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

  • $2,133 Weekly Pay
  • 12,100 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 86.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43.2 hours Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 27.1% female Gender Share

The number of Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 12,100 in 2018 to 14,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,800 a year).

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (86.6%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 27.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200810300
20097500
20108200
20118400
201211700
201313100
20149900
20159800
20169400
201710300
201812100
202314800

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Mining51.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services37.0
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.5
Manufacturing2.3
Other Industries4.1

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 2017, 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
NSW18.831.6
VIC5.526.2
QLD12.219.7
SA5.06.7
WA51.910.8
TAS1.22.0
NT1.11.1
ACT4.31.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-246.8-9.99.9
25-3431.9-23.623.6
35-4423.4-21.721.7
45-5414.0-20.820.8
55-5910.7-8.88.8
60-647.9-6.06.0
65 and Over5.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Resources and Infrastructure Industry and Sustainability VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2042.00 - Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2042.00 - Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers.

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