Rare-earth metals can react with Si atoms to form rare-earth metal silicides, which have a high conductivity and a low schottky barrier on the n-type Si substrate. The studies of the rare-earth metal silicide nanostructures self-assembled on the Si(001) surface are reviewed in this paper. The growth behaviors of Er silicide nanostructures are studied as the functions of annealing temperature, annealing time and Er coverage. The crystalline structures of nanowires and nanoislands, the influence of substrate surface to the formations of nanostructures, and the shape transition during the growth of nanostructures are analyzed comprehensively, which make contribution to rare-earth metal silicide nanostructure growth with uniform size and distribution. Furthermore, the recent progresses of the investigations are also reported for the electrical properties of the rare-earth metal silicide nanowires.