Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
19-4041.01 - Geophysical Data Technicians

Measure, record, or evaluate geological data, using sonic, electronic, electrical, seismic, or gravity-measuring instruments to prospect for oil or gas. May collect or evaluate core samples or cuttings.

Sample of reported job titles: Exploration Manager, Field Engineer, Geological E-Logger, Geological Technician, Geoscience Technician, Geoscientist, Geotechnician, Observer, Soils Technician, Technical Assistant

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Prepare notes, sketches, geological maps, or cross-sections. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Read and study reports in order to compile information and data for geological and geophysical prospecting. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Interview individuals, and research public databases in order to obtain information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assemble, maintain, or distribute information for library or record systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate or adjust equipment or apparatus used to obtain geological data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan and direct activities of workers who operate equipment to collect data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set up or direct set-up of instruments used to collect geological data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record readings in order to compile data used in prospecting for oil or gas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supervise oil, water, or gas well-drilling activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect samples or cuttings, using equipment or hand tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create photographic recordings of information, using equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Measure geological characteristics used in prospecting for oil or gas, using measuring instruments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Evaluate and interpret core samples and cuttings, and other geological data used in prospecting for oil or gas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Diagnose or repair malfunctioning instruments or equipment, using manufacturers' manuals and hand tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare and attach packing instructions to shipping containers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply new technologies, such as improved seismic imaging techniques, to locate untapped oil or natural gas deposits. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect data on underground areas, such as reservoirs, that could be used in carbon sequestration operations. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect geological data from potential geothermal energy plant sites. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compile data used to address environmental issues, such as the suitability of potential landfill sites. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct geophysical surveys of potential sites for wind farms or solar installations to determine their suitability. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Augers — Hand augers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Binoculars — Surveillance binoculars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calorimeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clinometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conductivity meters — Terrain conductivity meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Distance meters — Electronic distance meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drying cabinets or ovens — Laboratory drying ovens See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Geological compasses — Directional compasses; Pocket transits See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gravimeters — Gravitational field indicators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammers — Geological hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Height gauges — Abney levels; Survey altimeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hydrometers — Digital hydrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Infrared spectrometers — Fourier transfer infrared FTIR spectrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jaw crushers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory bailers — Water sampling bailers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory crushers or pulverizers — Laboratory pulverizers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory sifting equipment — Sieve shakers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Levels — Electronic digital levels; Hand levels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnetometer geophysical instruments — Magnetometers; Proton magnetometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnifiers — Hand lenses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Map measurers — Planimeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Measuring rods — Stadia rods See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Multi gas monitors — Carbon hydrogen nitrogen CHN analyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Peristaltic pumps — Groundwater sampling peristaltic pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Picks — Rock picks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pneumatic rock drills — Power rock coring drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Portable data input terminals — Portable dataloggers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Radarbased surveillance systems — Ground penetrating radar GPR systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rangefinders — Laser rangefinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rock cutters — Rock saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scientific calculator — Scientific calculators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Seismic recorders or seismographs — Digital seismographs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Soil core sampling apparatus — Earth drills; Hydraulic vibracorers; Soil augers; Soil core samplers (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sulfur dioxide analyzers or detectors — Total sulfur analyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Test sieves — Laboratory sieves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Theodolites — Electronic digital theodolites; Total stations See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — IHS PETRA; Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software; Schlumberger GeoFrame software; Techsia Techlog (see all 10 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Dynamic Graphics EarthVision; Midland Valley 2DMove See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Map creation software — Clark Labs IDRISI Andes; ESRI ArcGIS software; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; Surface III * (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Mobile location based services software — Juniper Systems LandMark Mobile See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Record research or operational data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain laboratory or technical equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect environmental data or samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect geographical or geological field data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze geological samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect archival data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Document events or evidence, using photographic or audiovisual equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate laboratory or field equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare maps. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Compile geographic or related data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct natural resources extraction projects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Survey land or properties. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Locate natural resources using geospatial or other environmental data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct technical activities or operations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Compile environmental or climatological data. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 73% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 65% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 56% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 42% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 39% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 30% responded “Not important at all.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
29   Bachelor's degree
28   Master's degree

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

back to top

Interests

Interest code: CRI

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Geological and Petroleum Technicians.
Employment data collected from Geological and Petroleum Technicians.
Industry data collected from Geological and Petroleum Technicians.

Median wages (2014) $26.35 hourly, $54,810 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 16,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 8,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top