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Geologists use physics, chemistry and biology to study the structure of the earth to locate minerals and other resources.

They also study natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic activity and other weather effects. They advise on the impacts of mining relating to environmental protection and the rehabilitation of land.

Where geologists are employed

Geologists work for mining and petroleum companies involved in the exploration, extraction and production of minerals and hydrocarbons, engineering and environmental consultancy firms, geological survey organisations, and state, territory and federal government departments.

Pay

Full-time geologists in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week

Graph of pay scale for Geologist

Job prospects

Geologists may progress to exploration managers and even company managers or directors. They are highly mobile both within Australia and internationally. There are some opportunities for self-employment.

In 2011 there were 440 people employed full-time as geologists in South Australia compared with 351 in 2006.

How to become one

You need a degree in science or applied science with a major in geology, geological science, applied geology or earth sciences. At school consider doing English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, and geography.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information. 

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