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Geological Sample Test Technicians
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Description: what do they do?
Test or analyze geological samples, crude oil, or minerals to detect presence of petroleum, gas, or mineral deposits indicating potential for exploration or production or to determine physical or chemical properties to ensure that products meet quality standards.
Also known as:
Organic Section Technical Lead, Environmental Sampling Technician, Physical Science Technician, Laboratory Technician, Quality Control Technician (QC Technician), Materials Technician, Environmental Field Services Technician, Electron Microprobe Operator, Core Inspector, Research Associate

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Whether working around the globe at mines and drilling locations, or in labs analyzing data, geological and petroleum technicians help scientists identify locations that indicate the presence of potential resources such as oil and gas, minerals, or metallic ores. In the field, geological and petroleum technicians use sophisticated equipment, such as seismic instruments, to gather geological data. Under the supervision of geologists and engineers, they gather rock and soil samples, and work with environmental scientists and technicians to monitor the environmental impact of drilling and mining. In laboratories, these technicians analyze samples for evidence of hydrocarbons, useful metals, or precious gemstones. They analyze data, produce maps, and write reports detailing a site’s potential for further exploration, or explaining a current site’s productivity. Most geological and petroleum technicians work standard full-time business hours, except when they’re working in the field. Fieldwork is conducted outdoors in all types of weather, sometimes for weeks at a time and at times in remote locations. Many technicians work in mining-related operations, oil and gas extraction, and for engineering services. Jobs in this field typically require an associate’s degree, or two years of college courses in applied science or science-related technology. Some highly technical jobs require a bachelor’s degree.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations, 2019. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
16,300
2018 Employment
17,400
2028 Employment
7%
Percent change
1,800
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Geological and petroleum technicians because we don’t have information for Geological Sample Test Technicians.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Geological and Hydrologic Technicians* in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Geological and Hydrologic Technicians because we don’t have information for Geological Sample Test Technicians.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$28,530
25%$36,470
Median$51,130
75%$74,320
90%$104,660


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
You’re seeing education information for Geological and petroleum technicians because we don’t have information for Geological Sample Test Technicians. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Geological and petroleum technicians because we don’t have information for Geological Sample Test Technicians. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Analyze geological samples.
  • Record research or operational data.
  • Prepare maps.
  • Operate laboratory or field equipment.
  • Maintain laboratory or technical equipment.
  • Research geological features or processes.
  • Analyze geological or geographical data.
  • Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
  • Locate natural resources using geospatial or other environmental data.
  • Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
  • Direct natural resources extraction projects.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Test and analyze samples to determine their content and characteristics, using laboratory apparatus or testing equipment.
  • Compile, log, or record testing or operational data for review and further analysis.
  • Prepare notes, sketches, geological maps, or cross sections.
  • Assemble, operate, or maintain field or laboratory testing, measuring, or mechanical equipment.
  • Participate in geological, geophysical, geochemical, hydrographic, or oceanographic surveys, prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, well logging, or underground mine survey programs.
  • Prepare or review professional, technical, or other reports regarding sampling, testing, or recommendations of data analysis.
  • Adjust or repair testing, electrical, or mechanical equipment or devices.
  • Plot information from aerial photographs, well logs, section descriptions, or other databases.
  • Participate in the evaluation of possible mining locations.
  • Assess the environmental impacts of development projects on subsurface materials.
  • Supervise well exploration, drilling activities, or well completions.
  • Prepare, transcribe, or analyze seismic, gravimetric, well log, or other geophysical or survey data.
  • Participate in the evaluation of possible geothermal energy plant locations.
  • Inspect engines for wear or defective parts, using equipment or measuring devices.
  • Test and analyze samples from potential underground carbon sequestration sites.
  • Collaborate with hydrogeologists to evaluate groundwater or well circulation.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.