Geologist Salary

Median pay for Geologists in the United States is around $62K annually. Total cash compensation for Geologists runs from $40K to $133K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $25K and profit sharing that can reach almost $30K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by geography and years of experience. Making up 74 percent of those who took the survey, male Geologists greatly outnumber their female counterparts. For the most part, Geologists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$39,932 - $122,434

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$15.16 - $45.68

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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
$39,932 - $122,434  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,778  
Profit Sharing
$505 - $29,730  
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).
)
$39,700 - $133,247  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,405
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
$15.16 - $45.68  
   
Overtime
$20.16 - $45.42  
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 - $24,778  
   
Profit Sharing
$505 - $29,730  
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).
)
$39,700 - $133,247  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 185
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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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While not commonly seen, Geologists who transition into a Petroleum Geologist position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Petroleum Geologists is $101K per year. 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 $22K per year on average, and the latter position pays $2K more per year.

Geologist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Geologist


URS Corporation Inc., Arcadis, Inc., Chevron Corporation, Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc., and Aecom Corporation are among the top companies that take on many Geologists. Chevron Corporation offers the largest salaries in town ($139K on average), but the considerable range in workers' salaries creates a rather varied pay scale that stretches from $84K to $233K. Geologists will also find cushy salaries at Weatherford International, Inc (+$87K), CH2M Hill (+$67K), and URS Corporation Inc. (+$53K).

With a median salary of only $45K (207 percent less than the top paying company), Arcadis, Inc. lags significantly in the earnings department. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Amec Earth and Environmental, Inc. at $51K, and Aecom Corporation where $52K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Geologists there earn up to $88K.

Popular Skills for Geologist


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set 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 47 percent, 41 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Environmental Consulting, Geographic Information Systems, and Microsoft Office. For most people, competency in Microsoft Excel indicates knowledge of 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. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $52K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $64K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $74K. Professionals who achieve more than 20 years of experience generally enjoy cushy salaries; their median compensation sits in the ballpark of $101K, a plump six-figure sum.

Pay Difference by Location


For Geologists, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 84 percent above the national average. Geologists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+83 percent), Midland (+81 percent), Oklahoma City (+78 percent), and Denver (+19 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Geologists is geography, with workers in Nashville earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers salaries are below the median are Phoenix and Tampa (16 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Geologist Salaries




National Average
$62,000


Skills That Affect Geologist Salaries

Environmental Compliance
up arrow 47%

Data Analysis
up arrow 41%


Data Modeling
up arrow 3%

National Average
$62,000








Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 288 votes.

Gender

Female
26 %
Male
74 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

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