How to Become a Geoscience Technician


To become a geoscience technician, you need to begin by determining what you want out of a career, and if you’re willing to do what it takes to succeed in your career field of choice.


If you like working outdoors, you are skilled with specialized technical equipment, and you enjoy being part of teams that conduct important work related to earth sciences, then becoming a geoscience technician might be a great career choice for you!


Below we've outlined what you'll need to get your start in this profession. We've also included helpful occupational information, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education To Become a Geoscience Technician

To qualify for an entry-level job as a geoscience technician (also known as geoscience technologists), you'll likely need a bachelor’s of science degree in geology or a closely related field, such as environmental science or physics.


Within the geology or environmental science degree, taking courses in fields such as mathematics and computer science can be of great benefit to aspiring geoscience technicians. These courses will be helpful for future geoscience technician career applications, such as modeling and simulating geological, geophysical and geochemical processes.


Having experience with specialized equipment and scientific processes is extremely important to many employers within the field of geoscience. Luckily, there are many opportunities within geology, geoscience and environmental science degree programs to gain laboratory experience within regular coursework, and lab-specific coursework.


To gain further experience, it is beneficial to work in research labs on campus. This is an excellent opportunity to work directly with professors and other faculty members, and may lead to additional course credit.


Tip for Success: Working directly with professors and faculty members is a great way to network!





General Job Description

Geo-science technicians assist scientists in the collection of data and samples for the study of geological processes and phenomena. Their efforts enable scientists to analyze findings and make predictions based on data.



Typical Job Duties & Responsibilities

• Setup, operate and maintain scientific equipment and instruments

• Analyze and repair equipment malfunctions

• Make calculations and record data and observations

• Carry out the procedures of an experiment designed by a geo-scientist

• Assist in the planning of experiments and studies

• Work closely with geologists, ecologists and other geo-scientists



Gain Relevant Career Experience as a Student

Landing an internship opportunity, working with professors and other faculty on research projects, or getting a summer job in geology or environmental science career fields are all great ways to add relevant experience to your resume. Speak to your school's career services office, as well as your Geology or Environmental Science professors and other faculty, in order to learn about any available positions. 





Working Conditions Typical to This Profession

Work Environment: Geoscience technicians typically perform their jobs in a combination of settings; including laboratories, offices and fieldwork.


While performing fieldwork, geoscience technicians must remain standing or crouching for long periods of time. They must also carry, assemble and utilize equipment, which involves lights duty lifting and frequent movement. They may also be exposed to extreme weather conditions during fieldwork.


While in the laboratory, geoscience technicians may be exposed to frequent loud noises, and they may have to use chemicals to perform their jobs.


Working Hours: Geoscience technicians often work regular office weekday hours, although their hours may extend into evenings and weekends on occasion to perform certain job duties, such as performing fieldwork or meeting with clients. During field expeditions, geoscience technicians may spend up to a few months in remote locations where a lot of hiking is required.



How to Get a Job as a Geoscience Technician

Now that you've acquired an education, skills with specialized equipment and research career experience, you're a shoe-in! The last thing you have to do is nail the interview...but with whom? Your last step to becoming a geoscience technician is to make a list of possible employers and suitable positions, and start handing out resumes. Do your research and figure out which companies are hiring for geoscience technician and related positions; these employers will be in a variety of sectors.



Who Employs Geoscience Technicians? Where Do They Work?

There are many organizations representing a variety of industry sectors that are interested in acquiring and retaining individuals with the skills, knowledge and competencies that geoscience technicians have; examples include:


• Federal and provincial/state governments

• Colleges and universities

• Engineering consulting companies

• Environmental consulting companies

• Oil, gas and mining companies

• Service firms to oil, gas and mining companies

• Non-ferrous metal smelting and refining companies



Geoscience Technician Jobs - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "geoscience technician" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Typical Salary Level

The salary level for geoscience technicians can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as where they work, how much education and experience they have, and many other factors.


Geoscience Technician Salary - Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the "Geological and mineral technologists and technicians" occupational group, which includes geoscience technicians, earn an average of $91,026 per year. According to WorkBC, those in the "Geological and mineral technologists and technicians" group earn an annual provincial median salary of $60,590.


Salary - United States: The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for workers in the Geological and Petroleum Technicians occupational group, which includes geoscience technicians, is $53,300 (May, 2018 figures).



Similar Occupational Guides in Our System

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to "geoscience technician", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Environmental Technician

Forest Technician


Laboratory Manager

Survey Technician




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a geoscientist.


Occupations in Alberta:Geological and Geophysical Technologist.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 29, 2019.

Life, Physical, and Social Science:Geological and Petroleum Technicians.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 29, 2019.

Explore Careers:Geological and mineral technologists and technicians.” (December 11, 2018) WorkBC website. Retrieved November 29, 2019.

Explore Environmental Careers:Geological and Geophysical Technician.” (n.d.) ECO Canada website. Retrieved November 29, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Geoscience Technician

All of the scholarships that are relevant for becoming a geoscience technician are those that can be found on our Environmental Science Scholarships and Geology Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below can help set an excellent educational foundation for this line of work:


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