Geoscientist Job Overview

Geoscientists’ work involves studying and assessing the Earth’s composition and structure. By using and gaining information about the Earth’s past, geoscientists are able to search for resources like underwater wells, metals, minerals and petroleum.

Geoscientists Assist in Finding the Best Spot to Drill for Oil

There are many types of geoscientists including geophysicists, geochemists, sedimentologists and petroleum geologists, who asses the Earth to search for petroleum. Once petroleum has been found, it is the petroleum geoscientists’ job to report the findings by mapping the area, whether the area is the bottom of the ocean or a newly found deposit in the desert. Petroleum geoscientists must be able to intergrate new and existing technology in their geologic and seismic processing as well as assist in the planning and development of oil wells’ location and trajectory. We recommend that you also read about geoarchaeologist jobs in another section of JobMonkey – these positions are somewhat related.


To succeed in this position, it is important to have a solid background in geography, math, physics, chemistry, and computers. It is also imperative that petroleum geoscientists possess excellent communication skills in order to properly prepare reports and analyses. Geoscientists must be also have critical thinking, listening, learning and time management skills.


Substantial skill, knowledge and experience are an absolute must to be a geoscientist. To be considered for the job, a bachelor’s geoscience degree and some industry experience may boost your resume, but more and more candidates have their masters and Ph.D.s.

Work Environment

The nature of geoscientists’ work takes them directly to the site, where their job entails finding and examining rock, studying information obtained by remote sensing instruments, conducting geological surveys and making field maps. These findings do eventually lead to an office, where the information must be processed, but geoscientists have a healthy balance between office work and on-site work.

Geoscientist Pay

Geoscientists earn at least $23.00 per hour according to the occupational information network, which translates to about $48,000 annually. That’s the lowest 10% of earners! There are approximately 35,000 geoscientists and the career is expected to have over 20% growth over the next decade. This will help supply the projected need of 15,000 employees over that same period.

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