Jobs in the mining industry have changed over the years; in the past, a person with little or no education could easily get a position working in a mine, but today many of the jobs require a candidate with a college degree or extensive training and experience. A mining trainee is a person who is either preparing for such job training, or someone who is already participating in it. Sometimes a mining trainee is required to have a college degree, though in other cases, it is possible to get a position with just a high school education or no education at all. Such jobs are less common in modern mines than they were in the past.
The responsibilities of a mining trainee can vary depending on what type of job the trainee is preparing for. A machine operator, for example, will usually undergo an apprenticeship during which a more experienced operator will teach the trainee the safety techniques necessary to run the machine properly, and other techniques to run it efficiently. A dump truck driver apprentice will learn the proper use of large hauling vehicles, and he or she will take part in classroom training as well. Countless other mining trainee positions exist, each with a different set of criteria for completion of the training period.
Some of the jobs that require extensive education and experience will require a mining trainee period as well. This training period may last anywhere from a year to several years, during which time the trainee will benefit from the knowledge of more experienced workers. Geologists, for example, will usually have the foundational skills for completing various jobs as they pertain to mining because they have learned such skills during a college degree program, but working with a more experienced geologist will help the mining trainee learn more industry-specific skills as well as more efficient methods of gathering data.
The pay for a mining trainee position will generally be lower than the pay for a full time, experienced employee, though the trainee will be eligible for higher pay and possibly even better benefits once the traineeship is complete. The rules for pay and benefits will vary by employer, as will the duration of traineeships or apprenticeships. In some cases, the employer may be bound by local laws regarding apprenticeship programs or traineeship periods. During the training period, a trainee may be responsible for earning certifications required for legal work in certain regions of the world.