Geophysicist Career

Science and Research

 

Geophysicist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Chemical and Physical Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Geophysicist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $72,360

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $85,634

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

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.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina7+19.8%
Nationwide260+14.1%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Geophysicist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Geophysics: Geophysics is a subject of natural science concerned with the physical processes and physical properties of the Earth and its surrounding space environment, and the use of quantitative methods for their analysis.
  • Physics: Knowledge and working experience of the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.
  • Geophysical Data: Geophysical survey is the systematic collection of geophysical data for spatial studies. Geophysical surveys may use a great variety of sensing instruments, and data may be collected from above or below the Earth's surface or from aerial, orbital, or marine platforms.
  • Calculus: Calculus is the mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of generalizations of arithmetic operations.
  • Meteorology: Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Geophysicist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Hydrology: Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Seismic Inversion: Seismic inversion, in geophysics (primarily in oil-and-gas exploration/development), is the process of transforming seismic reflection data into a quantitative rock-property description of a reservoir.
  • Petrel: Working experience of Petrel, which is a software platform used in the exploration and production sector of the petroleum industry.
  • Petrophysics: Petrophysics is the study of physical and chemical rock properties and their interactions with fluids.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Gas Exploration: Working experience of Gas Exploration, which is the search by petroleum geologists and geophysicists for hydrocarbon deposits beneath the Earth's surface, such as oil and natural gas. Oil and gas exploration are grouped under the science of petroleum geology.
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA): Working experience of Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which provides a Federal Superfund to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous-waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment.
  • Petrel: Working experience of Petrel, which is a software platform used in the exploration and production sector of the petroleum industry.
  • Remote Sensing: Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object and thus in contrast to on-site observation.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree0%
Master's Degree100%
Doctoral Degree0%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years21%
3 to 5 years51%
6 to 8 years10%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Geophysicist
  • Geophysicist, Gs
  • Geologist/Geophysicist
  • Geophysicist - Corporate
  • Research Geophysicist, Gs

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