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Geological and Geophysical Technologist

Geological and geophysical technologists work in 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.

  • Avg. Salary $91,026.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.61
  • 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

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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Geological and Geophysical Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Geological and Mineral Technologists
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Geological and geophysical technologists involved in exploration:

  • interpret well log and core data to:
    • produce cross-sections
    • determine reservoir parameters
    • create isopatch, structure and net pay maps
  • interpret geological data from aerial photos, boreholes, satellite images, and LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) surveys
  • organize and conduct geophysical and geochemical surveys
  • photograph core and collect cuttings to describe rock and soil samples
  • interpret maps, cross-sections, reports and studies
  • prepare or supervise the preparation of samples and perform lab tests
  • prepare, transcribe and study data
  • contour geological maps with or without geological/geophysical software
  • 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 geologic maps
  • prepare maps, charts, reports, cross sections, montages, and corporate maps
  • digitize logs
  • create and maintain proprietary data.

Those involved in production:

  • prepare and maintain survey plans (surface and subsurface)
  • 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 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, geological and geophysical technologists:

  • maintain geological and geophysical databases for resource companies
  • prepare cost and budget estimates for resource projects
  • supervise the logistics behind exploration programs
  • prepare and present reports.

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

  • study core and rock cuttings 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 measurements (magnetic, electromagnetic, gravity, and resistivity)
  • conduct or direct:
    • geophysical prospecting field trips
    • exploratory drilling
    • well logging programs
    • seismic crew operations
  • operate and maintain instruments and equipment for:
    • geophysical surveys
    • topographical surveys
    • well logging
  • process and record seismic data including:
    • operating a computer
    • writing reports
    • preparing maps.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Geological and geophysical technologists often work in labs and offices. In general, these are located in major cities or field offices. Lab work can be noisy, dusty and involve the use of chemicals. Safety measures include using earplugs and safety shoes. They might also work in rooms with special ventilation systems.

Some technologists spend 3 to 9 months a year working in the field. They are sometimes in remote locations. They may use off-road vehicles, boats, bush planes, and helicopters to get around. They may also do a lot of walking. They may travel for long distances. They may work at locations (such as well sites and plants) that require safety measures. The job may require a lot of overtime and weekend work.

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

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Geological and geophysical technologists need to possess:

  • the ability to think critically
  • the ability to solve problems
  • the ability to work with computers
  • the ability to be organized
  • speaking and writing 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 setting.

They should enjoy:

  • working with instruments and equipment at precise tasks
  • studying data
  • supervising the work of others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

As part of the job, they must accumulate 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.

Mount Royal University

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Certified Engineering Technologist

Certified engineering technologists (CETs) apply industry-recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices to solve problems within their technological areas of expertise. Depending on their duties supervision by a Professional Engineer / Geoscientist or Professional Technologist (Engineering / Geoscience) may be required.

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 Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) 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.

Other requirements may include:

  • ASET certification exam
  • proficiency in English
  • proof of legal entitlement to work in Canada.

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact ASET.

Working in Alberta

Certified engineering technologists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory body in another province may transfer to Alberta as a Certified Engineering Technologist or Applied Science Technologist if the two jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the ASET website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process [pdf] and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process [pdf] on the Opportunity Alberta website.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600, 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C6
Canada

Call: 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 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 be registered as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering or geoscience 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

To register as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience), you must have:

  • A 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 an Alberta Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the your proposed area and scope of practice
  • At least 2 years of post-secondary education in areas that relate to your proposed area and scope of practice
  • At least 4 years of experience under the supervision and control of an Alberta Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist or at least 10 years of experience if your post-secondary education does not match your proposed area and scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • Proof of compliance with ASET’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • Successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam

Other requirements may include:

  • ASET Certification Exam
  • Demonstration of proficiency in English
  • Proof of legal entitlement to work in Canada

For detailed, official information, contact ASET.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists with a license to practice engineering or geoscience 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.

Registered professional technologists in Alberta may transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist or Applied Science Technologist by completing the process set by the local provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the ASET website.

Contact Details

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600, 9888 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Canada

Call: 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 Mar 31, 2018

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.

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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C112: Geological and Mineral Technologists and Technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.8% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 41 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Geological and mineral technologists and technicians

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 $17.89 $59.13 $33.59 $29.33
Overall $25.65 $73.81 $45.61 $38.00
Top $28.75 $100.62 $57.27 $46.58

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
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

22%
22%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

3%
3%

Vacancy Rate

1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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