Geologists and Geophysicists

Geologists and Geophysicists study the nature and composition of the physical attributes of the earth. They research the composition and structure of various layers of the earth and provide advice on the mining and extraction of minerals, water, and other substances from the earth. They often also work in weather, seismic, and oceanographic forecasting.

Quick summary

  • Starting salary: $48,500 P/A
  • Senior salary: $105,000 P/A
  • Average salary: $75,000 P/A
  •   * Wages will vary according to your level of skill, experience and employer
  • Employment level: 11,000 as of November 2012 (Projected employment levels in 2017 of 11,200)
  • Average weekly hours: Average weekly hours worked for a full time Geologist and Geophysicist is 45.2 hours
  • Employment by region: The top three regions for employment as a Geologists and Geophysicist include:
    • WA: 49.7%
    • QLD: 18.0%
    • VIC: 12.1%

Employment growth

Total employment growth over the past 5 years for male and female, employed part-time and full-time is 3,400

Gender (including full time and part time)

The percentage of males and females working full time and part time are:

  • Male Full Time: 70.8%
  • Male Part Time: 5.9%
  • Female Full Time: 18.1%
  • Female Part Time: 5.2%

Other relevant information

Duties and tasks

  • Forecasting weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomena
  • Researching aspects of the earths physical surface for publishing in academic journals and research circles
  • Sampling rocks and other physical specimens for information on the constitution and composition of the surface of the earth
  • Studying fossils and other materials to add to the body of knowledge on evolution
  • Surveying specific locations for the presence of minerals, water, and petroleum
  • Teaching college and university courses

Skills required

  • Ability to convey complex information to others
  • Ability to write clearly and succinctly for a scientifically-minded audience
  • Astute reading comprehension skills
  • Extraordinarily high understanding of physical science
  • Use of logic and deductive reasoning

Working conditions

Geologists and Geophysicists often work in academic settings like colleges and universities. Governments also employ geologists and geophysicists to carry out research for commercial purposes. Occasionally, geologists and geophysicists may find themselves in the private commercial sphere, doing research for large companies.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Institute of Geoscientists

The Geological Society of Australia

The Minerals Institute