Underground mining is a versatile industry. People who are employed in underground mining jobs have various backgrounds, training and skill sets. Since so many different types of skills are needed, underground mining positions are open to a broad range of job seekers. From professional positions to construction jobs, many people can find the right career for them in underground mining. Engineering isn’t the only educational background you need. Some mining employees have studied science or a related field instead of engineering.
Types of Underground Mining Jobs Just a few of the different jobs in the underground mining industry include:
Carpenter: This position is responsible for building both the mine structure as well as certain equipment used in underground mining.
Drilling Machine Operator: This position drills holes that are to be filled with explosives.
Environmental Engineer Geologist Loading Machine Operator: This position cleans up whatever debris is left over from the detonation of explosives.
Machine Operator: Machine operators have to safely maneuver the machines used in underground mining.
Mechanic: This position ensures that all mining equipment is working correctly. If it’s not, the Mechanic will fix the equipment.
Mine Safety Inspector: This position inspects the work area to make sure there aren’t any fixtures that are loose, leaking chemicals or poor ventilation systems. Sometimes, a Mining Safety Inspector will make the decision to close a mine until the work area has been made safe.
Mining Engineer Becoming an Underground Mining Geologist The main job of an Underground Mining Geologist is figuring out whether or not mining resources exist in an area. To do this, the geologist has to use data to test out mining sites that haven’t been worked in before. First, the geologist has to travel to a location that may be a good mining spot. They find these locations by using seismic data. Then, the geologist has to take core samples to find specific extraction sites and determine if there are minerals that are pure and valuable. Most geologists who work in mining have a bachelor degree in a physical science field. Additionally, many geologists have completed a program in a specialized area of mining.
What Does a Mining Engineer Do? Mining engineers plan out an entire mining operation along with technicians and drafting experts. The Mining Engineer will figure out how to design the mine to make it easy to extract materials. Some engineers are also in charge of supervising a project and dealing with any problems that come up. Most mining engineers need to have an engineering bachelor degree with a specialization in coal mining.
How is This Different from an Environmental Engineer? While the two jobs sound alike, environmental engineers and mining engineers have different responsibilities. An Environmental Engineer will administer a project to make sure that local and Federal regulations are being met. Many environmental engineers act as consultants to the Mining engineer as the operation is being designed to ensure that government and safety regulations are met. Environmental engineers typically have a background in either environmental engineering or natural science. Plus, environmental engineers often undergo regular training to stay up-to-date on the most current regulations.