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How Do I Become a Gold Miner?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The gold mining industry has declined over the years, but it is still possible to become a gold miner if you live near a gold mine or are willing to travel to an area where gold mining is still done. In some cases, gold is mined along with other minerals, so you may end up learning how to extract various materials from mines during your job training. No specific level of education is necessary for some mining positions, but if you want to do more advanced tasks, a college degree or certificate may be necessary.

Check job postings with mining companies to find out what they are looking for in a potential employer. As long as you are willing to work hard and learn new skills, you are usually qualified to become a gold miner in some capacity. You will have to take part in plenty of job training that will prepare you for the rigors of the job, and you will need to be in good physical shape to take part in the mining process. You can improve your chances to become a gold miner if you obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) with the appropriate certifications to qualify you to drive heavy machinery and large trucks.

Several miners working.
Several miners working.

You can also improve your chances of securing a gold mining position by taking training courses in mine safety, explosives, machine operation, and other topics relevant to mining. Employers will look for job candidates with relevant education and experience, so you can quicken the process of finding a job by developing such skills and experiences. If you have no experience, you will end up starting with an entry-level position that requires a significant amount of physical labor. While you work in these positions, be sure to exhibit a good work ethic so your managers will be more inclined to promote you down the line.

Tunnels in a mine.
Tunnels in a mine.

You may also become a gold miner by working in a processing facility. Not all gold is extracted completely on-site. Instead, the raw materials are transported to a sorting or processing facility, in which workers will complete the task of separating the gold from other materials. You can work in a processing facility by applying for a position there and undergoing the necessary job and safety training associated with the position. Again, you should expect to start with an entry-level position unless you have gained credentials that qualify you for more advanced or specialized positions.

Discussion Comments


Just go mining in the streams up in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas in California. I find tons and pretty much make my living off of panning.


If you are planning to join a mining company you should be prepared for the culture that often surrounds that kind of work. I know in Australia (where some of my friends have relatives working) it can be difficult to save money, even though they get paid a lot, because there is a general expectation that you are going to spend it on drinking and having fun.

If it's your intention to work in that job for just a short time, save your money and then move on, you really have to be prepared to be firm with yourself and others in order to keep to your goals.

It's really tough work, too, with extremely long hours and it's done in the middle of nowhere, so it's not like you can take a break with your family without flying out to meet them.

But a high paying job is definitely something to cherish these days and often the mining companies are willing to hire people who might not be able to get a job elsewhere.


@clintflint - Well, there's always the option of just finding a place where gold has been found in the past and trying to sift through the rivers like the old prospectors did. I've heard there are still quite a few people who do that these days and some of them even make a real living at it (although most of them don't, because there just aren't that many places with much gold left).

That sounds much more appealing to me than working underground for hours at a time, but I know one is a way to make money and the other is just a way to enjoy the wilderness.


I think, if you really want to work as a miner, you probably shouldn't limit yourself to only working as a gold miner. Most of the time multiple minerals are mined at a particular site and it's not like you're going to be keeping the gold yourself anyway.

You'll be paid a wage just like everyone else, regardless of whether you find massive nuggets or little flakes of gold.

But working in the mines pays really well, because it's tough work and people can make a fairly good amount of money if they are willing to do that work.

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    • Several miners working.
      Several miners working.
    • Tunnels in a mine.
      By: Aniuszka
      Tunnels in a mine.
    • When gold is mined, it must be extracted from its surrounding materials.
      By: Maksim Shebeko
      When gold is mined, it must be extracted from its surrounding materials.