News Releases

New placement and salary figures show Mines graduates continue to prosper
Release Date Thursday, June 19, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 19, 2014) – Figures released today from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s Career & Professional Development Center place the average starting salary for 2012-2013 graduates at $62,020 with a 98 percent placement rate, denoting students who have found jobs in their field of study or are pursuing advanced degrees.

“At a time when many families are wondering whether a college education is worth it, Mines is clearly worth it," said Mines President Heather Wilson. "Again this year, 98 percent of our graduates have jobs at an average starting salary of over $62,000 a year, making Mines one of the top values in higher education."

Geological engineers were offered the highest average starting salary of $70,933 – with a 100 percent placement rate. To meet the needs of the region’s rapidly growing energy sector, the School of Mines has recently added a Minor in Petroleum Systems to begin this fall, likely to attract even more students to the discipline along with those from the mining engineering and management, geology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and chemical engineering fields.

The minor serves as the educational component of a broader Energy Resource Initiative, which will serve both upstream and downstream energy industries and encompass a state-of-the-art laboratory for petrophysics/geomechanics research.

In April, the university announced a new Shale Research Initiative in which researchers will investigate the geomechanical and hydrological properties, mineralogy and composition of various shale units to further the scientific and engineering applications of shale and other fine-grained rocks. In partnership with RESPEC Consulting & Services and supported by the Department of Energy and the state of South Dakota, initial work will assess the feasibility of what would be the nation’s first underground shale research laboratory.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,020 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at