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Geologist Job Description

Ujwal Deshmukh
Geologists are the 'authorized explorers of the earth's crust'. Read here the useful information about this profile.
The earth's crust is a big mystery in itself. Although mankind has been successful in studying the earth's crust, there is yet a lot more to be discovered.
But still, one can say that human has gained considerable knowledge about the earth, and the mysterious and interesting facts about it. The people behind these tireless efforts are geologists.
Who is a geologist anyway? Geologists can be defined as people who study the earth's crust and design perfect information and picture about its history, structure, and composition.
For construction, petroleum, diamond companies, etc., geologists are an encyclopedia, who would provide them detailed insight of everything associated with the earth. That is why they are recruited at large pay packages by all such organizations.

Job Description As Per Type

Although the core duties of a geologist are to study the earth's crust and prepare data of the same, there are some more duties and tasks that a geologist has to perform, depending on the type.

Engineering Geologist

An engineering geologist deals with the technical analysis of the factors related to the earth, and also the determination and assessment of various geological hazards.
He also determines the integrity of various components of the earth, such as rocks, soil, and ground water, before the beginning of a construction project. Another important duty is to study the entire site and provide complete information to the client.
Further, he is also involved in planning field investigations by drilling and analyzing bedrock samples, supervising the investigation work, preparing a detailed document of the study, alerting the client on potential problems related to the site, and also coordinating with the staff for better and effective client service.

Wellsite Geologist

A wellsite geologists is concerned with the study of rock cuttings obtained from gas and oil wells, and to assess the correctness and procedure of drilling of rock formations. He works on the site itself, therefore the main work is to supervise and take relevant decisions pertaining to the drilling procedures.
He also has to coordinate with the petroleum engineers, drilling engineers, and mudloggers, during the entire project. Preparing detailed documentation of the entire project and producing information whenever required, supervising FEMWD, mudlogging activity, and wireline services staff, also forms an important part of his job description.

Petroleum Geologist

The oil and petroleum industry is certainly amongst the biggest industries in the world. Petroleum companies often require (or they permanently hire) petroleum geologists. This professional is also known as a petrologist.
He is involved in the study of the earth's crust and finding out traces of oil, petroleum or natural gas in it. He mainly brings about explosions or explosive sounds in the earth's crust. The sonograms thus obtained from such activities help him find out the traces of oil or petrol in the earth's crust. Petroleum geologists work on sea as well as land sites.


Oceanography is an interesting study of the ocean, and is a branch of geology! An oceanographer is responsible to carry out a detailed study of the oceans and look out for vital discoveries that would benefit their client.
He is trained in the study of soils, atmospheric physics, and paleontology. Till date, it is due to these professionals that many huge historical ships that have sunk at the bottom of the ocean have been discovered.

Salary Range and Educational Requirements

Experience and educational qualifications are the most important deciding factors as far as the salary of a geologist is concerned. Entry-level or least experienced geologists get paid between USD 39,000 and USD 119,000 p.a.
Professionals with an experience of around 5 - 10 years get paid somewhere between USD 48,000 and USD 145,000. Those with 10 - 20 years of experience earn between USD 53,000 and USD 144,000. The most experienced (more than 20 years) in this business, earn anywhere in the range of USD 58,000 between USD 197,000.
With regards to the educational requirements, with a bachelor's degree in geology, the work is confined to field study and lab related work. However, for higher consulting or planning positions, an advanced degree or a doctoral degree is required.