Q:

What training is required to become a gold miner?

A:

Quick Answer

Most gold and mineral mines require no specific training for entry-level labor positions. However, training in one or more of the many fields relevant to mining, such as machine operation, geology, engineering and explosives, may lead to better employment opportunities and wages.

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Full Answer

Most gold mines hire from the local population to fill basic labor positions. Mining labor jobs available to individuals without specialized training are generally physically intensive and require a large amount of on-the-job training. Even for basic labor positions, a commercial driver's licence is extremely helpful. Most modern gold mines also extract other valuable metals, such as silver and copper, which may lead to further skills training. Gold mines also hire tradesmen, such as mechanics, welders and electricians.

Many mines also require specialized workers with university degrees. For instance, the company New Gold offers positions for professional mining engineers, environmental specialists and accountants, as of 2015.

Some individuals also continue to prospect for gold in a more traditional fashion, similar to famous prospectors in the 19th century. However, previous prospectors have already scoured most sites within the United States at least twice, according to the USGS, with diminishing returns each time. Additionally, individual prospectors are unlikely to find major gold deposits without significant geological experience and financial backing. Prospectors and geologists have already thoroughly explored any areas likely to contain large gold deposits.

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