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Become A Geological Technician

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Working As A Geological Technician

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Geological 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.

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How To Become A Geological 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.

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Do you work as a Geological Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$155,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Weatherford International
Highest Paying City
Waverly, NY
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Geological Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Geological Technician in the United States is $76,128 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $155,000.

Real Geological Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Resolution Energy Services LLC Houston, TX Aug 15, 2014 $95,000
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Thyssen Petroleum Panther Dome LLC Houston, TX Jul 17, 2014 $94,000
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc. Irving, TX Mar 19, 2014 $91,700
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Weatherford International Houston, TX May 14, 2014 $90,563 -
$119,000
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Weatherford International Houston, TX Dec 10, 2013 $89,139
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Geotomo LLC Houston, TX Aug 28, 2014 $78,166
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Occidental Oil and Gas Houston, TX Oct 26, 2010 $71,000
Geologic Technician Roxanna Oil Inc. Houston, TX Sep 03, 2015 $65,000
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Cggveritas Services (Us) Inc. Houston, TX Feb 04, 2014 $65,000 -
$73,200
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Cggveritas Services (Us) Inc. Houston, TX Jun 09, 2014 $64,200 -
$78,000
Geological & Petroleum Technician Cad Images Inc. Austin, TX Apr 15, 2011 $56,000 -
$58,000
Geological Technology Support Sinopec USA, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 13, 2010 $56,000
Geological Technology Support Sinopec USA, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 20, 2010 $56,000
Geological Technician TPS Enterprises, LLC, Greg James Vardilos, Sole Me Bellaire, TX Aug 27, 2014 $53,000

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Top Skills for A Geological Technician

  1. Geological Software
  2. Data Management
  3. Petra
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created geological maps and cross sections utilizing geological software.
  • Provide prospect generation assistance, data compilation, and data management.
  • Experienced in downloading data and importing information into PETRA mapping software for prospect generation.
  • Used GeoGraphix to bring all Oklahoma and Texas well data products up-to-date.
  • Utilized GIS remote sensing methods to identify areas of instability and to spatially record survey locations with attribute information.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Geological Technicians

  1. New Mexico
  2. Alaska
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. North Dakota
  6. Montana
  7. Colorado
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Kentucky
  10. Rhode Island
  • (71 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (117 jobs)
  • (261 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (93 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)

Geological Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

56.1%

Female

36.6%

Unknown

7.4%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.5%

French

15.4%

Russian

15.4%

Czech

7.7%

Dakota

7.7%

Japanese

7.7%

German

7.7%
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Geological Technician Education

Schools

University of Houston

12.6%

University of Tulsa

7.9%

Oklahoma State University

7.1%

University of Oklahoma

7.1%

University of Central Oklahoma

5.5%

University of Utah

5.5%

Midland College

4.7%

Texas State University

4.7%

Humboldt State University

4.7%

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.9%

Colorado School of Mines

3.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.9%

Louisiana Tech University

3.1%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.1%

University of Phoenix

3.1%

Angelo State University

3.1%

Montana Tech of the University of Montana

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%
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Majors

Geology

53.5%

Business

8.4%

Geography

6.4%

Environmental Science

3.5%

Computer Science

2.9%

Biology

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Petroleum Engineering

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%

Geological Engineering

1.7%

Education

1.7%

Marketing

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

Drafting And Design

1.2%

General Studies

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Linguistics

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.1%

Masters

18.9%

Other

18.0%

Associate

6.9%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

0.6%
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