Career

Science and Research

 

Geophysicist

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Applies knowledge of geology and physics to finding mineral resources and petroleum reservoirs, mitigating natural hazards, finding archeological relics, and assessing sites for environmental remediation. Usually skilled in data management and analysis using tools such as Python, MATLAB and GIS.

Job Outlook

There were 3 Geophysicist job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 213 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Geophysicist industry, which includes the Geophysicist career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2012:

Salary

Many new Geophysicist jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $88,078.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $56,776.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Geophysicist postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $74,289.

Education and Experience

Posted Geophysicist jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree0%
Bachelor's Degree49%
Master's Degree47%
Doctoral Degree4%
Other0%

Posted Geophysicist jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years27%
3 to 5 years48%
6 to 8 years8%
9+ years18%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Geophysicist positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Research (32%)
  • Communication Skills (31%)
  • Planning (31%)
  • Teamwork / Collaboration (24%)
  • Writing (21%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Geophysics (100%)
  • Physics (38%)
  • Geophysical Data (38%)
  • Calculus (25%)
  • Data Collection (25%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) (15%)
  • Project Management (15%)
  • Quality Assurance and Control (15%)
  • Data Acquisition (14%)
  • Copying (13%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Petrophysics (6%)
  • Remote Sensing (6%)
  • Geotechnical Engineering (4%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed along with the marginal value: the average salary difference between postings that request that skill and those that do not.

  • Geotechnical Engineering (4%) – marginal value $2,100
  • Site Investigations (1%) – marginal value $1,840
  • Data Evaluation (4%) – marginal value $1,613

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Geophysicist skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Research Geophysicist
  • Senior Geophysicist
  • Field Geophysicist
  • Staff Geophysicist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Geophysicist jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Terracon Consultants, Inc. (14)
  • Geological Survey (14)
  • US Government (13)
  • United States Geological Survey (12)
  • AECOM Technology Corporation (10)

North Carolina

  • Terracon Consultants, Inc. (2)
  • Esp Associates (1)

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