Geologist Salary

Geologists in the United States can expect to earn an average of $62K per year. Total cash compensation to Geologists bottoms out near $40K and approaches $133K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $24K from bonuses and almost $30K from profit sharing. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but the particular city and tenure are influential factors as well. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Geologists who answered the questionnnaire. Most Geologists report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$39,880 - $122,483
(Median)
$40K
$62K
$120K
MEDIAN: $61,547
10%
50%
90%

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$15.28 - $45.10
(Median)
$15
$24
$45
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$39,880 - $122,483  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,351  
Profit Sharing
$504 - $30,067  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,726 - $132,859  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,359
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.28 - $45.10  
   
Overtime
$20.35 - $46.14  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,351  
   
Profit Sharing
$504 - $30,067  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,726 - $132,859  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 182

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Job Description for Geologist

Geologists are scientists who study the matter that constitutes the Earth and the processes in history that have shaped it. They also study natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis and weather storms and use this data to develop faster ways to warn the public of impending disasters. They are responsible for public safety and promoting it in every aspect of their work. Right now, the focus for geologists is climate change history and evidence and how it will affect the Earth in the future.

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Geologist Tasks

  • 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


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Geologists do not often transition into Petroleum Geologist roles. The role averages $101K per year. Geologists most often move into positions as Senior Geologists or Environmental Project Managers; those groups report median salaries that are $22K higher and $2K higher, respectively.

Geologist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Geologist


Many Geologists can be found at URS Corporation Inc., Chevron Corporation, Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc., Arcadis, Inc., and Aecom Corporation, firms that are at the top of the field. Although Chevron Corporation boasts the highest average salary in town at $139K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $84K or as much as $233K.

The lowest pay by far can be found at Arcadis, Inc. — this employer offers a median salary of $45K, 210 percent lower than the top payer.

Popular Skills for Geologist


Survey results imply that Geologists deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Environmental Compliance, Data Analysis, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 48 percent, 44 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Environmental Consulting, Geographic Information Systems, and Technical Writing. Those educated in Microsoft Excel tend to be well versed 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.


Geologists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $52K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $63K. Geologists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $74K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $100K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Houston is home to an above-average pay rate for Geologists, 81 percent higher than the national average. Geologists will also find cushy salaries in Oklahoma City (+79 percent), Dallas (+77 percent), Midland (+70 percent), and Denver (+20 percent). Geologists in Nashville earn salaries far below the national average by 28 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Phoenix and Philadelphia are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 17 percent less than the median.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Geologist Salaries




National Average
$62,000


Skills That Affect Geologist Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 317 votes.

Gender

Female
26 %
Male
74 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 10%