Career Definition for a Geological Data Technician
Geological data technicians use scientific instruments and methods to test and examine geological objects found in the Earth. They often use their skills to look for natural resources like oil. Jobs in the geological data technology field can be found in areas that are rich in natural resources or in remote and unexplored regions of the country.
Graduates need at least a 2-year associate degree to work in geological data technology and many employers require a 4-year bachelor degree in a scientific discipline. Students need to take courses in earth science, mathematics, physics and engineering technology.
Geological data technicians need strong math and science skills and knowledge about computer technology. Additionally, they should know how to gather, analyze and interpret geological data and should have good oral and written communication skills.
Career and Economic Outlook
The number of jobs available for geological and petroleum technicians was expected to grow 12% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS. BLS data indicates the median annual salary for a geological and petroleum technician was $55,610, as of May 2015.
Alternate Career Options
Cartographer and photogrammetrist, as well as civil engineering technician are alternatives to careers in geological data:
Cartographer and Photogrammetrist
Normally earning a bachelor's degree in geography, cartography, geomatics or civil engineering, cartographers and photogrammetrists interpret, collect and measure information used in the creation of charts and maps. Job prospects during the 2014-2024 decade should be very good, with 29% employment growth projected by the BLS. They earned an annual median wage of $61,880 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Civil Engineering Technician
Civil engineering technicians assist licensed civil engineers as they design and plan bridges, highways and other large infrastructures. These techs usually have an associate's degree in civil engineering technology. The BLS projects 5% growth in positions by the BLS from 2014-2024, and those with current software skills may have the best job prospects. According to the BLS, civil engineering technicians earned a median salary of $49,260 per year, as of May 2015.