Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
30d ago

Pay for geologists working in government research organisations and universities varies depending on qualifications and experience.

  • New geologists can earn $55,000 to $75,000 a year.
  • Senior geologists with responsibility and experience can earn $75,000 to $130,000 or more.
  • Geologists working in the private sector may earn more than this.

    Source : GNS Science, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Geologists may do some or all of the following :

  • study the Earth's structure and processes such as the formation of soils, rocks and faults
  • collect, examine and analyse rocks, minerals and fossils
  • carry out geological research to locate oil, natural gas, water and minerals
  • monitor the geotechnical conditions of mine sites
  • survey the land and seabed to help prepare geological maps
  • draw maps using specialist computer software
  • give advice and write reports on land use, resource management and risk of natural hazards such as landslides
  • write up research results
  • teach at universities.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Geologists need to have knowledge of :

  • the processes that shape the Earth, and the formation of rocks and fossils
  • how to identify and analyse geological samples and materials
  • research methods and how to analyse the results of their studies
  • how to perform experiments and operate scientific equipment such as a geographic information system (GIS), a tool for capturing, storing and analysing geographic data.
  • Geologists working in mining need to know how a mine operates, how to extract the desired rock or mineral, and how to manage a drilling programme.

    Geologists :

  • often work regular hours in research institutes, universities and councils, but may work irregular hours on mine sites
  • work in a range of places, including offices, laboratories and isolated mine sites, and underground in dark, dirty and cramped conditions
  • may spend time travelling to worksites in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a geologist you need to have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in geology or engineering geology. A PhD is preferred for research roles in Crown research institutes and universities.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography and English.

    Geologists need to be :

  • patient and observant, and enjoy working outside
  • motivated and methodical
  • good at maths and able to solve problems
  • good at planning and organising
  • skilled communicators for writing reports and other publications.
  • Physical requirements

    Geologists need to be reasonably fit and healthy for fieldwork. Those working in underground mines should not be claustrophobic.

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