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Exploration Geologist Careers

Exploration geologists are responsible for finding minable occurrences of metallic ores, gems, pigments, industrial minerals, construction materials, or other minable commodities. They investigate the structure and evolution of the earth and its natural resources, plan programmes for the exploration of sites for oil, gas, water, minerals, etc. They also survey and map geologically promising sites while analyzing geological data using specialist computer applications.

Exploration geologists earn an average salary of $106,000 annually or $51 per hour. They are highly analytical professionals who balance direct fieldwork and site visits with computer-aided analysis and data modelling. They identify and test sites and ensure that minerals can be extracted without causing surface-level damage. They also perform extensive testing of soil and rock samples collected from the site while using geological records and existing data to support their findings and hypotheses.

Exploration geologists typically hold a bachelor's degree in geology or a related field. They are expected to have significant experience with geology fieldwork that may be related to identifying underground mineral deposits.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an exploration geologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.72 an hour? That's $97,186 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 1,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Exploration Geologist Do

There are certain skills that many exploration geologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, physical stamina and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an exploration geologist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.9% of exploration geologists included arcgis, while 8.8% of resumes included geochemical, and 7.0% of resumes included drill holes. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the exploration geologist job title. But what industry to start with? Most exploration geologists actually find jobs in the energy and manufacturing industries.

How To Become an Exploration Geologist

If you're interested in becoming an exploration geologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 73.5% of exploration geologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.9% of exploration geologists have master's degrees. Even though most exploration geologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an exploration geologist. When we researched the most common majors for an exploration geologist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on exploration geologist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an exploration geologist. In fact, many exploration geologist jobs require experience in a role such as geologist. Meanwhile, many exploration geologists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or project geologist.

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Average Salary
$97,186
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
244
Job Openings

Exploration Geologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Exploration Geologist

Geologist
34.9 %

Top Careers After Exploration Geologist

Geologist
24.6 %

Exploration Geologist Jobs You Might Like

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 an Exploration Geologist

Exploration Geologists in America make an average salary of $97,186 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $160,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $58,000 per year.
Average Salary
$97,186
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Houston, TX
Salary Range82k - 154k$113k$112,964
Victor, CO
Salary Range65k - 115k$87k$87,464
Reno, NV
Salary Range64k - 113k$86k$85,524
Centennial, CO
Salary Range64k - 112k$85k$85,338
$64k
$154k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Principal Geologist Exploration
Principal Geologist Exploration
Newcrest Resources, Inc.
Newcrest Resources, Inc.
06/18/2019
06/18/2019
$180,00006/18/2019
$180,000
Exploration Geologist
Exploration Geologist
Shell Exploration and Production Company
Shell Exploration and Production Company
03/12/2019
03/12/2019
$135,00003/12/2019
$135,000
Exploration Geologist
Exploration Geologist
Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company
08/25/2016
08/25/2016
$101,00008/25/2016
$101,000
Exploration Geologist
Exploration Geologist
Shell Exploration and Production Company
Shell Exploration and Production Company
05/25/2016
05/25/2016
$150,80005/25/2016
$150,800
Exploration Geologist
Exploration Geologist
Conocophillips Company
Conocophillips Company
12/16/2015
12/16/2015
$150,09212/16/2015
$150,092
See More Recent Salaries

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Exploration Geologist Demographics

Gender

male

78.4 %

female

18.0 %

unknown

3.6 %

Ethnicity

White

84.9 %

Asian

6.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.3 %

French

15.9 %

Dakota

6.8 %
See More Demographics

Exploration Geologist Education

Majors

Geology
85.3 %
Biology
1.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

73.5 %

Masters

18.9 %

Certificate

2.4 %

Top Colleges for Exploration Geologists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

6. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

7. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

8. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

9. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,887
Enrollment
23,202

10. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,260
Enrollment
25,799
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Exploration Geologist That You May Like

Core Spatial Data Analysis: Introductory GIS with R and QGIS
udemy
4.3
(1,515)

Become Proficient In Spatial Data Analysis Using R & QGIS By Working On A Real Project - Get A Job In Spatial Data!...

Prepare Data for Exploration
coursera

This is the third course in the Google Data Analytics Certificate. These courses will equip you with the skills needed to apply to introductory-level data analyst jobs. As you continue to build on your understanding of the topics from the first two courses, you'll also be introduced to new topics that will help you gain practical data analytics skills. You'll learn how to use tools like spreadsheets and SQL to extract and make use of the right data for your objectives and how to organize and pro...

Exploring and Preparing your Data with BigQuery
coursera

Welcome to the Coursera specialization, From Data to Insights with Google Cloud Platform brought to you by the Google Cloud team. I'm Evan Jones (a data enthusiast) and I'm going to be your guide. This first course in this specialization is Exploring and Preparing your Data with BigQuery. Here we will see what the common challenges faced by data analysts are and how to solve them with the big data tools on Google Cloud Platform. You'll pick up some SQL along the way and become very familiar with...

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Exploration Geologist

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, 8.9% of exploration geologists listed arcgis on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and physical stamina are important as well.

Best States For an Exploration Geologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an exploration geologist. The best states for people in this position are Louisiana, Texas, Maine, and Oklahoma. Exploration geologists make the most in Louisiana with an average salary of $118,741. Whereas in Texas and Maine, they would average $109,911 and $103,870, respectively. While exploration geologists would only make an average of $97,929 in Oklahoma, 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. Louisiana

Total Exploration Geologist Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$200,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
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. West Virginia

Total Exploration Geologist Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$156,000
Location Quotient:
3.26
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. Alaska

Total Exploration Geologist Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
4.46
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
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Top Exploration Geologist Employers

1. Exxon Mobil
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$120,673
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
43+
2. ConocoPhillips
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$118,497
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
15+
3. Chevron
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$123,416
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
13+
4. Shell Energy North America
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$116,901
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
11+
5. Marathon Oil
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$117,256
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
7+
6. Newmont
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$95,145
Exploration Geologists Hired: 
6+
Updated October 2, 2020