Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists

ANZSCO ID 2344

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
9,700
Future Growth
-8.2%
Weekly Earnings
$2,115
Full-Time Share
83%
Female Share
25%
Average age
40

Summary

Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth, locate and advise on the extraction of minerals, petroleum and ground water, and detect, monitor and forecast seismic, magnetic, electrical, thermal and oceanographic activity. Geographers are not included here, they are included in Social Professionals.

Tasks

  • conducting preliminary surveys of mineral, petroleum and natural gas deposits with prospectors, Mining Engineers, Metallurgists, and other mineral scientists and engineers

  • preparing and supervising the production of laboratory reports and scientific papers

  • conducting studies of the structure, nature and formation of the earth's crust and the minerals contained in it

  • studying and dating fossils and rock strata to develop knowledge of the evolution and biology of life forms, and to assess their commercial applications

  • studying the effects of natural events, such as erosion, sedimentation, earthquakes and volcanic activity, on the formation of the earth's surface and sea beds

  • carrying out exploration to determine the resources present by sampling, examining and analysing geological specimens, rock cores, cuttings and samples using optical, chemical, electronic and mechanical techniques

  • conducting surveys of variations in the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields to determine its physical features

  • investigating the propagation of seismic waves to determine the structure and stability of the earth's mantle and crust

  • studying the causes of earthquakes and other stress states of the earth's crust

  • performing laboratory and field studies, and aerial, ground and drill hole surveys

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
Physical Demand
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to decline
  • is likely to reach 8,400 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
-8.2%
(or -800 jobs)
From
9,200
in 2021
To
8,400
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 11,100
2012 10,200
2013 11,400
2014 13,900
2015 6,300
2016 9,000
2017 14,600
2018 6,300
2019 14,400
2020 8,400
2021 9,200
2026 8,400

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 83% of people employed as Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 17 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 50 hours per week in their main job. This is 6 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,115 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,618
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,727

    Median hourly earnings are $56, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,115 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Mining
63.0%
2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
27.0%
3
Public Administration and Safety
4.0%
4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
3.0%
5
Other industries
3.0%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

12.6% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

10.3% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.0% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

46.7% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.2% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.1% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.6% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists All Jobs Average
NSW 12.6 31.6
VIC 10.3 25.6
QLD 17.0 20.0
SA 7.6 7.0
WA 46.7 10.8
TAS 2.2 2.0
NT 1.1 1.0
ACT 2.6 1.9


  • Around 76% of Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.

    Western Australia has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
40
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
25%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.

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

    Females make up 25% of the workforce. This is 23 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 Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.0 5.0
20-24 3.6 9.3
25-34 31.9 22.9
35-44 26.4 22.0
45-54 20.6 21.6
55-59 7.1 9.0
60-64 5.4 6.0
65 and Over 4.9 4.2
Median Age 40 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

A bachelor degree in a related science field is needed to work as a Geologist, Geophysicist or Hydrogeologist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

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 Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 41.3 10.1
Bachelor degree 55.2 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 1.0 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.4 21.1
Year 12 1.8 18.1
Year 11 0.0 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.3 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 Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 70%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 64%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 61%

    Active listening

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

  • 61%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 61%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 59%

    Complex problem solving

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

  • 59%

    Critical thinking

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

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 54%

    Judgment and decision making

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

  • 52%

    Active learning

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

  • 48%

    Learning strategies

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

  • 48%

    Monitoring

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

  • 48%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 48%

    Systems analysis

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

  • 48%

    Systems evaluation

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

  • 45%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 45%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 45%

    Time management

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

  • 41%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 39%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 82%

    Geography

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

  • 74%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 70%

    Chemistry

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

  • 70%

    Physics

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

  • 70%

    English language

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

  • 64%

    Engineering and technology

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

  • 64%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 60%

    Biology

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

  • 54%

    Administration and management

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

  • 54%

    Technical design

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

  • 53%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 52%

    Education and training

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

  • 52%

    History and archeology

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

  • 45%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 44%

    Clerical

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

  • 43%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 42%

    Communications and media

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

  • 38%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 36%

    Mechanical

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

  • 33%

    Building and construction

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


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 71%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 70%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 66%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 63%

    Inductive reasoning

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

  • 63%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 61%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 61%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 59%

    Problem spotting

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

  • 59%

    Mathematics

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

  • 57%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 57%

    Sorting or ordering

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

  • 55%

    Brainstorming

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

  • 55%

    Near vision

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

  • 52%

    Flexibility of closure

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

  • 50%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 50%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 46%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 46%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Perceptual speed

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

  • 43%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.


Activities

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

  • 89%

    Making sense of information and ideas

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

  • 85%

    Collecting and organising information

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

  • 83%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 82%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

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

  • 80%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 80%

    Making decisions and solving problems

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

  • 79%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 79%

    Looking for changes over time

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

  • 75%

    Planning and prioritising work

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

  • 73%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 72%

    Documenting or recording information

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

  • 71%

    Communicating within a team

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

  • 71%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

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

  • 71%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

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

  • 71%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 71%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 65%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 63%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 63%

    Working with computers

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

  • 62%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.


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.

  • 100%

    Analytical

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

  • 71%

    Practical

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

  • 48%

    Administrative

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

  • 43%

    Creative

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

  • 33%

    Enterprising

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

  • 19%

    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.
  • 81%

    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.

  • 76%

    Achievement

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

  • 76%

    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.

  • 76%

    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.

  • 48%

    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.

  • 33%

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 92%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 88%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 88%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 83%

    Unstructured work

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

  • 82%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 79%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 78%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 73%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 73%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 71%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 71%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 68%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 68%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 66%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 66%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 66%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 64%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 62%

    Responsible for outcomes

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

  • 62%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

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, 19-2042.00 - Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers.


Links and downloads

Back to top