What is the Job Description of a Geologist?

This job description is worth reading from the beginning to the end if you want to know the duties and responsibilities of a geologist and also the essential skills a geologist should have.

Geologists are scientists who study the earth, it’s resources and behaviors.

Some of the duties and responsibilities of a geologist include planning and implementing geology projects, studying the earth’s resources and analysing geological specimens.

Aside from the fact that geologists must complete a bachelor’s degree program, there are certain skills they should also possess.

Usually, those skills are also featured in their job description

Employers look out for applicants who have these skills because they usually make good geologists.

An ideal candidate should be analytical and have good communication and team working skills.

They should also be given details and good knowledge of the earth and its resources.

If you want to know what geologists do, continue reading this job description.

What is the job description duties responsibilities and salary of a geologist

What does a geologist do?

Geologists are scientists who study the earth’s crust, it’s history, resources,  behavior, composition and structure.

These scientists apply knowledge from chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology.

The daily responsibilities of a geologist may vary depending on where they work.

Those who work in tertiary institutions teach undergraduates about the earth, it’s resources and behaviors and also plan and organize geology projects and practicals.

Geologists who work in companies where metal is produced and purified, are in charge  of quality control.

Whereas, those that work in oil production companies like shell are responsible for assessing and evaluating the performance of oil wells.

Also, geologists who explore the earth are responsible for assessing the location of natural mineral deposits.

They also investigate the quality and quantity of specific deposits in a location.

Irrespective of where you work, you will still be responsible for carrying out geological research, evaluating the earth’s resources and preparing reports from your findings.

Your work as a geologist may be office based, but you will also have to do some field work where you collect samples.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a geologist?

Your responsibilities may vary slightly from the duties and responsibilities listed below depending on where you work.

It is important to note that this is one of the most vital parts of your job description.

This is because it Contains what your employer expects of you.

Therefore, I will advise you to take this section very seriously.

So, here are some of the duties and responsibilities you should expect:

1. Analyse the earth’s characteristics

It is the duty of a geologist to analyse and measure the earth’s characteristics such as magnetic field, pressure and gravity.

You will do this using equipment such as a gravimeter, magnetometer and a seismograph.

2.Test mineral deposits

During field trips, geologists take samples of mineral resources such as rocks, soils and 

As such, it is their duty to test these minerals and investigate their characteristics and possible uses.

Such investigations are done using precision instruments, x-rays, heat, opticals  and so many other conditions.

3. Plan and implement geological field trips and projects.

This duty is common in the job description of geologists who are researchers and teachers.

They plan and implement geological field trips where samples are collected.

Sample collection usually requires drilling because most minerals are below the earth’s crust.

4. Investigation the earth’s history and composition

Most of the things we know today concerning the earth, it’s composition, history and structure are from the research of geologists.

They collect samples and examine them, from their findings, they identify and  classify minerals resounding, rocks fossils and soils.

5. Develop geological maps

After thorough research and evaluation, geologists also prepare maps, charts and diagrams.

These parts are used in schools to educate students.

Also, geological maps, diagrams and reports may also serve as a base for further research.

Other duties and responsibilities of a geologist include:

  • Interpreting geological information.
  • Identity locations where mineral resources are deposited.
  • Investigating the quality and quantity of mineral resources in a location.
  • Advice construction engineers on the best construction materials and location.
  • Detect the risk of natural disasters and the possible damage.
  • Investigating mining risks.
  • Ensuring that safety rules and regulations are adhered to when performing geological investigations.

What qualifications do I need to become a geologist?

The minimum academic requirement for becoming a geologist is a bachelor’s degree in geology.

Those who work in schools may be required to have a bachelor’s degree in geology or geography and a teaching certificate.

Some employers prefer hiring those who have a master’s degree in specialized areas in geology such as geoscience, geophysics or hydrogeology.

The job requires a lot of accuracy, therefore employers prefer employing qualified and experienced individuals.

Geologists who teach in tertiary institutions need to have a master’s or doctorate degree depending on the country.

Candidates who have all necessary qualifications and some years of experience may go ahead to obtain a licence.

Licensing requirements may differ from state to state or country to country.

Obtaining a licence from the appropriate body can make you eligible for holding senior positions.

What skills does a geologist need to have?

Aside from having the right academic requirements and qualifications, there are essential skills employers also look out for in applicants.

This is because they enable candidates to perform their duties and responsibilities better.

In the job description of a geologist, these skills are also featured.

Here are some of the Essential skills a good geologist should have:

1. Communication skills

Performing your responsibilities as a geologist requires possessing strong communication skills.

A good geologist should be able to communicate geological findings verbally while teaching or in writing when preparing a report.

2. Team working skills

Successful geologists do not work alone, rather, they work as a team with other geologists and scientists.

Therefore an ideal geologist should have good teamworking skills.

Communication and Interpersonal skills usually rub off on team working skills.

3. Organisational skills

Like I already said, the work of a geologist requires a lot of accuracy.

Therefore, it is important that you are organised when performing your duties.

You should also develop the ability to give attention to details.

4. IT skills

Some geologists even develop geological softwares, used for analysing and evaluating geologic data.

Whether you can develop a geological software or not, you should be able to use them.

Successful geologists are computer literates.

5. Interpersonal skills.

Good geologists should be able to develop good working relationships with their colleagues.

Those who teach should not only develop good working relationships with colleagues alone, but students as well.

Where do geologists work?

Here are some of the typical employers of geologists:

  • Schools
  • Mining Industries
  • Oil companies
  • Construction companies
  • Government organisations

 A geologist may also be self employed by stating their own consultant firm.

This is a very competitive career path, their academic advancement and obtaining more experience is advantageous.

Vacancies are usually advertised online, on the websites of companies or recruitment agencies and on different social media platforms as well.

Also, vacancies may be advertised offline on different radio and television stations, as well as national and local newspaper publications.

How much do geologists make?

Geologists who work in the United States earn an average of $68,570 per year according to careers.state universities.com.

This figure may vary depending on your geographical location.

Factors that may influence the salary of a geologist include:

  • Location: Geologists who work in countries or states where the economy is good are likely to earn more.
  • Experience: Those who have more experience are at advantage to be paid better than their less experienced colleagues.
  • Qualification: Less  qualified geologists may not be paid as well as their colleagues who have more academic qualification.
  • Employers: individuals who work for big companies, such as companies that deal with oil and gas are usually paid better.
  • Sector: The salary of a geologist who works in a school will certainly be different from the salary of those who work in extraction companies.

Geologist work environment and schedule

These individuals work in offices, they also do a lot of field work, when analysing samples, they work in laboratories.

Staying away from home is also a regular experience of geologists, this is because they may have to travel on field trips periodically.

Typically, a geologist works full time on regular working hours and days.

Working overtime, on weekends and in the evening may also be required.

Geologist job outlook

Job opportunities for geologists are expected to increase.

This increase will be triggered by an increase in environmental laws, and also the need to replace retired geologists.

Conclusion: Geologist job description guide

When creating your professional resume, don’t hesitate to make use of the job description.

During your interview, do not underestimate the importance of making reference to the following information:

  • Years of experience
  • Place of experience
  • Hard skills
  • Qualification
  • Soft skills

Employers are also free to use this guide as a template for creating a job description of a geologist that suits their organisation’s needs.

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