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The Value of Your Degree

Choosing your Career

Choosing the U of U

Your choice of career will have a major impact on your life in the future. Most people find this choice difficult to make, typically because it is so hard to get useful information about the many career paths open to you. It is also difficult to find out what it will be like when you start your first job in your chosen career.

In the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, we provide a strong background for many career paths and instill an understanding of how the Earth system influences the numerous and varied aspects of human activity.

Remember that your interests will change over the years, and your career path will take many unexpected turns. Career choices are never irrevocable, but a wise choice when you enter college will greatly enhance your academic and early professional experience.

The Salaries

Degree Median Salary
Atmospheric Sciences $85,000
Geology and Geophysics $82,000
Metallurgical Engineering $87,000
Mining Engineering $82,000

Possible Career Paths and Employers

Companies specifically seek out our students and graduates by coming to campus to interview and hire our students for internships and full-time employment. Some companies that have come to recruit our students include: Rio Tinto, Freeport McMoRan, Kinross Gold, Newmont Mining, Barrick Gold, CONSOL Energy, BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Bowie Resources, Foresight Coal, Walter Resources, CS Mining, Graymont Lime, Monsanto Chemicals, Simplot Phosphate, and Questar.

Atmospheric Sciences Geology & Geophysics Metallurgical Engineering Mining Engineering
  • Broadcast Meteorologists
  • National Weather Service
  • Military Meteorologists
  • Scientists and engineers at environmental consulting firms
  • Insurance and Agriculture industry jobs
  • NASA, Bureau of Land Management
  • Air Force Weather Service
  • State Agencies (e.g. Transportation and Air Quality)


  • U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management scientists
  • State geological surveys
  • County and city geologists

Private Industry

  • Environmental geology, engineering geology, Natural resources, geophysics and remote sensing


  • University Professor
  • K-12 educator


  • Aerospace Manufacturing
  • Automotive Part Manufacturing
  • Biomedical Part Manufacturing
  • Consulting
  • Electronics Manufacturing
  • Energy-Related Industries
  • Metal Extraction
  • Metal Refining
  • Mineral/Powder Production
  • Research
  • Quality Control


  • National Labs
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy

Other (Preparatory degree for):

  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Business
  • Mine Design – Computer Software
  • Mine Production
  • Corporate Management
  • Mine Product Marketing
  • Mine Reclamation
  • Mine Health and Safety
  • Mine Equipment Sales and Service
Last Updated: 5/16/22