While most of your time in Stardew Valley might be on your farm, a lot of time should also be spent mining.
The Mining skill is improved by breaking rocks, metals, minerals, and gems with your pickaxe or crafted bombs.
Leveling up your Mining skill is best done in places like the Mines or The Quarry, where there are lots of rocks and various nodes to break.
The experience awarded varies widely, from 1 point for a standard rock to 150 points for a diamond node.
Once you reach level 5 in Mining, the game will ask you to choose a profession on your next sleep sequence.
The choices for level 5 Mining are between Miner or Geologist, both of which have great benefits to them.
The profession you choose will shape how the rest of your game plays out and the final professions that will be available to you, so you want to choose with this in mind!
Level 5 Mining: Miner or Geologist, Which Should I Choose?
When choosing between becoming a Miner or Geologist, the best route to take is the Geologist.
The Geologist profession gives you a 50% chance for any gems, nodes, and geodes to appear in pairs – all of which are very profitable items.
The Geologist profession gives you the option to become a Gemologist, which will further increase those profits!
However, both professions can be a great option depending on the sort of playthrough you are currently playing through.
So, here is what each of these professions is in greater detail!
Miner at Level 5
- +1 ore per vein
If you choose the Miner profession, you will be able to gather more materials such as copper, iron, gold, and iridium.
All nodes you break will now produce one extra ore!
This profession can be great if you are in the process of doing a lot of building or crafting since these activities require plenty of different ores.
Additionally, you will be able to create more bars and sell them for profit.
Miner Profession Summary
The Miner profession is undoubtedly very useful in the early game when resources are scarce, and lots of things still need to be built.
Those extra ores can add up fast and make a huge difference in how long you spend grinding for materials.
Upon reaching level 10 in Mining, the Miner profession allows you to choose between Blacksmith or Prospector.
These professions help make the ores you harvested more valuable or gather other materials that are needed to craft metal bars.
The downside to this profession is that eventually, you are going to have more ores than you know what to do with.
You can grind out making metal bars and selling them to Clint, but this is not the most fun way to spend your time playing.
This makes the profession less useful than Geologist since gems will always be profitable and are some of the most loved gifts of the townsfolk.
Blacksmith at Level 10
- Metals bars worth 50% more
If you initially choose Miner, one of the options you will have for a profession at level 10 is Blacksmith.
This profession increases the value of any metal bars you craft with a smelter, including copper, iron, gold, iridium, and radioactive bars.
With this profession, any metal bars will fetch you a very nice profit if you leave them in the shipping bin or sell them directly to Clint.
Prospector at Level 10
- Chance to find coal doubled
The Prospector profession will double your chances of finding coal when breaking rocks.
This might seem like a small reward for reaching level 10, but coal is a resource that is often in short supply, even in the late game.
This profession will significantly increase your coal stores and reduce that scarcity dramatically.
If you find that you are often running low, the Prospector profession can be a huge help.
Blacksmith vs. Prospector
When choosing between becoming a Blacksmith or Prospector, the best one to choose is easily Blacksmith.
There are other ways to increase how much coal you find, so the increase in the value for metal bars is a bigger benefit.
Many players don’t realize that the train cars you find abandoned in the levels of the Mine are actually full of coal.
Just walk up and press the action button to release several pieces of coal!
Additionally, the increased profits for gold and iridium bars is enough to just buy coal from Clint when you are running low, while still running a profit!
Even with all of this, both professions are still not as good choices when compared to the ones that become available for those who choose Geologist at level 5.
The benefits are much narrower since gems and ores will benefit profits, and relationships, and will even be currency at the Calico Desert Traders shop!
Geologist at Level 5
- Chance for gems to appear in pairs.
The Geologist profession will give you the chance for any gems or geodes from rocks to appear in pairs.
Nodes or rocks that would have only given you one will now have a 50% to produce two instead.
This profession can be very helpful in the early game since gems are some of the most profitable items available to you at that point.
Having a large increase in gems will make a very big difference to your farm’s bottom line!
This is not just a profession that can help with profits, however.
Items like diamonds are universally liked or loved, meaning they can be a huge boost to a friendship that you are working on.
Geologist will lead to either the Excavator or Gemologist professions at level 10.
These professions are lucrative, both being more so than the options for Miners at level 10.
Geologist Profession Summary
Since the resources that you gather have more uses in Geologist, it is just a better choice than Miner.
When you are in need of money, gems are a great resource.
Gems are still a great resource when you have plenty of money but want to get Shane to stop being mean to you.
Even though the Miner profession can make the early game go more quickly, the Geologist profession will remain useful to the very end.
Excavator at Level 10
- Chance to find geodes doubled
If you choose the Excavator profession at level 10, you will have the chance for finding geodes doubled.
There are four different types of geodes — geode, frozen geode, magma geode, and omni geode — that will all be included in the new stats!
This is a great profession for all types of players since geodes will yield all sorts of materials and treasures like ores, coal, and minerals.
Whether you focus more on completion or maximum profits (or both!), this profession will help a great deal.
Having the chance for omni geodes doubled is especially helpful since they will contain lots of items needed to complete the library artifacts.
Omni geodes are also one of the currencies for items at the desert trader.
Gemologist at Level 10
- Gems worth 30% more
When you choose the Gemologist profession, you will see the price you fetch for gems and minerals raise by 30%.
This applies to everything from Quartz to Prismatic Shards! If you spend a lot of time in any of the mines, this will greatly increase the profits you see.
When you pair the Gemologist profession with using Crystalariums, this profession reaps huge profits with very little time spent needed on your game day.
The recipe for the Crystalarium is received when the player reaches level 9 in Mining.
The initial investment in resources is pretty high for these, but that will be easily offset when you receive your first load of free diamonds!
Excavator vs. Gemologist
When choosing between Excavator and Gemologist, the better choice is narrowly the Gemologist profession.
When combined with a handful of Crystalariums, the Gemologist profession has the potential to be the more profitable one.
At some point, the Excavator becomes less useful.
Early and mid-game, there is a great demand for items like Earth Crystals and other minerals, but this is low to non-existent in the later game.
On the flip side, choosing Gemologist will allow you to have high profits without much time needed.
This means you will have more daylight to explore some of the new locations that you have likely not discovered by this point!
Are you curious about choosing between other professions? Here are some guides to help!