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by Staff Reporter
If you’re interested in studying the earth (and its material) and enjoy working with people as well as traveling, a career as a Geologist could be for you.

Career Overview

Geologists study matter that makes up the earth as well as other planets – matter such as gas, liquid and solids. Part of the role of a Geologist is to study earth processes which include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and floods. Geologists are corncerned about the changes that will take place over the coming years.

Geologists exercise excellent communication skills, both verbally and written.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:

  • English (Home Language or First Additional Language)
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Physical Science
  • Life Sciences

Recommended subjects:

  • Geography

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Geology:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT): – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 660
  • University of Witwatersrand (Wits): – APS of 40
  • University of Johannesburg (UJ): APS of 30

Required Qualification/s

Bachelor’s Degree in Geology is the minimum required qualification. Knowledge that is provided during university study duration will be applied in the workplace.

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Geologist:

  • Teamworker
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Lateral thinking Skills
  • Detail Oriented
  • Self-motivation and Resilience
  • Initiative
  • Analytical Skills

Where you can work

As a Geologist, you will be able to work in any of the following environments:

  • Oil, Gas and Petroleum Sector
  • Groundwater Industry
  • Environmental Consultancies
  • Civil Engineering Firms
  • Construction Companies
  • Non-Profit Organisations
  • Government Agencies
  • Education Institutions

Working Hours

Working hours vary depending on the role undertaken within geology. Geologists that work outdoors spend more than 8 hours, daily, gathering information and samples – some Geologists are estimated to work between 5 – 15 hours out in the field. Work completed indoors is more structured but varies depending on deadlines.

Expected Salary

The current estimated salary ranges between R164 000 and R910 000, with an estimated average of R395 901. Bonuses are generally offered for this career.  Factors that contribute to salary amount include level of qualification and experience.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Geologist:

  • Geologists generally work more outdoors than they do indoors
  • Traveling is to be expected. Depending on the type of organisation of employment, it can be nationally and internationally
  • Interest in history is key
  • Safety is a priority for all Geologists. It is key that Geologists are familiar with public safety regulations
  • Work space isn’t limited to being outdoors. If Geologists aren’t working outdoors then they spend their work time in laboratories, classrooms or offices

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