Geologists in the United States can expect wages of $59K annually on average. Total incomes of Geologists incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $21K from bonuses and close to $15K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $40K and $115K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length and the particular employer. The majority of Geologists claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Making up 72 percent of those who took the survey, male Geologists greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$39,514 - $107,216
(Median)
$40K
$59K
$110K
MEDIAN: $58,692
10%
50%
90%

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$16.10 - $44.49
(Median)
$16
$25
$44
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
$39,514 - $107,216  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,618  
Profit Sharing
$9.70 - $14,950  
Commission
$6,000  
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).
)
$39,632 - $115,475  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,008
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
$16.10 - $44.49  
   
Overtime
$19.12 - $40.07  
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 - $20,618  
   
Commission
$6,000  
Profit Sharing
$9.70 - $14,950  
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).
)
$39,632 - $115,475  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 154
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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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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

National Average: $58,913

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

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Experience Affects Geologist Salaries




National Average
$59,000


Skills That Affect Geologist Salaries

Oil and Gas Formation Evaluation
up arrow 70%

Environmental Compliance
up arrow 55%

Borehole Formation Evaluation (FE)
up arrow 48%


Data Modeling
up arrow 2%

National Average
$59,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%







Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 137 votes.

Gender

Female
28 %
Male
72 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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