Petroleum Geologist Salary

Average pay for a Petroleum Geologist in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $110K per year. Final cash compensation to Petroleum Geologists varies from around $60K to approximately $210K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $52K and $30K, respectively. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by years of experience and the particular employer. The majority of Petroleum Geologists claim high levels of job satisfaction. Petroleum Geologists who took the survey are largely men, dominating at 87 percent. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$59,608 - $197,229
$60K
$110K
$200K
MEDIAN: $109,907
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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$59,608 - $197,229  
   
Bonus
$4,917 - $51,521  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $30,201  
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).
)
$59,585 - $209,678  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 127

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Petroleum Geologist

Petroleum geologists are geoscientists who are typically employed by oil and gas companies, and their work revolves around determining geographical points at/in which to search for natural resources; in the specific field of petroleum geology, the focuses are discovery and production of oil. They generally surmise where to drill for oil by obtaining an idea of the areas beneath the surface, formulating a three-dimensional image measured against time, and preparing subsurface maps and diagrams of stratigraphic data which depict possible oil deposits. They obtain these ideas by studying various elements in the Earth's surface, including the presence of certain rocks and structural features. Although this information is studied using a variety of geophysical methods, the general location is determined using aerial photographs before these processes begin.

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Petroleum Geologist Tasks

  • Provide technical input and guidance for exploring, appraising, and developing potential sites.
  • Integrate many types of data and computations to create simulations, models, and hazard analysis.
  • Scope and frame projects, including assigning roles and tasks.
  • Model and create requirements for reservoirs and their use.

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Pay by Experience Level for Petroleum Geologist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Inexperienced workers earn around $98K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years pull down a much higher average of $124K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $179K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $180K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $117,359

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

Surpassing the national average by 32 percent, Petroleum Geologists in Midland receive some of the highest pay in the country. Petroleum Geologists will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+21 percent). Petroleum Geologists in San Antonio report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 53 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Pittsburgh (32 percent less) and Dallas (15 percent less).

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Key Stats for Petroleum Geologist

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 11 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
16%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Petroleum Geologist Salaries

Late-Career
▲53%

Experienced
▲52%

Mid-Career
▲6%

National Average
$117,000

▼16%

Skills That Affect Petroleum Geologist Salaries

Petra
▲19%

Microsoft Excel
▲11%

Borehole Formation Evaluation (FE)
▲7%


National Average
$117,000

GeoPack
▼57%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 11 votes.

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
vision benefits
Vision: 72%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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