Geological and petroleum technicians help scientists and engineers locate land areas suitable for extracting oil, gas, and other natural resources. They use hand tools to collect samples in the field for analysis and mapping software, seismic instruments, and gravity-measuring devices to catalog and evaluate geological data. Job responsibilities of geological and petroleum technicians include:
- Compiling data for geological prospecting
- Collecting samples such as rocks and soil for scientific analysis
- Evaluating geographical data to determine a land area's potential for natural resources
- Monitoring the drilling for and extraction of natural resources
Geological and petroleum technicians also help environmental scientists evaluate the impact of drilling and other types of extraction on the environment. The BLS reports that the employment of geological and petroleum technicians is expected to grow 15% from 2010 to 2020. The world's increasing demand for oil and natural gas as well as the high price of those two natural resources is stimulating this job growth.Read More
Job Growth for
Geological and Petroleum Technician
Geological and petroleum technicians typically hold at least an associate of applied science degree (AAS) with an emphasis on geology, engineering, or a science-related technology. Most schools offer both online and on-campus AAS degree programs with career specialty emphasis and credits that can be applied toward a four-year bachelor's program. Students should check in advance to be sure their coursework will count toward the bachelor's degree program of their choice.
Many community colleges and technical institutes offer programs in geosciences, petroleum, and mining, as well as the different kinds of technology, such as GIS software, used on the job by geological and petroleum science technicians. A sampling of classes you may take in a geology degree program, drawn from course listings for Casper College's associate of science in geology program, include the following:
- Physical Geology
- Mineralogy and Petrography
- Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
- Principles of Paleontology
Geological and petroleum technicians will receive on-the-job training under the supervision of scientists and more experienced technicians. They'll learn how to operate field and laboratory equipment and utilize computer software for modeling and mapping. The technician's education and previous work-related experience will determine the length of the training.