Geophysics Degree

A geophysicist studies the properties of the earth and other planets. They combine physics, chemistry and mathematics to study the external and internal structure of the earth, its atmosphere, the oceans and other bodies of water, as well as magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces.

Geophysicists find employment with government agencies, petroleum companies, other industry private research firms and universities. They perform field work, conduct experiments in laboratories, evaluate data and teach college level science courses.

Geophysics Degrees

A professional geophysicist needs a minimum of a master’s degree to do laboratory and/or field work. The degree process of a geophysicist is often as follows:

  • Bachelor’s degree in geology, physics or another related science field
  • Master’s degree in geology, physics or another related science field
  • Doctorate degree for advanced research projects and teaching on a university level

Some states require passing an examination and proper licensure for geophysicists.

Geophysicist Job Description

Geophysicists may work in the field collecting samples, calibrating equipment and analyzing data. They prepare scientific reports to share their acquired knowledge with other scientists and professionals. A geophysicist also works in the laboratory performing experiments and analyzing samples from field expeditions.

Geophysics is an expansive field offering a broad range of fascinating professional opportunities and scientific studies including: surveying land for natural resources, the environmental impact of acquiring resources, studying other planets for possible habitation, monitoring weather patterns and the behavior of volcanoes and earthquakes.

A geologist could perform any of the following tasks:

  • Perform field work collecting samples, regulating equipment and analyzing results
  • Research data and prepare scientific reports
  • Survey for natural resources
  • Monitor weather patterns
  • Perform and document laboratory experiments
  • Explore alternative energy options

Geophysicist Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, geoscientists, such as geophysicists, can anticipate an 18% increase in employment over the next decade, which is higher than average. Many geophysicists teach in addition to their research and field work. This supplementary income isn’t included in the income averages.

The average annual income for a geophysicist is around $79,000, per Federal government statistics from 2008. Overall, wages range from around $42,000 to over $155,000. Petroleum and alternative fuel companies offer some of the highest salaries for geophysicists.

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