There are two main formats of Mining Engineering courses (undergraduate level) available in India- Bachelor’s Degree (B.E. or B.Tech.) and Diploma. Many readers have been asking me questions about these professional courses. Most questions revolved around the career prospects, nature of work and ‘future scope’ associated with mining engineering. After answering many such questions, I decided to come up with an article where the above mentioned topics will be discussed in detail.
In this article, you will be reading about career prospects and scope associated with Mining Engineering courses. You will be reading about various jobs available in front of Mining Engineers, nature of their work, well known recruiters and PG courses available in front of graduates.
First of all, let us check out some important details about the field of mining engineering-
Mining Engineering is a branch of engineering that uses principles of science and technology in the process of extracting minerals and other resources from the earth.
Mining Engineers are trained professionals involved in surveying, exploration, planning, cost estimation, extraction and processing of minerals, metals and other natural resources from the earth. Waste material management, environmental protection/rehabilitation and project management are also important parts of their work.
Mining engineering is also associated with other fields such as Geology, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering. These branches share many common concepts and elements.
After completing mining engineering course, graduates may either start working or go for further studies (PG courses). First of all, let us check out the ‘jobs’ part. After that, you will be reading about PG courses and further studies.
Career prospects and job opportunities
Diverse job opportunities exist in front of qualified mining engineers. Both Government and Private sector jobs are available in front of them. Other than regular job, self employment opportunities are also available in front of them (in the form of consultation, marketing, mineral production and processing business etc).
Firms involved in extraction, processing, refining and production of minerals are the prime recruiters. Petrochemical firms, Oil and Natural gas firms involved in exploration work are also known to hire mining engineers.
Other than minerals, there exists plethora of other natural resources on and under the surface of earth. Firms involved in exploration, extraction and processing of such natural resources are also known to recruit mining engineers.
Research and development is another field where mining engineers may find a job. For example- Archaeological work mainly focuses on research work. Mining engineers are hired by Archaeological departments to do excavation and extraction work!
In short, mining engineers have access to diverse job opportunities. Some of the main recruiters include-
- GSI (Geological Survey of India)
- Archaeological Department
- Oil and Natural Gas Exploration Firms
- Coal and Mineral Quarries
- OIL (Oil India Limited)
- Coal India Limited
- Private Mineral Processing and Extracting Firms
- TATA Steel
- R&D Labs and Firms
If one has access to ample financial resources, one may start own private small/medium scale mineral processing or extraction plant. Mining engineering knowledge can be used to achieve good results in such a venture!
Other than that, mining engineers may also indulge in marketing, import or export activities (related to minerals and precious stones). Starting own consultation agency is also a good option!
Some mining professionals are also known to indulge in contract work. They supply experienced mining professionals to mining firms and companies for suitable compensation.
Teaching and research jobs
After pursuing Master’s courses related to mining engineering (M.E., M.Tech. or M.Sc.), one may take up teaching job (lecturer or instructor) at relevant technical education or engineering institutes. After completing advanced courses like PhD, one may even build a career in the R&D sector associated with the field of mining engineering.
Nature of work
Mining engineer’s job usually involves travel, exploration and lot of outdoor site-work. Depending upon the location, a mining engineer will have to brave various obstacles in the form of- extreme climatic conditions, dangerous work conditions, environmental pollution etc.
Mining engineers involved in site work usually setup their temporary office on the surface or under the surface of the earth (inside the mine), depending upon the style of the operation/project. Yes, this profession is quite different from the regular office job that we all are used to see!
Not all mining engineers work outdoors. There are mining engineers involved in mineral processing units. Such engineers get to work under relatively relaxed and comfortable working conditions. Research Engineers usually work at research units or labs.
Some of the common job profiles available in front of mining engineers include-
- Plant Supervisor
- Mine Supervisor
- Plant Manager
- Assistant Mining Engineer
- Chief Mining Engineer
PG courses and further studies
Diploma in Mining Engineering graduates may go for Bachelor’s Degree (B.E. or B.Tech.) in Mining Engineering. Lateral entry scheme can be used to secure admission.
Bachelor’s Degree holders may go for M.Sc., PG Diploma or M.E./M.Tech. in Mining Engineering (or other relevant branches). After Master’s education, one may go for advanced course like PhD.
At start, mining engineers may earn anywhere between 10-35k Rupees per month. Starting salary depends on factors like profile of the employer (Government job, Private sector job or entrepreneurship), job profile, location of the job and educational qualifications (Diploma or Degree) of the employee.