What do Geological and Petroleum Technicians Do?
Natural resources such as coal, gas, minerals, or petroleum are all of great worth, and geological and petroleum technicians analyze samples of mud and dirt drilled from the soil in order to help to uncover existing deposits or discover new deposit areas. Geological and petroleum technicians work to provide assistance to engineers, scientists, and other individuals as they use electronic, nuclear, and sonic measuring tools to identify potential resources hidden in the ground. Because of the worldwide demand for natural resources, there is expected to be a 15% increase in job opportunities for this position within the next 10 years, with nearly 1,000 new jobs available.
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Skills and Abilities
As a geological and petroleum technician, you will be conducting many tests and you will need to analyze your findings accordingly. Therefore, petroleum technicians must be very thorough and detail-oriented in their work. You will need to have excellent critical thinking, reasoning, and monitoring skills in order to make informed conclusions based on the results of your analysis. Geological technicians also need a working knowledge of chemistry, engineering, and technology, as all three of these areas are used frequently within this position to identify natural resource compounds and to figure out how to extract those deposits safely, with a minimal impact on the surrounding areas.
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Duties
Much of what geological and petroleum technicians do is take samples of the soil and research those samples. Because that is such a simplified version, here is a more in-depth list of the possible workday tasks that you may need to perform:
- Calibrate and maintain scientific equipment and tools
- Collaborate with colleagues, scientists, and specialists on research projects and papers
- Compile research and present reports to companies or industry professionals
- Keep detailed records of sample locations, sizes, and the results of sample testing
- Participate in geological surveys or oversee survey programs
- Prepare and edit maps to keep track of sample locations
- Research the environmental impact of any natural resource extractions
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Tools and Technology
To work as a geological and petroleum technician, you will need to be familiar with tools that allow you to test soil and analyze it for trace amounts of resources, such as conductivity meters, geological compasses, height gauges and levels, magnetometer instruments, and soil core sampling gear. Once you have your soil samples, you will need the right technology to analyze the samples. This technology will include access to and experience with:
- Analytical software
- Computer design and imaging software
- Database software
- Map creation software
- Presentation software
Education and Training for Geological and Petroleum Technicians
In order to find a job as a geological and petroleum technician, you need at least an associate’s degree, and some on-the-job training will be provided to help you learn your responsibilities and daily duties. However, if you’d like to increase your knowledge and skills while also improving your chances of finding a career position, choosing to earn your bachelor’s degree is a wise choice.
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Salary
As a geological and petroleum technician, the median salary you can earn is around $55,000 annually, although the top 10% of technicians can earn more than $90,000 per year. However, your annual salary can vary widely and depend on a variety of factors, such as your education level, your work experience, and your geographic location. Geological and petroleum technicians located in California, Maryland, and Minnesota receive the highest salary for this position in the nation.
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Jobs by Geography
Your wage as a petroleum technician greatly depends on geography, as does your ability to find a job. The states with the most jobs available to geological and petroleum technicians within the next decade are Iowa, Colorado, and Oregon, with each of the three states projecting a more than 30% increase in available jobs.