Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists
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.
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
JSA 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: Jobs and Skills Australia 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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
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)
|Earnings||Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists||All Jobs Average|
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.
Most Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists work in the Mining industry. They are also employed in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration and safety
- Electricity, gas, water and waste services.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists||All Jobs Average|
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.
Age and gender
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)
|Age Bracket||Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.9||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
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.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||41.3||10.1|
|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 can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Talking to others.
59%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Using maths to solve problems.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
45%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
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.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
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).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
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.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
50%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
See details that are far away.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
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.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
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.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
Use electronic mail.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
88%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
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.
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.
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.
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
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.