Earth Science Technicians

ANZSCO ID 311412

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
1,600
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
86%
Female Share
19%
Average age
36

Summary

Earth Science Technicians collect and test earth and water samples, record observations and analyse data in support of Geologists or Geophysicists.

Also known as: Earth Science Technical Officer.

Specialisations: Earth Science Laboratory Technician, Geochemical Laboratory Technician, Geological Technical Officer, Geoscience Laboratory Technician, Hydrographical Technical Officer, Hydrological Technical Officer, Meteorological Observer, Seismology Technical Officer, Soil Science Technical Officer, Water Resources Technical Officer.

Extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related field (like environmental science, environmental technology or laboratory technology) is needed to work as an Earth Science Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Tasks

  • Prepares materials for experimentation, including freezing and slicing specimens and mixing chemicals.

  • Collects information and samples.

  • Conducts field and laboratory experiments, tests and analyses.

  • Presents results in graphic or written form by preparing maps charts, sketches, diagrams and reports.

  • Performs routine mathematical calculations and computations of measurement.

  • Controls the quality and quantity of laboratory supplies by testing samples and monitoring usage.

  • Checks, calibrates and maintains test equipment.

  • Participates in fabricating, installing and modifying equipment to ensure that critical standards are met.

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
Physical Demand
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Science Technicians, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 86% of people employed as Earth Science Technicians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 20 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 51 hours per week in their main job. This is 7 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
47.5%
2
Mining
30.7%
3
Construction
5.5%
4
Public Administration and Safety
4.9%
5
Other industries
8.6%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

28.6% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

10.9% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

18.8% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.9% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

28.9% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.5% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Earth Science Technicians All Jobs Average
NSW 28.6 31.6
VIC 10.9 25.6
QLD 18.8 20.0
SA 6.9 7.0
WA 28.9 10.8
TAS 2.6 2.0
NT 1.5 1.0
ACT 1.5 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
36
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
19%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Earth Science Technicians is 36 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 19% of the workforce. This is 29 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Earth Science Technicians All Jobs Average
15-19 2.0 5.0
20-24 11.2 9.3
25-34 31.7 22.9
35-44 24.5 22.0
45-54 16.7 21.6
55-59 7.0 9.0
60-64 4.9 6.0
65 and Over 2.1 4.2
Median Age 36 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Extensive experience or a formal qualification in a related field (like environmental science, environmental technology or laboratory technology) is needed to work as an Earth Science Technician. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Laboratory Operations, Food Processing and Australian Meat Processing VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Earth Science Technicians All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 7.0 10.1
Bachelor degree 23.2 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 14.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 25.2 21.1
Year 12 19.5 18.1
Year 11 3.8 4.8
Year 10 and below 7.2 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Science Technicians who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 57%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 54%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 52%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 50%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 46%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 46%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 45%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 45%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 45%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 43%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 43%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 41%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 41%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 41%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 39%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 64%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 61%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 59%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 59%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 55%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 53%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 52%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 50%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 40%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 37%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 36%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 33%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 33%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 33%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 30%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 29%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 27%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 27%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 22%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 16%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 61%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 59%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 57%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 55%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 55%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 54%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 54%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 52%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 52%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 50%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 46%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 45%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 43%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 43%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 41%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 41%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 71%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 63%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 63%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 62%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 62%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 61%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 60%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 60%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 59%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 59%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 58%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 55%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 54%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 54%

    Working with electronic equipment

    Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.

  • 52%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 50%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 48%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 47%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 43%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 39%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 86%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 81%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 52%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 76%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 67%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 67%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 62%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 57%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 57%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 95%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 95%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 91%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 84%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 83%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 80%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 78%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 77%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 75%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 75%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 71%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 66%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 66%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 66%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 65%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 64%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 63%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 63%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 62%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 60%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-4041.02 - Geological Sample Test Technicians.


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