Geological Specialist

Geological specialists find jobs within government agencies, petroleum companies, environmental organizations, private research firms and universities. They work in the field, in laboratories and in university classrooms.

A geological specialist laboratory or field position typically requires a master’s degree or higher. The following degrees apply to studies to become a geological specialist:

  • Bachelor’s degree in geology, geoscience or another related science field is adequate for a limited number of entry-level positions
  • Master’s degree in geology, geoscience or another related science field is required for most research-level positions
  • Doctorate degree is required for advanced research projects and teaching on a university level

Some states require passing an examination and proper licensure to become a geological specialist.

Geological Specialist Job Description

Geological specialists research, prepare and conduct geological, geochemical and geophysical field studies and surveys. They utilize drilling and testing programs to collect data for research or application. Geological specialists may locate and estimate the possibility of natural gas and mineral ore deposits, as well as underground water resources. They have to read geological maps, cross-sectional diagrams and reports concerning mineral extraction and resource management.

Geological specialists may be required to understand and utilize specific technology, including computer software, to perform and evaluate field tests. They’re expected to successfully interact with other scientists and professionals in the field as well as research and write scientific reports.

A geological specialist should expect to perform any of the following tasks:

  • Conduct field studies and surveys
  • Explore for natural gas, minerals or underwater sources
  • Study data and prepare scientific reports
  • Layout geological maps
  • Monitor mining structures and procedures
  • Perform and document laboratory experiments
  • Use seismographs and magnetometers to measure characteristics of the earth

Geological specialists need strong comprehension skills to understand research material. They’re required to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with other professionals. Geological specialists are expected to analyze problems and develop viable solutions.

Geological Specialist Salary

Geological specialists are likely to see an 18% increase in employment over the next decade, which is higher than average. Certain states, such as Montana, expect an even greater increase in need for geological specialists. The average annual income for a geophysicist is around $79,000, per Federal government statistics from 2008. Annual wages range from around $42,000 to over $155,000.

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