Mining Engineers plan and direct the engineering aspects of locating and extracting minerals, petroleum and natural gas from the earth.
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
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 18,800 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 91% of people employed as Mining Engineers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 25 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 50 hours per week in their main job. This is 6 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $3,252 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,628
- 1 in 4 earn more than $3,654
Median hourly earnings are $73, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Mining Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Mining Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Around 70% of Mining Engineers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Mining Engineers is 36 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 13% of the workforce. This is 35 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Mining Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in mining or geotechnical engineering is needed to work as a Mining Engineer. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration may be required in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Mining Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||24.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Mining Engineers who can communicate clearly, have strong interpersonal skills and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Using maths to solve problems.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
66%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
64%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Talking to others.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
54%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
54%Management of financial resources
Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.
Teaching people how to do something.
50%Management of material resources
Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.
50%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
83%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
59%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
58%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
58%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
57%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
56%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
53%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
44%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
42%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
40%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
38%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
64%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
59%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are far away.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
82%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
79%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
79%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
77%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
76%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
76%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
74%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
72%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
70%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
69%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
69%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
69%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
68%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
66%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
64%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
63%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
60%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
58%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
58%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
88%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
86%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
84%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
84%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
81%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work to strict deadlines.
76%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
74%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
73%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
72%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
71%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
70%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
70%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
69%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
67%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2151.00 - Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers.