To get started, here are some frequently asked questions:
What do Mining Engineers do?
According to the Canadian Government of Canada, professional Mining Engineers:
- Plan, design, organize and supervise the development of mines (90% of mines are surface)
- Prepare and supervise the extraction of minerals and/or metals and/or oil and energy sources from mine
- Professionals can be employed by mining companies, consulting engineering firms, manufacturers, government and in educational and research institutes.
The McGill Mining Engineering Program was established more than 140 years ago! Today it is one of the two co-op programs offered at McGill and is either a four (4) year program starting after CEGEP (for Quebec students) or five (5) if starting after high school. Following U1, students are scheduled to go on a work term. The dedicated Co-op Liaison Officer coupled with the resources provided by the Engineering Career Centre provide students most of the tools and encouragement from Day 1 to obtain the first of three (3) or four (4) co-op work terms. All work terms are paid.
Here are some typical examples of tasks from previous co-op work integrated learning experiences within a project team at an employer:
- Field survey work
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Assist in tasks involving data management (office environment)
- Working within a team of engineers to select mining equipment and machinery for mine or project
- Assist in drilling and blasting methods
- Design shafts, ventilation systems, mine services and / or haulage systems
- Prepare reports on operations and project schedules
- Conduct economic and environmental feasibility studies
- Project management within a team of people from different expertise (e.g. engineers, geologists)
Could you describe the student life?
Students appreciate being in a small program size (compared to others in the Faculty of Engineering). Students are engaged at a variety of levels from studying together in the student lounge, attending conferences and/or participating in design competitions in Canada and USA. There are some 150 students from all over the world who are in the undergraduate program. Some 18% are female in the entire program.
Can I study abroad?
Yes. The program currently offers courses in French towards your final year of the program if you come from CEGEP. However, you have the option to continue your studies in English or take part in an international study-abroad exchange at select post-secondary institutions.
Are scholarships available?
In addition to McGill Entrance and In-Course scholarship(s), there are many external scholarships or awards or bursaries for students studying in Mining Engineering.
Are there extra fees associated with participation in a co-op program?
Yes, there is a co-op fee of $288.36 per work term.
Remember, all work terms are paid by the hour or by salary starting from $15/hour depending on where you work and what you do.
I am an international student. Can I legally work in Canada?
Yes, students registered in a recognized Canadian university co-op program are eligible to apply for Employment Authorization (a Co-op Work Permit) through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The letter for this application is written by the Co-op Liaison Officer. Once students get a work permit, students will apply for a Social Insurrance Number (SIN).
Work terms are an essential and integral part of a co-op student’s course of study and do not comprise more than 50% of the student’s program.
How do I look for a co-op work term?
Students are provided with individualized career counselling and resume writing support through the various resources within the Faculty and Department, including tutorials in the first year MIME 200 course.
All McGill students receive access to the online career resources at the CaPS website, myFuture, and MIME 200 myCourses. Many students find jobs via internal resources. Students are encouraged to develop their own network, too.
Am I guaranteed a co-op work term position?
Co-op work terms are not guaranteed and students are responsible to secure a co-op work term using the resources available, such as the Co-op Liaison Officer, the Faculty of Engineering Career Centre, and students’ own networks and/or job search skills. It’s also important to apply to all the jobs via myFuture.
The cyclical nature of the mining industry can affect the availability of work.
Co-op work terms are generally 4-months, but sometimes there’s a call for an 8-month work term. Students are advised on a regular basis on their approach to obtaining a co-op work term. Academic Advisors are available to guide the student to managing their curriculum requirements and to graduate on time.
How much will I get paid during a co-op work term?
Salaries are usually based on the level of education combined with previous work and/or volunteer experience. Generally, students can expect to be paid in the range of $15-25/hour if the job is based in Canada. Some companies offer other perks or remuneration, plus training and development and the expensing of personal protective equipment.
How important are marks?
Jobs are competitive; however, good grades are not the only thing that employers consider. In addition to work or volunteer experience, many soft skills are important such as: being a team player, able to work with others and work independently, as well as a positive attitude. In the mining sector, it is important to be able to speak languages coupled with good communication skills. A driver’s licence is also important to obtain, and the willingness to work and learn.
What kind of course background do I need to get into Mining Engineering?
The program is built around a strong background in mathematics, basic sciences and computer skills and software programs.
What kinds of course will I take in Mining Engineering?
Students follow core courses covering a complete range of the industry from geosciences to surveying, ventilation and mine design to feasibility studies, plus a number of Technical Complementary course offerings.
Is the program accredited so that I can get my Professional Engineering licence after graduating?
Yes, the program conforms to the requirements of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) and is designed to offer students training for employment in Canada’s large and vital mining industry. The CEAB accreditation is also recognised in other countries, including the United States.
After graduation, what are my options?
Graduates in the Mining Engineering program find employment in a wide range of industries, including the mineral/metal producing and processing sectors, investment banking and manufacturing companies, or government. Some students continue their studies as a Graduate student.