Geological Technician: Education Requirements and Career Information

Sep 18, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a geological technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and employment information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Geological technicians typically acquire a post-secondary degree in a relevant field such as petroleum technology. We will go more in depth on the job duties and education information for these professionals.

Essential Information

Geological technicians assist in the exploration and production of metallic ore, gas and petroleum. Among other functions, they perform tests to detect the presence of petroleum and chart data from oil and gas well operations. Certificate and associate's degree programs are commonly required for employment.

Required Education Two years of post-secondary education or associate's degree
Other Requirements First aid skills, including CPR
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 7% for geological and petroleum technicians
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $53,300 for geological and petroleum technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Geological Technician Education Requirements

Science technicians, including geological technicians, often have at least two years of post-secondary training. Community colleges and universities offer certificates and 2-year programs in mining or petroleum technology for aspiring geological technicians, also sometimes called petroleum technicians. Many of the petroleum technology programs are in regions in which oil development and production are high.

Petroleum technology students might study geology, petroleum exploration, oil field regulations, drilling, well completion, petroleum product practices and industry-specific mathematics. Some petroleum technology programs also provide hands-on practice using a realistic drilling rig simulator. The Association of American Geographers (AAG) includes geological and petroleum technicians and lists fellowship, internship and job opportunities that may be of interest to aspiring geological technicians (

Geological Technician Career Information

Job Description

Geological technicians work in both the petroleum and mining industries. They may work in production-related activities or in development, often using complex measuring instruments (sonic, nuclear and electrical). Using these devices and other industry technology, they search for and harvest metals, gas and oil. The training required to use temperature and pressure gauges, drills and other equipment is acquired largely through on-the-job experience. Technicians, even those with prior training, typically begin as trainees under the supervision of more experienced technicians or scientists.


Geological technicians learn safety practices for working in their respective industries, including CPR and first aid. They also need computer skills and familiarity with industry-related computer software.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

In 2018, the median yearly wage for a petroleum or geological technician was $53,300. Job growth of about 7% is projected for geological and petroleum technicians between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average. Higher oil prices allow oil companies to expand their exploration efforts, providing more hiring opportunities for these workers (

To wrap up, geological technicians must have an associate's or bachelor's degree in petroleum technology, geology, or a similar major. These programs provide in-class and hands-on training, both of which a geological technician needs.

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