A geoscientist is a core member of professional teams engaged in the exploration, discovery, exploration and development of natural resources such as gas, oil and water.
The job involves studying the earth’s surface and sub-surface and analysing the topographical, chemical and geological elements of a particular site or area.
Thereafter, 3D models developed on the basis of analysed data helps a geoscientist identify areas from which natural resources can be extracted on a commercially viable basis.
The geoscientist is also involved in the assessment of quality of the reserves and gives advice on the optimal strategies to be applied.
The term ‘geoscientist’ is generic; the category is further classified into several sub-specialties such as geochemist, geophysicist, geologist and sedimentologist.
Geoscientists are usually employed by public and private sector enterprises in the energy industry, as well as in more practical sectors such as water management, mining, and consulting industries.
Salary & benefits
Trainee geoscientists earn annual salaries between £22,000 and £35,000. Those with five to ten years of experience earn between £35,000 and £75,000, and geoscientists in senior management roles earn between £55,000 and £130,000.
Geoscientists who work in remote, offshore and adverse environments receive higher salaries than those based in offices and labs.
Private sector companies offer better remuneration packages, and the highest level of salaries are provided by oil and gas companies.
A geoscientist’s work schedule is long and erratic, since exploration and assessment activities require huge investments. The sooner that commercial operations begin, the higher the profits for companies engaged in these activities.
Work is also project-driven with frequent travelling across multiple sites in the world.
Most of the relevant major companies in the UK and the rest of the world offer structured graduate development programmes running over a period of three to five years, depending upon specialist functions and areas of placement.
The minimum degree requirement is a master’s degree (MGeol. or MSc) in a relevant subject, such as engineering, physics or chemistry.
Work experience through vacation and industrial internships and outstanding technical and analytical skills are the other requirements for most employers.
Training & progression
Induction and training is conducted on the job, along with formal learning sessions and tutorials if necessary. Full financial support for obtaining professional credentials, including and up to chartered status, is also provided.
Trainees undertake multiple placements during the three to five years of initial learning before settling down to full-time work in a specialist function.
Trainees are supported throughout the training and initial independent working period by experienced line managers, mentors, graduate buddies and dedicated HR representatives.
Performance is periodically reviewed, initially once every six months and thereafter on an annual basis. Career progression depends on academic background, professional development, and individual performance against target objectives.