What does a Geological or Petroleum Technician do?

Median Pay $54,190
Growth Rate 16%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A geological or petroleum technician attempts to discover valuable resources by analyzing geological samples of minerals and soil. They support engineers and scientists in extracting and exploring natural sources like crude oil, minerals, and the detection of natural gas. Geological technicians indicate the potential for exploration to determine chemical or physical properties and test geological samples to check if they meet required quality standards.

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How to Become a Geological or Petroleum Technician

In order to become a geological or petroleum technician, you usually needs an associate’s degree in applied sciences or a certification in science or technology. Most employers would expect to give 1-2 years of on-the-job training. Some companies may accept a recognized apprenticeship for this occupation.

Job Description of a Geological or Petroleum Technician

geological technician

A geological or petroleum technician determines the content and characteristics of soil samples soil and the minerals are analyzed and tested using testing and laboratory equipment. They analyze samples of earth or liquid to assist engineers and scientists in determining if the chemical or physical properties meet the requirements needed.

Geologists assist in hydrographic, geological, geochemical, geophysical, and/or oceanographic surveys. They also assist in exploratory drilling, underground mine surveys, well logging, and prospecting field trip operations. They assemble and prepare cross sections, sketches, and geological maps to figure out information from section descriptions, well logs, and aerial photos that assists in the overall analyzation of a project.

A geological or petroleum technician should have knowledge of electronics and computers that would include chips, circuit boards, hardware and software, and the programs they must use on-the-job. They need to have knowledge of chemistry, geography, and physics. Most geological or petroleum technicians work in laboratories or offices. However, they also spend time in the field. Most technician’s work full-time.

Free Teacher and Student Resources

The University of Queensland Australia offers a free Future of Mining course on EdX.org (link opens in a new tab) with the option to pay a small fee receive a verified certificate upon completion of the course.

By taking this course, you’ll learn:

  • The role of minerals in society and their contribution to sustainable development.
  • The current issues and challenges confronting the sector.
  • Emerging technologies and their impact across the value chain.
  • The contribution of mining to the concept of the circular economy.
  • New frameworks and policies for resource developments in the 21st century.

Curtain University offers a free Business of Mining course on EdX.org (link opens in a new tab) with the option to pay a small fee receive a verified certificate upon completion of the course.

By taking this course, you’ll learn:

  • Discover how new mineral deposits are found and examine the economic factors that govern their development.
  • Plan the complete life cycle of a mine, from initial infrastructure requirements through to operation, closure and rehabilitation.
  • Experience the ‘living plan’ of a mine and see how extraction and processing of minerals is constantly adjusted to suit market conditions.
  • Investigate how economics and market forces influence the decision to close a mine.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Geological and Petroleum Technicians.

National Center for O*NET Development. 19-4041.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.