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Geological and Geophysical Technologist

Geological and geophysical technologists apply their knowledge of the study of the earth in exploration, production and management. They may work independently or with a team of geologists, geophysicists, mining engineers or petroleum engineers.

  • Avg. Salary $103,238.00
  • Avg. Wage $49.97
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Engineering Technologist, Geophysical Technologist, Physical Sciences Technician/Technologist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

45%
45%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Geological and geophysical technologists involved in exploration:

  • interpret well log and core data to produce cross-sections, determine reservoir parameters and create geological maps
  • interpret geological data from aerial photos, boreholes, satellite imagery and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) surveys 
  • organize and conduct geophysical and geochemical surveys
  • collect and describe rock and soil samples
  • interpret maps, cross-sections, reports and studies
  • prepare or supervise the preparation of samples and perform laboratory tests
  • prepare, transcribe and analyze data
  • use computers to record and process geological and seismic data and prepare maps
  • assist with two, three and four dimensional studies and interpretations
  • link all available data, including seismic and well data, to create geologic maps
  • prepare maps, charts and reports.

Those involved in production:

  • prepare and maintain subsurface and surface survey plans
  • interpret well log and core data to produce cross-sections, determine reservoir parameters and create geological maps
  • conduct mineral grade control studies and maintain databases
  • conduct soil and groundwater field tests
  • monitor contaminant migration and dispersion
  • determine aquifer characteristics and water quality
  • recommend environmental assessment and remediation techniques  
  • supervise equipment operators and other technologists.

In management, geological and geophysical technologists:

  • maintain geological and geophysical databases for resource companies
  • prepare cost and budget estimation for various resource projects
  • supervise logistical manoeuvres related to exploration programs
  • prepare reports and make presentations.

In addition to the general duties listed above, geological technologists may:

  • analyze core samples from drilling
  • organize and supervise drilling for mineral exploration and water well completions
  • help evaluate mineral deposits and potential mining locations
  • assess the environmental impact of development projects on subsurface materials.

Geophysical technologists may:

  • take and record magnetic, electromagnetic, gravity and resistivity measurements
  • conduct or direct geophysical prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, well logging programs and seismic crew operations
  • operate and maintain geophysical survey, topographical survey and well logging instruments and equipment
  • process seismic data, which includes operating computers to record and process seismic data, writing reports and preparing maps.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Geological and geophysical technologists often work in laboratories and offices that are located in major cities or field offices. Lab work can be noisy, dusty and involve the use of chemicals. Safety precautions include using earplugs and safety shoes, and working in rooms that have special ventilation systems.

Some technologists spend three to nine months a year working in the field, sometimes in remote locations where transportation may include off-road vehicles, boats, bush planes, helicopters and significant walking. They may travel for long distances and work at locations where safety precautions are required to avoid injury (for example, well sites and plants). Considerable overtime and weekend work may be required.

Technologists may be required to lift equipment and samples weighing more than 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Geological and geophysical technologists need the following characteristics:

  • excellent analytical and creative problem solving skills
  • an aptitude for working with computers
  • good organizational skills
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good judgement
  • patience and flexibility to cope with changing environmental conditions and project goals
  • the ability to work well with others in a team environment.

They should enjoy working with instruments and equipment at tasks requiring precision, analyzing data and supervising the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

In general, a related two-year technology diploma or a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree is required to work as a geological or geophysical technologist in Alberta.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Mount Royal University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Certified Engineering Technologist

Under the supervision of a professional engineer or professional technologist in engineering, certified engineering technologists undertake the routine application of industry recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices. They use established engineering, geoscience or applied science principles and methods of problem solving. Duties may include design, production, marketing, testing, quality control, estimating, surveying, inspecting, diagnostic evaluation, supervision, management and technical sales.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and ASET Regulation (PDF), you must be a registered member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • successful completion of an applied science, engineering or information technology program accredited at the technologist level by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), or equivalent
  • at least 2 years of acceptable technical experience
  • 3 professional references
  • completion of a competency report
  • successful completion of ASET's Professional Practice Exam
  • demonstration of proficiency in English.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Engineering technologists who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified engineering technologists in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) on AlbertaCanada.com.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practise independently in accordance with established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering, geology and geophysics, and they have the authority to sign off and stamp work within a prescribed scope of practice.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and Professional Technologists Regulation (PDF), you must be registered as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering, geology or geophysics within a prescribed scope of practice, or to use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience) or the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.).

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • designation as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) in good standing
  • at least 6 years of work experience in areas that relate to engineering or geoscience, with at least 2 years under the supervision and control of a Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the applicant's proposed area and scope of practice
  • at least 2 years of post-secondary education or 10 years of experience that matches the proposed scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • proof of compliance with ASET's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • proficiency in English
  • successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists are currently only recognized in Alberta. They may be eligible for a limited licence with engineering regulatory organizations in other jurisdictions. Information on obtaining a limited licence is available through the regulatory organizations.

A professional technologist may also transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist by completing a transfer form and paying the associated transfer fee. Transfer forms are provided by the provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053
Email: asetadmin@aset.ab.ca
Website: www.aset.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Geological and geophysical technologists are employed by:

  • oil and gas companies
  • resource service companies
  • engineering consulting firms
  • mining and mineral exploration companies
  • environmental consulting companies
  • environmental equipment and technology companies
  • government departments and agencies.

Experienced geological and geophysical technologists may advance to supervisory and management positions.

Geological and geophysical technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2212: Geological and mineral technologists and technicians. In Alberta, 82% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 5,100 Albertans are employed in the Geological and mineral technologists and technicians occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 41 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As geological and geophysical technologists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for geological and geophysical technologists.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

For more information see ASET's annual salary survey.

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
NOC code: 2212

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.86 $54.00 $40.83 $42.98
Overall $28.04 $58.00 $49.97 $58.00
Top $33.00 $100.96 $68.44 $69.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

45%
45%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

14%
14%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

N/A

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
    • Primary Resources
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta - ASET website: www.aset.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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