Modern mines require workers to have an understanding of math, sciences, and basic engineering in order to properly work the machinery safely and with the best results. While in most cases a high school education is not necessary, nor is a college education, some mines are requiring employees to take mining courses to learn the techniques and skills necessary to safely work in such settings. Some colleges do offer mining courses that will ultimately result in an associate's degree or certificate, but this is not always a necessary requirement for employment.
Sometimes a mining company will offer mining courses that teach specific aspects of the job. Mine safety is perhaps the most common course offered, as a mine is an extremely dangerous setting in which to work. Just about every miner must take mining courses that teach basic safety techniques and processes; a certification may even be necessary in some regions of the world. The procedures may be learned on the job as well, with more experienced miners showing new employees how to shut down equipment in a hurry, how to ventilate the mine, what to do in case of a fire or cave-in, and how to address other safety issues.
A four-year degree may be offered by some schools to prepare a qualified candidate for jobs in the mining industry that require special skills or knowledge. These jobs are often more scientific and require the student to complete mining courses that deal with geology, physics, and other mining-related topics. A candidate will need to obtain a high school diploma in order to qualify for such programs, and tuition rates will apply. Mining companies may seek out people who complete such programs to address the complexities of modern mines and the high-tech machinery used in these settings.
Some mining courses will address proper mining techniques such as ventilation and drilling. Ventilation is an extremely important topic, since a poorly ventilated mine can lead to potential health issues. A student will learn how to install and use ventilation equipment and how to recognize if that equipment is not working properly. Ventilation training may also cover techniques used should a cave-in occur and the access to fresh air is lost. Drilling classes will cover safety techniques as well as effective strategies for scouting drilling locations and safely installing hardware to create the mine shafts. Some mines are not underground mines, which means a student will need to learn how to use terrestrial machines as well.