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Geological and Geophysical Technologist

Geological and geophysical technologists work in natural resource exploration, production, and management. They may work on their own or with a team. The team may include geologists, geophysicists, mining engineers, or petroleum engineers.

Also Known As

Engineering Technologist, Geological Technologist, Geophysical Technologist, Physical Sciences Technician / Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Geological and Mineral Technologists (2212.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Geological and Mineral Technologists and Technicians (C112) 
  • 2011 NOC: Geological and mineral technologists and technicians (2212) 
  • 2016 NOC: Geological and mineral technologists and technicians (2212) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Geological and Mineral Technologists
2006 NOC : 2212.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to operate and maintain geophysical survey and well logging instruments and equipment, and to perform physical and chemical tests

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing geophysical and survey data to assist engineers and geologists in the evaluation and analysis of petroleum and mineral reservoirs; may assist engineers and metallurgists in specifying material selection, metal treatments and corrosion protection systems; may assist hydrogeologists in evaluating ground water and well circulation

directive

Interest in supervising prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, geological survey programs and studies, and the preparation and of rock, mineral and metal samples; may supervise oil and gas well drilling, well completions and work-overs and welding projects

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geological and geophysical technologists are mainly responsible for organizing collected geological and geophysical data. They make sure that geoscientists can easily access the data sets. Technologists may spend a lot of time formatting data sets.

Geological technologists help geoscientists examine rocks from Earth’s surface and subsurface. They may:

  • Study core and rock cuttings samples from drilling
  • Organize 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 help geoscientists study the water, surface, and internal makeup of Earth. They may:

  • Take and record measurements (magnetic, electromagnetic, gravity, and resistivity)
  • Help with geophysical prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, well logging programs, and seismic crew operations
  • Operate and maintain instruments and equipment for geophysical surveys, topographical surveys, and well logging
  • Process and record seismic data by operating a computer, writing reports, and preparing maps

Geological and geophysical technologists work in different areas.

In exploration, they:

  • Prepare maps, charts, reports, cross sections, montages, and corporate maps
  • Help with quality assurance and quality control of data from aerial photos, boreholes, satellite images, and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) surveys
  • Organize geophysical and geochemical surveys
  • Photograph core and collect cuttings to describe rock and soil samples
  • Prepare or supervise the preparation of samples and perform lab tests
  • Prepare, transcribe, and study data
  • Use mapping software to record and process geological and seismic data and prepare maps
  • Help with studies and interpretations in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions
  • Link all available data (including seismic and well data) to create geological maps
  • Digitize logs
  • Create and maintain proprietary data

In production, they:

  • Prepare and maintain surface and subsurface survey plans
  • Maintain databases
  • Conduct soil and field tests
  • Monitor contaminant migration and dispersion
  • Determine aquifer traits and water quality
  • Recommend environmental assessment and remediation techniques
  • Supervise equipment operators and other technologists

In management, they:

  • Maintain geological and geophysical databases for resource companies
  • Prepare cost and budget estimates for resource projects, if working for a smaller company
  • Supervise the logistics behind exploration programs
  • Prepare and present reports
  • Keep up to date with recommended best practices for data organization
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Geological and geophysical technologists often work in labs and offices. They most often work in either major cities or field offices.

Some technologists spend 3 to 9 months a year working in the field. They may travel long distances, sometimes to remote locations. They may use off-road vehicles, boats, bush planes, and helicopters to get around. They may do a lot of walking.

They may work at locations that require safety measures, such as well sites and plants. Lab work can be noisy, dusty, and involve using chemicals. Safety measures include earplugs and safety shoes. They might work in rooms with special ventilation systems or need to wear respirators.

The job may require a lot of overtime and weekend work.

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

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geological and geophysical technologists need:

  • Patience and flexibility
  • Good judgment
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to work with computers
  • Organizational skills
  • Speaking and writing skills
  • The ability to work well with others in a team setting

They should enjoy:

  • Working with instruments and equipment at precise tasks
  • Studying data
  • Supervising the work of others
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

In general, a geological or geophysical technologist in Alberta needs a related 2-year technology diploma or a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree.

As part of the job, they must acquire excellent knowledge of electronic well files, data entry, and government compliance.


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Certified Engineering Technologist

Certified Engineering Technologists apply industry-recognized codes, standards, procedures, and practices to solve problems within their areas of expertise. Depending on their duties, they may need to be supervised by a Professional Engineer, Professional Geoscientist, or Professional Technologist (Engineering / Geoscience).

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and ASET Regulation [pdf], you must register with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Certified Engineering Technologist.

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practice independently in accordance with established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering and geoscience. 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 register as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering or geoscience within a prescribed scope of practice, use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience), or use the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.).

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geological and geophysical technologists work for:

  • 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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2212: Geological and mineral technologists and technicians occupational group, 79.4% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2212: Geological and mineral technologists and technicians occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 11, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Geological and mineral technologists and technicians

2016 NOC : 2212
Average Wage
$42.06
Per Hour
Average Salary
$82,982.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2212 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.19 $54.66 $30.81 $26.83
Overall $23.10 $59.74 $42.06 $43.98
Top $29.00 $84.58 $64.15 $70.14

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
38%
38%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
18%
18%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
10%
10%
Vacancy Rate
7%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 11, 2022

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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