Working as a Data Technician

What Does a Data Technician Do

Geological and petroleum technicians provide support to scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and natural gas.

Duties

Geological and petroleum technicians typically do the following:

  • Install and maintain laboratory and field equipment
  • Gather samples such as rock, mud, and soil in the field and prepare samples for laboratory analysis
  • Conduct scientific tests on samples to determine their content and characteristics
  • Record data from tests and compile information from reports, computer databases, and other sources
  • Prepare reports and maps that can be used to define geological characteristics of areas that may have valuable resources
  • Monitor well exploration activities and record data such as well temperatures and pressures
  • Document their investigations and compare actual productivity with their estimates

Geological and petroleum technicians tend to specialize in either fieldwork and laboratory work, or working in offices where they analyze data. However, many technicians have duties that overlap into multiple areas.

In the field, geological and petroleum technicians use sophisticated equipment such as seismic instruments to gather geological data. They also use tools to collect rock samples and other materials for scientific analysis. In laboratories, these technicians analyze the samples for evidence of hydrocarbons, useful metals, or precious gemstones.

Geological and petroleum technicians use computers to analyze data from samples collected in the field and from previous research. They use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to map geological data; the software creates a visual representation and makes the data easier to understand. The results of their analysis may explain a new site’s potential for further exploration and development or may focus on monitoring the current and future productivity of an existing site.

Geological and petroleum technicians work on geological prospecting and surveying teams under the supervision of scientists and engineers, who evaluate the work for accuracy and make final decisions about current and potential production sites. Geologic and petroleum technicians might work with scientists and technicians in other fields as well. For example, geological and petroleum technicians might work with environmental scientists and technicians to monitor the environmental impact of drilling and other activities.

How To Become a Data Technician

Geological and petroleum technicians typically need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary training in applied science or science-related technology. Some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree. Geological and petroleum technicians also receive on-the-job training.

Education

Although some entry-level positions require only a high school diploma, most employers prefer applicants who have at least an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary training in applied science or a science-related technology. Geological and petroleum technician jobs that are data intensive or otherwise highly technical may require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Many community colleges and technical institutes offer programs in the geosciences, petroleum, mining, or a related technology, such as geographic information systems (GIS). Community colleges offer associate’s degree programs designed to provide an easy transition to bachelor’s degree programs at colleges and universities; such programs can be useful for future career advancement.

Regardless of the program, most students take classes in geology, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and physics. Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs that help students gain experience while attending school.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Geological and petroleum technicians examine data, using a variety of complex techniques, including laboratory experimentation and computer modeling.

Communication skills. Geological and petroleum technicians explain their methods and findings through oral and written reports to scientists, engineers, managers, and other technicians.

Critical-thinking skills. Geological and petroleum technicians must use their best judgment when interpreting scientific data and determining what is relevant to their work.

Interpersonal skills. Geological and petroleum technicians need to be able to work well with others and as part of a team.

Physical stamina. To do fieldwork, geological and petroleum technicians need to be in good physical shape in order to hike to remote locations while carrying testing and sampling equipment.

Training

Most geological and petroleum technicians receive on-the-job training under the supervision of technicians who have more experience. During training, new technicians gain hands-on experience using field and laboratory equipment, as well as computer programs such as modeling and mapping software. The length of training can vary with the technician’s previous experience and education and with the specifics of the job.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary$46,748
Job Growth Rate7%

Data Technician Jobs

Data Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Data Technician
Cashier9.3 %
Show More
Top Careers After Data Technician
Cashier6.7 %
Show More

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Data Technician

Data Technicians in America make an average salary of $46,748 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$46,748

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Data Tech Electricians
Data Tech Electricians
CCS Construction Staffing
CCS Construction Staffing
07/23/2020
07/23/2020
$45,91407/23/2020
$45,914
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, Inc.
06/24/2020
06/24/2020
$31,93106/24/2020
$31,931
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, Inc.
06/24/2020
06/24/2020
$31,93106/24/2020
$31,931
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, Inc.
06/24/2020
06/24/2020
$31,93106/24/2020
$31,931
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
SCA Data Technician-Ps35724
Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, Inc.
06/24/2020
06/24/2020
$31,93106/24/2020
$31,931
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Data Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

58.1 %

Female

38.3 %

Unknown

3.6 %
Ethnicity

White

61.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.7 %

Black or African American

12.4 %
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.9 %

Carrier

9.4 %

French

5.6 %
Show More

Data Technician Education

Schools

Strayer University

10.3 %

Midlands Technical College

9.7 %

University of Washington

7.2 %

University of Texas at Austin

5.6 %
Show More
Majors

Business

20.5 %

Computer Science

10.5 %

Information Technology

6.7 %

Computer Networking

6.1 %
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

36.6 %

Associate

22.6 %

High School Diploma

18.5 %

Certificate

10.4 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Data Technician

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Data Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.2% of data technicians listed data entry on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Data Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a data technician. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Data technicians make the most in Maine with an average salary of $60,375. Whereas in Pennsylvania and New York, they would average $56,406 and $55,816, respectively. While data technicians would only make an average of $55,175 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Data Technician Jobs:
121
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
1.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Data Technician Jobs:
257
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Data Technician Jobs:
70
Highest 10% Earn:
$89,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Data Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a data technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless data technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Data Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless data technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Data Technician Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Data Technician? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Data Technician?
Rate how you like work as Data Technician. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Data Technician Employers

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$51,540
Data Technicians Hired: 
58+
2. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$57,444
Data Technicians Hired: 
54+
3. CenturyLink
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$57,182
Data Technicians Hired: 
43+
4. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$29,557
Data Technicians Hired: 
43+
5. Cox Enterprises
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$43,654
Data Technicians Hired: 
38+
6. Spectrum
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$46,297
Data Technicians Hired: 
33+

Data Technician Videos

Recently Added Data Technician Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020