Job Description for Geologist
Geologists have both theoretical and scientific duties, as well as many practical responsibilities, so wide-ranging knowledge in different areas is important in this position. A bachelor's degree in geology is generally required, and knowledge of mathematics, geology, chemistry, and physics is also necessary. Geologists must also have good communication and writing skills, knowledge of all relevant laws and regulations, and knowledge of software development to analyze geological data. As with most careers in the sciences, writing research papers may be a significant part of the job, and these may be presented at conferences. Some geologists also teach at universities.Read More...
Geologists generally measure and test different aspects of the earth, such as gravity, magnetic fields, minerals, rocks, and even basic elements. They may use seismographs, x-rays, and many other instruments to accomplish these tasks as well as investigate the history of the earth itself. Geologists are also employed for many practical tasks, including identifying suitable materials for concrete, making maps for land use or extraction of minerals, and identifying risks for disasters such as landslides or earthquakes. They may also determine if certain resources are available in different areas, such as natural gas deposits, oil, and underground water. They may also provide advice on public works activities such as waste management or restoration.
Geologists may be employed at constructions sites to address engineering problems, land use, or resource management, so knowledge of construction equipment is beneficial for this position. Safety is always the top priority for geologists, and they must be familiar with all public safety regulations to ensure that events, processes, and equipment comply with all local and federal laws.
- Communicate with diverse groups like landmen, marketers, regulatory personnel, etc.
- Generate data and visualizations such as mineral charts, soil analyses, groundwater modeling, maps, etc.
- Review, integrate, quality control and collect data for geologic, hydrologic and other databases.
- Investigate sites, take samples, and oversee delineation of land and active worksites.
Common Career Paths for Geologist
Geologists do not often transition into Petroleum Geologist roles. The role averages $102K per year. Geologists moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Senior Geologists or Environmental Project Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $26K higher and $5K higher, respectively.
Geologist Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Geologist
Arcadis, Inc., URS Corporation Inc., Aecom Corporation, Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc., and CH2M Hill are among the top companies that take on many Geologists. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Weatherford International, Inc offers the most; Geologists earn $87K on average there. Geologists can also look forward to large paychecks at Chevron Corporation ($85K), Resolution Copper ($71K), and Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc. ($68K).
Aecom Technology Group, Inc., Arcadis, Inc., and URS Corporation Inc. also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $50K, $50K, and $53K-paychecks on average.
Popular Skills for Geologist
Geologists report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation, Environmental Compliance, and Borehole Formation Evaluation (FE) are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 70 percent, 55 percent, and 48 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Geographic Information Systems, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Word. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Excel are also skilled in Environmental Consulting and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Pay by Experience Level for Geologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Geologists, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $50K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $65K on average. On average, Geologists make $74K following one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $98K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
Midland is home to an above-average pay rate for Geologists, 86 percent higher than the national average. Geologists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+69 percent), Dallas (+27 percent), Tucson (+18 percent), and San Francisco (+17 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Geologists is geography, with workers in Minneapolis earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Atlanta (18 percent lower) and Pittsburgh (15 percent lower).