What is Mining Engineering?

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an orebody, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These form a mineral deposit that is of economic interest to the mining companies.

Australia has a booming mining industry and is a lead exporter of many natural resources such as gold, uranium, aluminium, lead, iron ore and coal. Mining is an exciting career choice with many diverse challenges but with a rewarding outcome.

Many items used in our daily lives such as your smart phone, to even medical equipment are manufactured using minerals and with more demands for energy, there is an increased need for Mining Engineers.

  • Mining Engineers evaluate, plan, and oversee the construction and running of a mine. They’re involved in a project through all phases of mining operations. This includes exploration and discovery of mineral resources, feasibility studies, mine design, development of plans and production, scheduling, operations, processing and even marketing. They are still involved at the mine closure stages, including final land restoration and rehabilitation.

    Mining Engineers design and develop techniques, machines, and equipment fleets, which are used to extract mineral deposits. They ensure that the mines are safe and are fully optimised to extract mineral resources. Mining Engineers then ensure that the mineral deposits are extracted and transported from mines in an environmentally friendly manner using methods like resource rehabilitation after the mining process is complete to improve the ecosystem. Thus, you will find Mining Engineers ensuring workplace safety through inspections and utilising the most effective processing methods for mining excavations.

    As a Mining Engineer, you could find yourself working on the following activities: 

    • Analysing resource quality and quantity to select locations for mining,
    • Choosing the most effective methods of ore extraction,
    • Designing mines,
    • Supervising the construction of mine shafts and tunnels,
    • Planning of mining projects,
    • Overseeing mining excavations from equipment to workers,
    • Designing relevant equipment and machinery,
    • Writing technical reports for personnel including miners and other engineers,
    • Planning to meet company targets and ensure safety guidelines,
    • Testing mined materials to meet industry standards,
    • Training mining personnel, and
    • Resource rehabilitation to improve environmental conditions.
  • As a Mining Engineering student, you can choose to undergo flexible learning in your first year and then specialise in Mining Engineering in your second year. You will still learn the basic concepts of engineering in your first year of study regardless of which path you choose. Upon the basic subjects such as chemistry, physics, geology, and mathematics, you will also learn:

    • Geotechnical management
    • Mine design
    • Mining geomechanics
    • Mine geotechnical engineering
    • Mine management
    • Mine planning
    • Mining systems
    • Mine ventilation
    • Resource estimation
    • Socioeconomic aspects of mining

    These courses will prepare you to become a qualified mining engineer to be able to locate and extract minerals and natural resources in a sustainable manner from the Earth through laboratory and field work experience.

  • Mining Engineers can work in a diverse set of environments and companies. It is a misconception that Mining Engineers only work in mines. As the world is becoming more developed, there is an increased demand for natural resources which is where mining engineers come in. Mining Engineers can work in:

    • Banks and investment companies
    • Construction companies
    • Consulting firms
    • Engineering firms
    • Environmental agencies
    • Equipment companies
    • Extraction companies
    • Government agencies
    • Manufacturing companies 
    • Mining companies
    • Quarrying companies

    They can also work both indoors and outdoors depending on the position in laboratories, offices and offshore on mine sites. Many international companies also offer travel opportunities both nationally and internationally.

    Career pathways include:

    • Automation Engineer
    • Digital Development Engineer
    • Environmental Management
    • Exploration Engineer
    • Geophysical Engineer
    • Geotechnical Engineer
    • Mining Consultant 
    • Mineral Economist
    • Mineral Engineer
    • Mine Exploration Engineer
    • Mine Investment Expert
    • Mine Manager
    • Mine Planning Engineer
    • Mineral Resources Inspector
    • Processing Engineer
  • You will require:

    • An aptitude for mathematics to accurate equations using tools
    • Advanced communication skills to work alongside colleagues 
    • Exceptional creativity to design production processes 
    • Organizational and time management skills
    • An ability to work independently and as part of a team
    • Problem solving and decision-making skills 
    • Logical thinking to provide the right solutions
    • Analytical and critical thinking skills to identify strengths and weaknesses  
    • A drive to achieve results


    There are many different lifestyle choices that you can pick as a Mining Engineer ranging from remote work where you can choose to fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in-drive-out (DIDO). Thus, you can work for some weeks on site at a time and then take some time off afterwards.

    Remote work also offers excellent working benefits not limited to accommodation, food, cleaning services, recreational facilities including gyms as well as an in-built community with social events.

    You can also work in an office closer to home and even focus on digital mining which uses automation to mine minerals reducing time spent underground.

    Countries of Occupation

    Within Australia, many Mining Engineers work in Western Australia and Queensland.

    Outside Australia, the top countries with a huge demand for Mining Engineers include:

    • Brazil
    • Canada
    • China
    • Chile
    • Indonesia 
    • New Zealand
    • Russia
    • South Africa
    • United States of America
  • To pursue this path in Australia, you can start with the Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) (Honours).

    Dual degrees with Mining Engineering are also a popular option with many of our students.  The skills developed with a Mining Engineering Degree can be applied in many areas within the resources industry but also in banking, finance and investments.

    You can apply for a graduate program or entry level role upon graduation or further your education by studying a postgraduate coursework program in Mining Engineering to gain a more competitive stance.

    These include:

    After two to three years of graduate experience, you will be classified as a professional Mining Engineer. This field will allow you to register with the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy after five years of industry experience and Engineers Australia after three years of experience as an accredited Mining Engineer and connect you with opportunities. You can also register with Association of Professional Engineers Australia (APEA) for professional accreditation.

Student profiles

Hear what our current students have to say about Mining Engineering:

Liam Kelly student

Whether you enjoy a more hands-on workplace or enjoy financial calculations, the resources industry covers it all.

Valentin student

When faced with the challenge of deciding which type of engineering to study, mining felt like an easy choice when considering the role, it plays in the global economy

Zachary miller student

It’s almost impossible to find another industry that will have you making multi-million-dollar decisions within a few years of graduating

Duncan slater student

If you want a job that is rewarding, non-monotonous, and in high demand, choose the energy and resources industry.