What does a geological technician do? Geological or petroleum technicians assist scientists and engineers, they specialize in either lab work or fieldwork. Some geological technicians work in an office setting where they analyze all the data.

Your daily duties as a geological and petroleum technician are:

  • Properly installing and maintaining equipment used in labs and in the field
  • Gathering and preparing samples such as soil and rocks to use in analysis
  • Testing samples for content and characteristics
  • Keeping detailed records on findings
  • Making reports and maps to easily identify areas that may contain resources
  • Working under direct supervision of scientists and engineers
  • Operating equipment to gain geographical data if you work in the field.
  • Analyzing the samples for insight if you work in the lab.

How to Become a Geological and Petroleum Technician

Some important qualities you’ll need if you want to be a geological and petroleum tech are critical thinking and analytical skills. On top of the essential soft skills, you need the proper training. To become a geological and petroleum tech, you’ll need to:

  • Graduate high school or get a GED.
  • In some cases, you may find a strictly on-the-job training position.
  • Most employers will prefer you have at least an associate’s degree in applied sciences, or another science technology field.
  • Enter a community college or technical school.
  • Take classes such as geology, chemistry, math, computer sciences, and other related courses.
  • Find an internship.
  • Gain hands-on experience under a more advanced technician.
  • The length of your training will vary depending on where you find a job.
  • If you decide to further your education, most of your associate degree classes should transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual salary for geological and petroleum technicians is over $54K after 3-5 years. When you’re first starting out, you’ll earn around $27K, but later in your career, you can bring home over $108K. If you work in a lab, you’ll have a more typical 9-5 schedule. But, in the field, you may see irregular work hours.

Employment growth for geological and petroleum technicians is predicted to be much faster than most other careers. At a 16 percent job growth through 2026, there will be an additional 2,500 new positions opening. If you have great hands-on training, mixed with the right soft skills, then you’ll be a great candidate for one or more of those positions.