If you want to become a geophysicist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a geophysicist:
Those who become geophysicists have a keen interest in studying the structure and composition of the earth. They also have a natural aptitude in science and mathematics, and an advanced education in physics and geology.
To become a geophysicist, you need to be comfortable with the idea of working indoors and outdoors, as well as comfortable with working in remote locations.
Geophysicists are responsible for studying the structure, composition and behavior of the earth using a variety of methods and equipment. The study of the earth’s structure and composition also involves the study of oceans, gravity, and magnetic and electrical fields.
Some geophysicists are strictly involved in research, while others may apply geophysical knowledge for a variety of purposes, such as evaluating earth properties for environmental hazards, evaluating areas for construction sites locating underground water sources, locating geological faults, or to find minerals such as oil, iron and copper.
To become a geophysicist, you need to develop a strong background in geology, physics and mathematics. It is also important to have skills in research, and skills working with various computer programs, such as mapping programs and data collection and analysis programs.
To acquire this knowledge base and skill set you typically need to pursue an undergraduate degree in science, with a major in geophysics, geoscience or a combined geology and physics program. Having an undergraduate degree in one of these areas will qualify you to work an entry-level geophysics job, such as Research Assistant.
If you want to become a geophysicist who works as a consultant or a researcher, you will need a Master of Science degree in any of the aforementioned fields, or a closely related field. To become a geophysicist who works in senior research and university teaching positions a Ph.D. is typically needed.
In order to become a competent geophysicist, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will allow you to effectively perform the duties of your job, as well as maintain a positive attitude towards your work.
• A natural aptitude in mathematics and physics
• A keen interest in studying the composition and structure of the earth
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• A willingness to work both indoors and outdoors
• A willingness to work in remote locations
• Experience conducting scientific research
• A decent level of physical fitness
• Able to use specialized computer programs, such as modeling programs
• Able to be patient and precise with measurements and calculations
There are several types of organizations that create jobs for geophysicists; organizations that are involved in research, consulting, resource exploration, academia and government.
Organizations that hire Geophysicists typically include:
• Colleges and universities
• Federal, provincial/state government departments
• Oil, gas and mining companies
• Non-profit organizations
• Geological and geophysical consulting companies
• Public and private research organizations
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