Geological technicians are employed by oil companies more than any other industry. They measure and record physical and geologic conditions in oil or gas wells, using advanced instruments lowered into the wells or analyzing the mud from the wells. For oil exploration efforts, the geological technician will collect geological data and examine it. This may include taking a geological sample and testing it for oil content as well as for other mineral formations. Geological technicians may also engage in taking samples and analyzing them for large construction projects such as reservoirs, bridges, tunnels and large water transport systems.
While many science technicians can get started with an associate's degree and the appropriate high school courses, many geology technicians obtain a bachelor's degree with the idea that moving from field tech to established geologist for an oil or construction firm is in the future.
There were 12,000 geological technicians working in the U.S. in 2006. There were probably a number working for American companies offshore as well, in various oil ventures underway on a number of continents.
The projected job growth for geological technicians is about the same as the average growth for jobs overall. Tightened pollution regulations will have an impact on some oil and construction projects, which may lead to more thorough geological investigation in the field and require more personnel.
Lowest 10% $26,630
Median Salary $53,360
Highest 10% $97,380
Source: U.S. Department of Labor