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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.


Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.

Daily tasks

Participate in geological, geophysical, geochemical, hydrographic, or oceanographic surveys, prospecting field trips, exploratory drilling, well logging, or underground mine survey programs.

Plot information from aerial photographs, well logs, section descriptions, or other databases.

Prepare or review professional, technical, or other reports regarding sampling, testing, or recommendations of data analysis.

Interview individuals, and research public databases in order to obtain information.

Prepare notes, sketches, geological maps, or cross-sections.

Adjust or repair testing, electrical, or mechanical equipment or devices.

Collect or prepare solid or fluid samples for analysis.

Read and study reports in order to compile information and data for geological and geophysical prospecting.

Compile, log, or record testing or operational data for review and further analysis.

Test and analyze samples to determine their content and characteristics, using laboratory apparatus or testing equipment.

Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.