Geophysicists study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth, locate minerals, petroleum or ground water, and detect, monitor and forecast seismic, magnetic, electrical, geothermal and oceanographic activity.

Specialisations: Oceanographer, Seismologist.

A bachelor degree in science majoring in geophysics, geoscience or a combined geology and physics degree is needed to work as a Geophysicist. Many Geophysicists complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Determines the resources present by sampling, examining and analysing geological specimens, rock cores, cuttings and samples using optical, chemical, electronic and mechanical techniques.
  • Surveys variations in the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields to determine its physical features.
  • Investigates the propagation of seismic waves to determine the structure and stability of the earth's mantle and crust.
  • Studies the causes of earthquakes and other stress states of the earth's crust.
  • Performs laboratory and field studies, as well as aerial, ground and drill hole surveys.

More about Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists

All Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists

  • $2,192 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Geophysicists

  • 1,100 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 84% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 42 years Average age
  • 20% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Geophysicists (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 1,400 in 2011 to 1,100 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Many Geophysicists work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (84%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 20% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Geologists and Geophysicists.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Mining37.4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services36.7
Public Administration and Safety12.5
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services3.7
Other Industries9.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateGeophysicistsAll Jobs Average
NSW12.131.6
VIC10.425.6
QLD12.920.0
SA9.97.0
WA43.810.8
TAS4.52.0
NT0.51.0
ACT5.91.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketGeophysicistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-242.1-9.39.3
25-3428.3-22.922.9
35-4426.7-22.022.0
45-5422.5-21.621.6
55-598.5-9.09.0
60-647.4-6.06.0
65 and Over4.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationGeophysicistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate48.3-10.110.1
Bachelor degree45.4-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV1.6-21.121.1
Year 123.0-18.118.1
Year 110.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in science majoring in geophysics, geoscience or a combined geology and physics degree is needed to work as a Geophysicist. Many Geophysicists complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Geography

    82% Skill level

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

  2. Mathematics

    74% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Chemistry

    70% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  4. Physics

    70% Skill level

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  5. English Language

    70% Skill level

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic Mail

    98% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  2. Face-to-Face Discussions

    92% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  3. Telephone

    88% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  4. Freedom to Make Decisions

    88% Important

    How much freedom do you have to make decision on your own?

  5. Structured versus Unstructured Work

    83% Important

    How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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