Whether working around the globe at mines and drilling locations, or in labs analyzing data, geological and petroleum technicians help scientists identify locations that indicate the presence of potential resources such as oil and gas, minerals, or metallic ores. In the field, geological and petroleum technicians use sophisticated equipment, such as seismic instruments, to gather geological data. Under the supervision of geologists and engineers, they gather rock and soil samples, and work with environmental scientists and technicians to monitor the environmental impact of drilling and mining. In laboratories, these technicians analyze samples for evidence of hydrocarbons, useful metals, or precious gemstones. They analyze data, produce maps, and write reports detailing a site’s potential for further exploration, or explaining a current site’s productivity. Most geological and petroleum technicians work standard full-time business hours, except when they’re working in the field. Fieldwork is conducted outdoors in all types of weather, sometimes for weeks at a time and at times in remote locations. Many technicians work in mining-related operations, oil and gas extraction, and for engineering services. Jobs in this field typically require an associate’s degree, or two years of college courses in applied science or science-related technology. Some highly technical jobs require a bachelor’s degree.
What they do:
Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.
On the job, you would:
Test and analyze samples to determine their content and characteristics, using laboratory apparatus or testing equipment.
Collect or prepare solid or fluid samples for analysis.
Compile, log, or record testing or operational data for review and further analysis.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
product and service development
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
read and understand what is written
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Geographic information system GIS software
Computer aided design CAD software
Dynamic Graphics EarthVision
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.