NOC #21102

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education Post-secondary degree
  • Average salary $95,000 to $189,000

Career profile

Geologists analyze and interpret rocks and other geographic formations that make up the Earth’s surface. Their expertise helps determine where to explore for and extract valuable resources or where best to place strategic project infrastructure.

Their roles encompass an array of specializations, each delving into distinct facets of the planet’s geological makeup. These geoscience professionals look at the structural and sedimentary aspects of the rock deep underground to identify possible oil and natural gas deposits as well as subsurface water and optimal geothermal heat formations. They determine the origin, amount, maturity and movement of resources underground, as well as any obstacles that impede the movement of these resources. Geologists use a variety of techniques to discover this information, such as petro-physical analysis, geochemical analysis and seismic interpretation.

Geologists may specialize in fields such as coal geology, environmental geology, geochronology, hydrogeology, mineral deposits or mining, petroleum geology, stratigraphy, tectonics or volcanology. In addition to determining locations to drill, they develop, coordinate and execute drilling programs.

Exploration and production, Oil and gas services, Offshore, Oil sands, Carbon capture, utilization and storage, Geothermal

When you start in this occupation activities may include:

  • Analyzing and interpreting geological, geochemical or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, public well files or aerial photos
  • Recording notes from daily activities and inputting data either in bulk form or individually into software.
  • Participating in team meetings to discuss ongoing and upcoming drilling programs and projects
  • Managing and understanding the database of well tops, porosity, permeability thickness, lithology, clay content, mineralogy, petrophysical properties, pressures and geochemical data

As you advance in this career, you may take on additional tasks including:

  • Working on multidisciplinary teams to design exploration and/or development drilling programs
  • Mentoring junior geologists
  • Liaising with well site personnel and managers and regularly updating them on current interpretations and recommendations


  • A post-secondary degree in geology, geochemistry or geophysics is required.


  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • H2S Alive®


  • Licensing with a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers, geologists, geophysicists or geoscientists is required for employment and is mandatory to practice in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Geologists and geophysicists are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program and after several years of supervised work experience and, in some provinces, after passing a Professional Practice examination.

Nature of work and environment condition specific to oil and natural gas include:

  • Travel likely required
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding

You have the skill to take concepts from your head to the page or computer screen and from there to reality. That means you apply conceptual thinking using your strong grasp of math, chemistry and physics.

  • Computer use
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Complex problem solving
  • Geography
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Planning and organizing
  • Engineering and technology
  • Quality control analysis
  • Physics