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Geophysical Data Technician

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What Does it Take to Be a Geophysical Data Technician?

Position Description Measure, record, or evaluate geological data, using sonic, electronic, electrical, seismic, or gravity-measuring instruments to prospect for oil or gas. May collect or evaluate core samples or cuttings.

What Do Geophysical Data Technicians Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Record readings in order to compile data used in prospecting for oil or gas.
  • Evaluate and interpret core samples and cuttings, and other geological data used in prospecting for oil or gas.
  • Set up or direct set-up of instruments used to collect geological data.
  • Plan and direct activities of workers who operate equipment to collect data.
  • Apply new technologies, such as improved seismic imaging techniques, to locate untapped oil or natural gas deposits.
  • Collect data on underground areas, such as reservoirs, that could be used in carbon sequestration operations.

Geophysical Data Technician Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Geophysical Data Technicians say are important on the job.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

  • Geologist
  • Technical Assistant
  • Geoscience Specialist
  • Utility Locator
  • Section Plotter Operator

Is There Going to be Demand for Geophysical Data Technicians?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 15,000 jobs in the United States for Geophysical Data Technician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 16% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,400 new jobs for Geophysical Data Technician by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,900 positions for Geophysical Data Technician per year.


The states with the most job growth for Geophysical Data Technician are Wyoming, North Carolina, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, West Virginia, or New Hampshire. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Geophysical Data Technician

Geophysical Data Technicians make between $28,020 and $108,110 a year.


Geophysical Data Technicians who work in New Mexico, Alaska, or Kentucky, make the highest salaries.

How much do Geophysical Data Technicians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $52,180
Alaska $76,650
Arizona $45,350
Arkansas $45,670
California $52,900
Florida $39,930
Georgia $64,110
Idaho $40,750
Illinois $39,500
Indiana $60,210
Kansas $48,530
Kentucky $64,540
Louisiana $64,640
Maryland $50,230
Massachusetts $62,840
Michigan $50,010
Minnesota $55,610
Mississippi $52,570
Missouri $49,620
Montana $61,730
Nebraska $66,470
Nevada $56,330
New Mexico $90,010
New York $54,920
North Dakota $60,050
Ohio $49,660
Oklahoma $55,580
Pennsylvania $49,190
South Carolina $51,610
Tennessee $54,600
Texas $66,760
Utah $51,400
Virginia $46,460
Washington $53,840
West Virginia $57,350
Wyoming $59,410

What Tools do Geophysical Data Technicians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Geophysical Data Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Database software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Golden Software Surfer
  • Geographic resources analysis support system GRASS
  • Landmark GeoGraphix
  • Clark Labs IDRISI Andes
  • Seismic Micro-Technology KINGDOM
  • Parallel Geoscience SPW

Becoming a Geophysical Data Technician

Are there Geophysical Data Technicians education requirements?


What work experience do I need to become a Geophysical Data Technician?


Who Employs Geophysical Data Technicians?


Below are examples of industries where Geophysical Data Technicians work:


Those thinking about becoming a Geophysical Data Technician might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Geophysical Data Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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