• Geologists, geochemists and geophysicists conduct programs of exploration and research to extend knowledge of the structure, composition and processes of the earth, to locate and identify hydrocarbon, mineral and groundwater resources, to plan and implement programs of hydrocarbon and mineral extraction and to assess and mitigate the effects of development and waste disposal projects on the environment.
  • They are employed by petroleum and mining companies, consulting geology, geophysics and engineering firms and by governments and educational institutions or they may be self-employed.


  • Conduct theoretical and applied research to extend knowledge of surface and subsurface features of the earth, its history and the operation of physical, chemical and biological systems that control its evolution.
  • Plan, direct and participate in geological, geochemical and geophysical field studies, drilling and geological testing programs.
  • Plan, direct and participate in seismic, electromagnetic, magnetic, gravimetric, radiometric, radar and other remote sensing programs.
  • Plan, direct and participate in the analysis of geological, geochemical and geophysical survey data, well logs and other test results, maps, notes and cross sections.
  • Develop applied software for the analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Plan, direct and participate in the analysis of core samples, drill cuttings and rock samples to identify chemical, mineral, hydrocarbon and biological composition and to assess depositional environments and geological age.
  • Assess the size, orientation and composition of mineral ore bodies and hydrocarbon deposits.
  • Identify deposits of construction materials and determine their characteristics and suitability for use as concrete aggregates, road fill or for other applications.
  • Assess the movement of ground and surface waters and advice in areas such as waste management, route and site selection and the restoration of contaminated sites.
  • Recommend the acquisition of lands, exploration and mapping programs and mine development.
  • Conduct geological and geophysical studies for regional development, site selection and the development of public works projects.
  • Identify and anticipate natural risks such as slope erosion, landslides, soil instability, subsidence, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • May supervise and co-ordinate well drilling, completion and work-over and mining activities.

Job Titles:

  • Development geologist.
  • Environmental geologist.
  • Exploration geologist.
  • Geochemist.
  • Geologist.
  • Geophysicist.
  • Glaciologist.
  • Groundwater geologist.
  • Hydrogeologist.
  • Hydrologist.
  • Mine geologist.
  • Mineralogist.
  • Oceanographer.
  • Paleontologist.
  • Petroleum geologist.
  • Petrologist.
  • Sedimentologist.
  • Seismologist.
  • Stratigrapher.


  • A university degree in geology, geochemistry, geophysics or a related discipline is required.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree in geophysics, physics, mathematics or engineering may be required for employment as a geophysicist.
  • Registration as a professional geologist or professional geophysicist by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers or geologists and geophysicists is often required for employment and to practice in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
  • 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.
  • In some provinces or territories those who are not graduates of an accredited educational program are eligible for registration after completing a six- to eight year term of supervised employment and successfully passing examinations.
  • Supervisory and senior positions in this unit group require experience.


Most opportunities are in Alberta.