Petroleum Geologist

Also known as: Petroleum Geoscientist, Petrophysicist

Petroleum Geoscience covers a wide variety of aspects involved in the study of petroleum (oil and gas) accumulations and related resources such as coal.

Society is very reliant on these resources known as 'fossil fuels' for road and air transport and electricity generation, as well as a range of petroleum-based products that we use every day. Understanding how oil and gas form and where oil discoveries might be made requires good geological and geophysical knowledge and skills.


  • Explore specific areas of the earth to work out its structure and the types of rocks or minerals that exist;
  • Study rock cores, cuttings and samples;
  • Study geostatistics and sampling theory;
  • Study fossilised life forms and date rock strata;
  • Study the nature and effects of natural events such as erosion, sedimentation, glaciation, earthquakes and volcanic hazards;
  • Locate and manage ground water resources, investigate ground water contamination and land salinity;
  • Undertake geochemical sampling of stream sediment and soils;
  • Undertake ground magnetic and gravity surveys;
  • Examine geological specimens in laboratories using optical and electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, chemical and mechanical techniques;
  • Assist in determining the economic viability of extracting earth resources;
  • Advise on the geological suitability of sites for structures such as tunnels, roads, coastal installations, bridges and water supply schemes;
  • Contribute to environmental assessments such as land use, planning and rehabilitation and the effects of pollution on seabeds;
  • Use computers to integrate and interpret data sets of geological information;
  • Prepare geological models to describe processes and predict future situations; and
  • Prepare geological reports and maps.

Skills Required

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities;
  • Willing to adhere to safety requirements;
  • Able to work as part of a team;
  • Able to work independently;
  • Able to prepare accurate records and reports;
  • Physically fit; and
  • Prepared to work outdoors in a range of environments.


$90,000 - $160,000