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Mining Engineer
Mining engineers are responsible for the effective, safe and profitable operation of mining undertakings. They are mining experts and engineers and have a background in geology as well as civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.

Mining engineers must be prepared to supervise any phase of mining and are responsible for the effective managing of the mine. They plan, design, construct and operate the facilities that are used to get solid materials out of the earth. They are responsible for the economical and efficient operation of mines. They have to take mining safety and the safety of the workers seriously.

Mining engineers work with geological and metallurgical engineers to locate and appraise new ore deposits. They may develop new equipment or processes for mining and try to improve working conditions. Some conduct research on mining issues or work on problems related to the protection of the environment.

It is important to note that, although most of the mining engineers' time is spent in the office, they also work on site to check that instructions are being followed as planned.

Engineering graduates usually begin work under the supervision of experienced mine engineers and are gradually given more responsibilities as they gain experience. Some engineers with experience and additional education move into administration or management. Many high-level executives in industry began their careers in engineering.

Satisfying Aspects
- variety of tasks and areas to choose from
- good benefits, such as housing provided
- higher than average salaries
- solving problems

Demanding aspects
- dealing with labour issues
- trying to ensure the safety of workers, especially underground
- working long hours to complete a project
- the long period of preparation and study required to register as a professional mining engineer   
- having to continue your education throughout your career to keep up with the latest technological advances in your field

A mining engineer should:
- be able to visualize objects three-dimensionally;
- have good health and stamina;
- have mathematical and scientific ability;
- be curious;
- have creativity and initiative;
- be responsible;
- have self-confidence;
- have organisational skills;
- able to command respect;
- maintain a cool head and take charge of a situation;
- have speech and writing skills.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Information Technology, Engineering and Technology, Geography, Languages

Note: the Engineering Faculties of some universities offer a support programme to help students to become self-sufficient and capable of completing the very demanding engineering courses. The programme is aimed at students with good grades, from communities which lack proper educational facilities.

Degree: A Bdegree in Mining Engineering takes 4 years to complete and is presented by UJ, UP, UV and Wits. This degree is acknowledged throughout the world. After successful completion of the degree, candidates must register as engineers-in-training and do a course in Practical Industrial Training. The training program (which lasts 3 years) is approved by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). After completion of this course graduates can register as professional engineers.

Diploma: A N.Dip. in Mining Engineering is offered at UNISA.

To hold management posts in mines, mining engineers must obtain a Certificate of Competence. After an examination the Mining Engineer presents a Certificate of Competence to the successful candidates. The mining engineering degree gives the candidates exemption from most of the subjects needed to obtain a Certificate of Competency as a Mine Manager. Mining engineers must have a certain amount of practical experience before they can write the examination.

- Mining companies
- Mining equipment manufacturers and suppliers
- Universities of technology and universities
- Private consultants
- Government mining departments as inspectors
- Self-employment, can work as an independent consultant for mines

The Head - Training
JCI Group Training Centre
P O Box 976
Randfontein, 1760
Tel. (011) 411-2345

Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
Private Bag X 691
Bruma, 2026   
Tel: (011) 607-9500 Fax: (011) 622-9295