How to Make a Living by Prospecting for Gold

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One of the most romantic notions of American life is the idea of striking it rich simply by prospecting for gold. While gold prospecting found a peak during the early 1900s, it is still more than possible to make a living off of finding gold. By taking into consideration a variety of methods, you can learn the ins and outs of prospecting for gold and turning it into your very own version of a small business.

Learn how to prospect for gold. There are a variety of different ways to prospect, from gold panning to using metal detectors. The best way to learn how to prospect for gold is to take a class on gold prospecting. Although finding gold is best learned under the instruction of a seasoned veteran gold prospector, there are also a variety of books and DVDs that outline the many ways to find gold. A combination of instruction and private research is the best way to learn how to prospect.

Set a daily quota for your gold prospecting. Once you have learned how to prospect effectively and efficiently, you'll want to determine how much money you need to make each month to be comfortable. By dividing this number by the amount of days you'll spend prospecting each month, you can determine how much you need to find in order to meet your goal. Adjust your goals as you become more proficient at prospecting.

Sell your gold to a local dealer. The most important aspect of turning your gold prospecting into a full-time job is finding a dealer that will give you a respectable payout for the gold you sell. Consult with a variety of gold dealers in your area to determine who you will work with on a regular basis. Forging a long-term working relationship with a trusted gold dealer is a key aspect to making a living by prospecting for gold.


  • Gold prospecting has a rather steep learning curve; don't give up if you find it difficult to locate gold.


  • Before selling your gold, familiarize yourself with the going rates to ensure that you do not get taken advantage of by a dishonest dealer.