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.
- 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.
- Communicate with diverse groups like landmen, marketers, regulatory personnel, etc.
- Generate data and visualizations such as mineral charts, soil analyses, groundwater modeling, maps, etc.
Common Career Paths for Geologist
Geologists sometimes assume positions such as Petroleum Geologists. That role pays $103K per year on average. The most common next step for a Geologist is to become a Senior Geologist or an Environmental Project Manager. The former position pays an additional $26K per year on average, and the latter position pays $5K more per year.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Geologist
Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Geologists include Arcadis, Inc., URS Corporation Inc., Aecom Corporation, Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc., and CH2M Hill. The biggest paychecks can be found at Weatherford International, Inc — the median salary there is $87K. Geologists will also find cushy salaries at Chevron Corporation (+$85K), Resolution Copper (+$71K), and Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc. (+$69K).
A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Aecom Technology Group, Inc. ($50K), Arcadis, Inc. ($50K), and URS Corporation Inc. ($53K).
Popular Skills for Geologist
Survey results imply that Geologists deploy 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 71 percent, 56 percent, and 49 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Geographic Information Systems, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Word. Most people who know Microsoft Excel also know 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.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Geologists. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $51K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $64K. Geologists see a median salary of $75K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $92K.
Pay Difference by Location
Midland is home to an above-average pay rate for Geologists, 87 percent higher than the national average. Geologists will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+76 percent), Oklahoma City (+67 percent), San Francisco (+26 percent), and Tucson (+19 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Atlanta, 19 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Pittsburgh (13 percent lower) and Chicago (12 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Geologist
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