What is a geological engineer?

Geological engineering is the development and conservation of natural resources in ways useful to humankind. Geological engineers work in the areas of

  • surface and groundwater resources
  • geotechnical and hazard assessment
  • fuels and minerals
  • environmental site assessment

Using natural material properties for design is a normal part of their work.  This field has job growth of 12 percent above the national average.

The geologically complex Black Hills are the furthest eastward extension of the Laramide Rocky Mountains with rocks as old as 2.7 billion years. It is centrally located with respect to some of the largest energy and mineral provinces in the western US. The recently launched Energy Resources Initiative is designed to provide scientific and engineering solutions to these industries. Coupled with research opportunities at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory, South Dakota Mines is the ideal natural lab to study geological engineering.  

Geological Engineering Graduates go on to:

  • Coeur Mining
  • Baker Hughes
  • Baker Gold 

  • Halliburton
  • Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • Terracon 

  • Kinross Gold
  • Wipro

Internships & Co-ops

77% of Mines students gain real-world experience through internship and co-op opportunities at an average salary of over $18.73 an hour at 256 employers in 43 states. Geological engineering majors also conduct research at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, and South Dakota Mines' Engineering Mining Experiment Station.


  • mineral exploration
  • petroleum exploration, production, and service
  • hazard investigations
  • engineering consulting
  • water resources
  • building projects, pipelines
  • environmental firms

Additional career information can be found at these sites:

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