What is the average salary of a petroleum geologist? What are the factors that determine a petroleum geologist’s salary? Scroll down to find out more about a petroleum geologist’s job description and salary.
Geology refers to the scientific study of the dynamics and physical history of the earth. The work of a geologist involves the study of processes that affect the composition or structure of the materials that make up the earth. A petroleum geologist is a petroleum, mineral and natural gas expert who is involved in the discovery of oil, mineral and gas and its eventual extraction.
Petroleum is a finite resource and the discovery of potential sites and analysis of the accompanying geological complexities makes it a challenging as well as an exciting career choice. If you are wondering what does a petroleum geologist do and what are the factors that affect their salary range, scroll down to get a basic idea on the petroleum geologist job description along with the average salary.
Educational Requirements and Job Description of a Petroleum Geologist
A geologist is expected to have in-depth knowledge of the composition, structure and history of the earth’s crust. They must also have a good understanding of geophysical techniques. Their work involves looking for possible locations or drill sites on land and sea, wherein petroleum, oil or natural gas may be present. Petroleum geologists and petroleum engineers work together so as to locate the petroleum reserves and extract them. The work of a petroleum geologist involves the identification of sites, while the petroleum engineers develop effective and economical ways to extract the petroleum, oil or natural gas.
Petroleum geologists also have to document their findings and prepare charts, maps and make presentations to the higher authorities for their approval. They must, therefore, be able to work as a part of a team, and have the ability to communicate well. Those who wish to work in the capacity of a petroleum geologist, must have a bachelor’s degree in geology or applied geology with a specialization in petroleum geology. A master’s degree in geology, with a specialization in petroleum exploration, would naturally be preferred.
Salary Range of a Petroleum Geologist
The job of a petroleum geologist is financially rewarding on account of the high technical competence and skills needed to analyze geological formations and sensitivities. The demand for petroleum geologist jobs has certainly been growing primarily due to petroleum being a non-renewable natural resource. With the growing demand for petrol and gas, and the rising crude prices, the market has seen a rise in a petroleum geologist’s average salary.
Since the skills and expertise of petroleum geologists are required for discovering new sites, well-established oil companies have been known to shell out good pay packages to those with the right qualification and experience. The salary can also go up significantly in the realm of consultancy. The salary range is often affected by the existing prices of the natural finite energy sources. A petroleum geologist’s salary is linked to several variables.
The college one has graduated from, along with the educational qualification of the individual in question, are some of the factors that would affect the pay package. A person with a master’s degree or doctorate in geology, would naturally be paid more. The condition of the oil economy is another big factor that will determine the salary range.
The knowledge or expertise the individual possesses in the realm of geophysics, structural geology, geochemistry, basin modeling, sedimentology and stratigraphy, the ability to use scientific equipment or advanced technology in exploration, and appropriate geological modeling and mapping techniques on computers, will also affect the salary. While an individual with a bachelor’s degree, and a minimum experience of 2 years, can command a salary of around $74,000 annually, an individual with a master’s degree and prior experience of a couple of years, could draw around $95,000 annually.
An individual with a doctorate in geology, with an experience of 1-2 years, could easily get a remuneration of $100,000 annually. These are base salary figures, and bonuses and shares in the company’s profits have not been included. Such bonuses and shares in profits are known to run into thousands of dollars on an average, but may also vary from employer to employer and even location to location.
The average salaries in an oil producing state would be higher than the minimal oil producing parts of the country. At the higher end, with respect to a combination of qualifications and work experience, salary range could go way higher than $100,000. The nature of the employer would also have an impact on the salary one may receive. Studies have revealed that the salary range is higher for petroleum geologists who are working for the Federal government than the state governments. The private sector pays more than the government and environmental research institutes.
Aspiring petroleum geologists must be ready to work hard as petroleum exploration is a challenging task. There is no dearth of career opportunities, and for those who have in-depth knowledge and experience, this can be a financially rewarding career.