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Career profile Geological Technician

Also known as Core Inspector, Environmental Field Services Technician, Environmental Sampling Technician, Geological E-Logger, Geological Technician, Geoscience Technician, Geotechnician, Materials Technician, Physical Science Technician, Soils Technician

Geological Technician

Also known as Core Inspector, Environmental Field Services Technician, Environmental Sampling Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$28,210 - $109,300 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Apply new technologies, such as improved seismic imaging techniques, to locate untapped oil or natural gas deposits.
  • Evaluate and interpret seismic data with the aid of computers.
  • Conduct geophysical surveys of potential sites for wind farms or solar installations to determine their suitability.
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What does a Geological Technician do?

Geological Technicians assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum.

In addition, Geological Technicians

  • analyze mud and drill cuttings,
  • chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.

What kind of tasks does a Geological Technician perform regularly?

Geological Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following 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.
  • Compile, log, or record testing or operational data for review and further analysis.
  • 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.
  • Prepare or review professional, technical, or other reports regarding sampling, testing, or recommendations of data analysis.
  • Read and study reports in order to compile information and data for geological and geophysical prospecting.
  • Adjust or repair testing, electrical, or mechanical equipment or devices.
  • Interview individuals, and research public databases in order to obtain information.
  • Plot information from aerial photographs, well logs, section descriptions, or other databases.
  • Assemble, maintain, or distribute information for library or record systems.

The above responsibilities are specific to Geological Technicians. More generally, Geological Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

What is a Geological Technician salary?

The median salary for a Geological Technician is $50,630, and the average salary is $61,130. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Geological Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Geological Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Geological Technicians earn less than $28,210 per year, 25% earn less than $35,450, 75% earn less than $76,650, and 90% earn less than $109,300.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Geological Technicians is expected to change by 8.9%, and there should be roughly 2,300 open positions for Geological Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$28,210 - $109,300
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Geological Technicians?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Geological Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Geological Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.

Also, Geological Technicians typically have strong Investigative interests. 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.

Lastly, Geological Technicians typically have strong Conventional interests. 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.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Geological Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Geological Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Geological Technicians moderately value 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.

Lastly, Geological Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Geological Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Geological Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
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.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

What education and training do Geological Technicians need?

Many Geological Technicians will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Geological Technicians usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Geological Technicians

  • 2.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 20.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.4% completed some college coursework
  • 12.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 34.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 7.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Geological Technicians

Geological Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, engineering and technology, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Geological Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Geological Technicians

Geological Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Geological Technicians need abilities such as written comprehension, oral comprehension, and information ordering in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Geological Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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).
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Geological Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Geological Technicians frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Geological Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
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.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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