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