Have you ever wondered how Geologists and Geophysicists
determine the location and extent of oil and gas beneath the
earth's surface? There's a lot of technology involved and
Geoscience Technicians are right in the thick of it.
Before wells are drilled, an area is surveyed to determine how
much oil or gas is present. Seismic technology creates vibrations
beneath the earth's surface. Dynamite charges or vibrating
equipment generate shock waves, which bounce off underground
structures and are picked up by sensors and digital recorders that
map underground rock formations. While a well is being drilled,
Geoscience Technicians collect information that is used to evaluate
the rock formations to see if there is enough oil or gas to make
the well economically viable.
Can you picture yourself as part of the dynamic team that pulls
all this information together and prepares it for scientific
analysis? Do you love working with sophisticated computer software?
Do you have an eye for detail and an affinity for geography? If so,
then a career as a Geoscience Technician is worth exploring!
What do Geoscience Technicians do?
Geoscience Technicians assist geoscience
professionals in processing and interpreting geological and
geophysical data. They do this by storing, retrieving, compiling,
manipulating and displaying data using sophisticated computer
software programs. There are two typical jobs that make up this
Technicians: Acquire the necessary land access and
drilling approvals from the government, regulating bodies and other
key stakeholders. They choose seismic contractors and monitor their
work. They load, moveand reformat seismic data using a variety of
seismic software programs and in-house databases. They also compile
and display required data from aerial photographs, survey notes,
records, reports and maps.
Technicians: Research land titles and maintain geological
and geophysical databases. They collate, analyze and ensure quality
control on information about wells, rock formations, core,
topography and other geological data needed for a project. They
gather, transfer and load information, ensuring seismic data is
properly matched to well logs and measurement data. They also
prepare digital log data, geological maps, cross sections and
illustrations for presentations using various geological software
How do I become a Geoscience Technician?
At minimum, you will need a one year certificate from a
recognized technical school. A full list of the nationally
accredited programs is available on the Canadian Council of
Technicians and Technologists website at www.cctt.ca. Related fields of study
include geological technology, petroleum technology, petroleum
engineering technology, hydrogeology or groundwater technology,
mining technology, mining engineering technology, mineralogy and
You can also obtain a Certified Technician
designation if you have two or more years of acceptable technician
experience, a certificate from an accredited technician program,
three professional references and successful completion of a
professional practice exam.
What are the working conditions like?
Most Geoscience Technicians perform their work in comfortable
well lit and office settings. They work regular business hours with
some overtime required.
Trips to wells and seismic field sites may occur occasionally,
where there may be exposure to variable weather conditions.
Overnight stays are possible on these trips.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a
- I am very interested in mathematics,
physics and earth sciences.
- I pay special attention to detail and
accuracy and am not easily distracted.
- I am a good problem solver and think
quickly on my feet.
- I am a great
- I have a strong interest in
scientific computer software.
- I enjoy studying maps, charts, graphs
- I am quite versatile and can work on
my own or with a team.
- I have good communication
- I am good at taking direction and can
learn on the go.
- I am able to travel to and from work
- I have the tolerance, stamina and
flexibility to work outdoors in any weather conditions.
- I believe that following safety
policies and procedures is very important.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent Geoscience Technician!
Quick tips and next steps!
- Visit career fairs and talk to
employers who offer jobs and careers in this occupation. Check with
employment centres, educational institutions, newspapers,
petroleum-related magazines and the internet for information on
- Participate in National
Technology Week which is held annually during November and
offers a host of activities along with interactive and fun
resources to help students, teachers and parents explore technical
- Participate in National
Engineering and Geoscience Week. For more information, check
out the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and
Geophysicists of Alberta website at www.apegga.com.
- Visit the Canadian Council of
Technicians and Technologists website at www.cctt.ca for more information on
technologist/technician occupations and national technology
- Check out the student section of
Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists' website at www.cseg.ca.
- Look for summer jobs working on
drilling and service rigs or assisting Seismic Operators inthe
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