Geologist

Salary/Compensation

Locally, Geologists employed in the Bureau of Mines with job titles of Geologist I, II, Senior Geologist, Supervising and Chief Geologist have a salary grade of 11, 15, 18, 22 and 24, respectively (P13,000 to P36,000) per month. In private companies, Geologists receive a salary range of P25,000 to 48,000, while companies engaged in oil exploration have a higher pay scale for their geologists. Overseas, the pay is much way above local rates, i.e., the U.S. is offering an annual average salary of $45,000 or up to $135,000 depending on the years of experience or expertise.

Basic Educational Requirement

The minimum education required is a college degree in Geology. Pre-college students who are interested in becoming a geologist should take preparatory courses in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and math. Courses related to environmental science, computers, geography and mapping are also valuable.

Cost of Education *

The cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree in Geology ranges from P140,000 to P160,000. There are only three universities here in the Philippines that offer BS in Geology and these are Adamson University (Manila); Mapua Institute of Technology (Manila) and UP Diliman (Quezon City).

Employment Opportunities

Geologists work for a wide range of government agencies, private firms, and non-profit and academic institutions. The national government hires geologists to help plan and evaluate excavations, constructions sites, environmental remediation projects, and natural disaster preparedness, as well as to investigate natural resources. Large-scale oil companies and land developers use geologists to help them locate oil and minerals, adapt to local features such as karst deposits or the risk of earthquakes, and comply with environmental regulations. Geologists in the academe usually hold an advance degree in a specialized area within the discipline. 
Geologists may be employed in the following industries: Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry; Mining and Quarrying; Construction; and Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities.

Prospects for Career Advancement

There are several distinct levels of geology as a career, the structure distinguished by advancing the areas of specialization/discipline, and skills. Engineering Geologists, for instance, work with engineers to carry out detailed geological mapping, both surface and underground, before a major construction work; Environmental Geologists concentrate their work on the nature of the ground and surface waters; soil movement, erosion and degradation; salinisation and coastal erosion; the effects of pollution and human activity on rivers; and the environmental effects of mining, nuclear energy and waste disposal; Field/Exploration Geologists conduct field surveys to determine the geological structure, distribution and age of rocks; and indicate where particular natural resources are likely to be found; Geochemists/Mineralogists/Petrologists concentrate their studies on the mineral and chemical composition of rocks using equipment such as optical and electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption and mass spectrometry, and they may also be involved in examining the transport of pollutants through rock masses; Geomorphologists study the origin and age of landforms and land surfaces; Mathematical Geologists predict the outcome of geological problems by applying the most appropriate data and computer models; Mine Site Geologists control the grade (or quality) of the ore mined, and they also locate extensions to ore deposits by deciding which areas of an ore body should be mined at a particular time, and defining the ore limits at the mine based on economic considerations; Petroleum Geologists explore and chart stratigraphic arrangement, composition and structure of the earth’s surface layer to locate petroleum and natural gas, and they estimate the extent of reserves using seismic and geological survey evidence and recommend the most appropriate drilling and production methods; and Structural Geologists assist engineers by advising how rock structures can influence failure of weight bearing loads in bedrock when seeking building foundations, or to conduct water and seepage into deeper zones and aquifers.

Nature of Work

A Geologist is concerned with the study of the characteristics of the earth’s crust, particularly catastrophes, like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and other phenomena related to the earth’s upper mantle. He/she studies rocks and soil, to locate mineral deposits of economic value such as metals, non metals, oil, natural gas, geothermal and underground water resources.

Tasks

  • Explores specific areas of the earth to work out its structure and the types of rocks or minerals that exist;
  • Studies rock cores, cuttings, and samples;
  • Studies geostatistics and sampling theory;
  • Studies fossilized life forms and rock strata;
  • Studies the nature and effects of natural events such as erosion, sedimentation, glaciation, earthquakes, and volcanic hazards;
  • Locates and manages ground water resources, investigates ground water contamination and land salinity;
  • Undertakes geochemical sampling of stream sediment and soils;
  • Undertakes ground magnetic and gravity surveys;
  • Examines geological specimens in laboratories using optical and electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, chemical, and mechanical techniques;
  • Assists in determining the economic viability of extracting earth resources;
  • Advises on the geological suitability of sites for structures such as tunnels, roads, coastal installations, bridges and water supply schemes;
  • Contributes to environmental assessments such as land use, planning and rehabilitation and the effects of pollution on sea beds;
  • Uses computers to integrate and interpret data sets of geological information;
  • Prepares geological models to describe processes and predict future situations; and
  • Prepares geological reports and maps.

Skills and Competencies

  • Should be analytical, curious and able to communicate effectively; and
  • Ability to prepare accurate records and reports.

Physical Attributes and Characteristics

  • Must have physical stamina;
  • Fit to work outdoors in most inaccessible areas;
  • Willing to adhere to safety requirements;
  • Ability to work both with a team and independently and be able to make and implement decisions effectively and balance any conflicting issues; and
  • Ability to see details at close range (near vision).

* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2010-2011.