Geologist Salary

Pay for Geologists in the United States sits in the ballpark of $61K annually. In the world of Geologists, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $25K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $29K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $40K and $131K. While geography and years of experience impact pay for this group, the specific employer is the most influential factor. For the most part, Geologists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Geologists are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$39,800 - $120,194
(Median)
$40K
$61K
$120K
MEDIAN: $61,232
10%
50%
90%

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$15.08 - $46.45
(Median)
$15
$24
$46
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$39,800 - $120,194  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,637  
Profit Sharing
$492.56 - $29,138  
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).
)
$39,655 - $130,545  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,573
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.08 - $46.45  
   
Overtime
$19.90 - $44.04  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,637  
   
Profit Sharing
$492.56 - $29,138  
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).
)
$39,655 - $130,545  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 208
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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.

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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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There are some Geologists — though it's uncommon — that transition into Petroleum Geologists, where earnings are an average $102K annually. It is quite typical for Geologists to transition into roles as Senior Geologists or Environmental Project Managers, where reported median earnings are $23K and $3K higher per year.

Geologist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Geologist


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Geologists include URS Corporation Inc., Arcadis, Inc., Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc., Chevron Corporation, and Aecom Corporation. Although Chevron Corporation heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $138K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $82K to $231K. Other big spenders include Weatherford International, Inc, CH2M Hill, and Kleinfelder Incorporated, top-paying firms where Geologists see paychecks nearing $87K, $64K, or $57K.

With a reported median salary of only $49K, Arcadis, Inc. easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are 181 percent less than the top paying company. Workers at Aecom Technology Group, Inc., Aecom Corporation, and URS Corporation Inc. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $50K, $52K, and $53K respectively.

Popular Skills for Geologist


Survey results imply that Geologists deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation, Environmental Compliance, and Data Analysis are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 63 percent, 49 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Consulting, and Microsoft Office. Most people skilled in Microsoft Excel are similarly competent 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 who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $51K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $64K. Geologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $76K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $99K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $61,404

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Oklahoma City is home to an above-average pay rate for Geologists, 82 percent higher than the national average. Geologists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+79 percent), Midland (+79 percent), Dallas (+74 percent), and Denver (+18 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Geologists is geography, with workers in Nashville earning a whopping 25 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Philadelphia (20 percent lower) and Atlanta (17 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Geologist Salaries




National Average
$61,000


Skills That Affect Geologist Salaries

Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation
up arrow 63%

Environmental Compliance
up arrow 49%

Data Analysis
up arrow 17%


National Average
$61,000

Data Modeling
up arrow 1%








Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 283 votes.

Gender

Female
27 %
Male
73 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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