Top Schools for a Master’s in Mining Engineering in the US

Earn a Master’s in Mining Engineering in the US

While, at first glance, many may think mining to be an antiquated profession, the reality is that all over the world, mineral and ore extraction is still a booming industry. The world’s reliance on items such as coal, metal, oil shale, gravel and clay has not abated in recent years (if anything, it has increased). Plus, the constant discovery of new ore deposits means that jobs in mining should continue to be abundant in the future. If your interests lie in areas such as geology, gemology or topography, you may find a career in mining to be quite rewarding.

However, as is the case in almost any profession, your career progression in mining will depend largely on your educational background. The mining industry is in need of qualified professionals with a firm knowledge of the natural sciences in order to determine where to find the precious metals, ores and other materials that consumers covet. An understanding of how to keep miners safe while working is also invaluable. Such comprehension and skills can easily be achieved through a Master’s program in mining engineering. If you are in search of the ideal location to pursue such a degree, you may find it in the United States.

What is a Master’s in Mining Engineering?

Most Master’s programs in mining engineering will take around two years to complete. Given that mining is a highly specialised profession, your graduate degree program can go a number of different ways. The initial coursework builds upon the knowledge that you may already have of both natural and mechanical geological processes. Once you have completed that portion of your coursework, you can choose to pursue a customised schedule emphasising topics such as:

  • Mine design
  • Rock mechanics
  • Operations research
  • Subterranean ventilation
  • Mine management
  • Mineral economics

The specific career path you hope to pursue should influence which degree emphasis you go after.

The basic requirements for admission to most Master’s degree in mining engineering programs in the US is an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution, along with earning an acceptable score on an approved graduate school entrance exam. Many of those seeking admission into these programs already hold Bachelor’s degrees in mining engineering. If you do not, not to worry; degrees in related fields such as engineering, geology, chemistry and physics may also qualify you for consideration. You may simply be asked to take a preparatory course in basic mining fundamentals.

While the skills that you learn in the classroom may be vital to your success as a mining engineer, it is in the field where you will really make a name for yourself. Thus, many graduate programs in mining engineering will offer you opportunities at graduate research assistantships that allow you to apply what you have learned in an actual real-world setting. Such experience may prove to be beneficial when you start looking for jobs after you have graduated.

Why Pursue a Master’s in Mining Engineering in the US?

In most professions, there is something to be said about working your way up through the ranks. However, in the mining industry, many of the high-ranking positions require that you have an advanced knowledge and skill set that can only be achieved through higher education. Therefore, if you wish to progress in this business, a Master’s degree may be a necessary tool. The good news is that by committing yourself to continuing your education right now, you may place yourself in greater demand once you have concluded your studies. With that demand may come the potential for a better salary and benefit package.

If you are searching for reasons as to why you should pursue your graduate studies in the US, consider the following advantages that the American higher education system offers:

  • Academic freedoms not found in many other countries
  • One-on-one access to world-renowned experts teaching at American colleges and universities
  • The chance to network with fellow students from all around the globe
  • Exposure to industry-leading technology and research

Your Potential Career Path with a Master’s in Mining Engineering

A recent study shared by Forbes Magazine showed that recent graduates from mining programs in the US commanded a higher starting salary than those matriculating from Ivy League schools like Harvard. The high demand for qualified mining engineers and managers may translate to you commanding a wage in excess of USD$90,000 shortly after your graduation. Your Master’s degree in mining engineering may also qualify you for similar positions within the geosciences industry, such as a hydrologist, a petroleum engineer, an environmental research specialist or mine design consultant.

If you are in search of a lucrative career path that allows for plenty of adventurous opportunities, you can’t go wrong with mining. Getting your Master’s degree in mining engineering in the US may help to place you on the path to sustained success within this continuously booming industry.

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