

    93% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    87% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Estimating Products, Events, or Information

    85% Important

    Working out sizes, distances, and amounts; or time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    84% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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