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Summary Report for:
19-4041.02 - Geological Sample Test Technicians

Test or analyze geological samples, crude oil, or minerals to detect presence of petroleum, gas, or mineral deposits indicating potential for exploration or production or to determine physical or chemical properties to ensure that products meet quality standards.

Sample of reported job titles: Laboratory Technician, Quality Control Technician (QC Technician), Materials Technician, Core Inspector, Electron Microprobe Operator, Environmental Field Services Technician, Environmental Sampling Technician, Geological Sample Tester, Mud Logger

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

Tasks

  • Test and analyze samples to determine their content and characteristics, using laboratory apparatus or testing equipment.
  • Collect or prepare solid or fluid samples for analysis.
  • Assemble, operate, and maintain field and laboratory testing, measuring, and mechanical equipment, working as part of a crew when required.
  • Compile and record testing and operational data for review and further analysis.
  • Adjust or repair testing, electrical, or mechanical equipment or devices.
  • Supervise well exploration, drilling activities, or well completions.
  • Inspect engines for wear or defective parts, using equipment or measuring devices.
  • Prepare notes, sketches, geological maps, or cross sections.
  • Participate in geological, geophysical, geochemical, hydrographic, or oceanographic surveys, prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, well logging, or underground mine survey programs.
  • Plot information from aerial photographs, well logs, section descriptions, or other databases.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Dropping pipettes — Digital micropipettes; Glass dropping pipettes
Laboratory crushers or pulverizers — Chipmunk crushers; Laboratory pulverizers; Rotary pulverizers; Shatterboxes
Laboratory flasks — Erlenmeyer flasks; Volumetric flasks
Magnetometer geophysical instruments — Cryogenic magnetometers; Proton magnetometers; Spinner magnetometers
Spectrophotometers — Fluorescence spectrophotometers; Optical particle detectors; Ultraviolet-Visible UV/VIS spectrophotometers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software; Parallel Geoscience SPW software; Seismic Micro-Technology KINGDOM
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Midland Valley 2DMove
Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
Map creation software — Golden Software Surfer; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; Martin D Adamiker's TruFlite; Surface III *
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

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

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Knowledge

Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
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.

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Skills

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
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.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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.
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).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.

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Work Activities

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
45   Some college, no degree
25   Bachelor's degree
14   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

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.
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.
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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
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.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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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.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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Related Occupations

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51-8021.00 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators Green Occupation

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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 (2013) $25.68 hourly, $53,410 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 2013 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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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