Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth, locate and advise on the extraction of minerals, petroleum and ground water, and detect, monitor and forecast seismic, magnetic, electrical, thermal and oceanographic activity. Geographers are not included here, they are included in Social Professionals.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

Tasks

  • conducting preliminary surveys of mineral, petroleum and natural gas deposits with prospectors, Mining Engineers, Metallurgists, and other mineral scientists and engineers
  • preparing and supervising the production of laboratory reports and scientific papers
  • conducting studies of the structure, nature and formation of the earth's crust and the minerals contained in it
  • studying and dating fossils and rock strata to develop knowledge of the evolution and biology of life forms, and to assess their commercial applications
  • studying the effects of natural events, such as erosion, sedimentation, earthquakes and volcanic activity, on the formation of the earth's surface and sea beds
  • carrying out exploration to determine the resources present by sampling, examining and analysing geological specimens, rock cores, cuttings and samples using optical, chemical, electronic and mechanical techniques
  • conducting surveys of variations in the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields to determine its physical features
  • investigating the propagation of seismic waves to determine the structure and stability of the earth's mantle and crust
  • studying the causes of earthquakes and other stress states of the earth's crust
  • performing laboratory and field studies, and aerial, ground and drill hole surveys

Job Titles

  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Geologist

    Studies the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth to increase scientific knowledge and to develop practical applications in fields such as mineral exploitation, civil engineering, environmental protection and rehabilitation of land after mining.

    Specialisations: Marine Geologist, Palaeontologist

  • Geophysicist

    Studies the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth, locates minerals, petroleum or ground water, and detects, monitors and forecasts seismic, magnetic, electrical, geothermal and oceanographic activity.

    Specialisations: Oceanographer, Seismologist

  • Hydrogeologist

    Monitors, measures, analyses and describes the earth's surface and groundwater resources and many aspects of the water cycle, including human use of water resources.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,133 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    7500
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    75.8%
  • Female Share

    24.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    88.2%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 7500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia has a large share of Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists.
  • They mainly work in: Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 43.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,133 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20058200
20069400
20079100
20089400
20097400
20108200
201111100
201211100
201312000
201411400
20157500
20207100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsGeologists, Geophysicists and HydrogeologistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings21331230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeologists, Geophysicists and HydrogeologistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time88.268.4
Part-time11.831.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)43.540

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Mining57.5
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services28.8
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services6.8
Public Administration and Safety3.6
Other Industries3.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateGeologists, Geophysicists and HydrogeologistsAll Jobs Average
NSW12.531.8
VIC2.325.5
QLD22.419.8
SA4.76.8
WA54.711.2
TAS1.32
NT0.61.1
ACT1.51.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketGeologists, Geophysicists and HydrogeologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-243.8-9.99.9
25-3420.7-23.423.4
35-4426.8-21.721.7
45-5419.9-21.121.1
55-5915.7-8.78.7
60-649.4-5.95.9
65 and Over3.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeologists, Geophysicists and HydrogeologistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males75.8Males53.6
Females24.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Mathematics

    85% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  2. English Language

    83% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Physics

    80% Important

    Physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

  4. Geography

    78% Important

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  5. Chemistry

    78% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Analyzing Data or Information

    97% Important

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  2. Getting Information

    94% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Interacting With Computers

    90% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  4. Documenting/Recording Information

    88% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  5. Processing Information

    87% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

Occupational Information Network Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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