As a Geoscience Technologist colourful display of charts, maps
and graphs greet you when you turn on your monitor each day. Your
analytical skills and computer savvy are put to the test when you
synthesize data from various sources into meaningful and useful
information. Alternatively, you may choose to oversee seismic
operations in field locations out in the open prairie or deep in
the forest. Whichever you choose, you will play an important role
in the search for oil and gas.
Before oil and gas wells are drilled, an area is surveyed to
determine the extent of oil and gas deposits. Geoscience
Technologists analyze the data generated by these surveys and
create detailed maps to guide the exploration process.
What do Geoscience Technologists do?
Geoscience Technologists are involved in two
important stages of seismic analyses: dataacquisition, and data
processing and interpretation. There are many jobs to choose fromin
this occupation. They include:
- Seismic Field
Technologists: Acquire the necessary land access and
drilling approvalsfrom the government, regulating bodies and other
key stakeholders. They chooseseismic contractors and monitor their
- Seismic Technologists -
Approvals and Permits: Research land titles, legal survey
plans,aerial photographs and satellite imagery to develop detailed
survey plans and initialmaps. They coordinate the formal submission
process to obtain necessary government approvals.
- Seismic Geographic
Information Systems Technologists: Use surveying and
computerequipment to conduct field surveys, record key information
and develop detailed maps.
Technologists: Transfer seismic data from the field into
imaging softwareprograms that create seismic reports and contour
maps. They also collect and compiledata from aerial photos, survey
notes, records, reports and maps.
- Geological Technologists: Collate, analyze and
present geological information aboutwells, rock formations, core,
topography, log analysis, mapping and contouring neededfor an
How do I become a Geoscience Technologist
A two year Technologist diploma from a recognized technical
institute is the minimum requirement. You can pursue various
disciplines that include geology, petroleum, petroleum engineering,
hydrogeology or groundwater technology, mineralogy and metallurgy.
A full list of the nationally accredited programs is available at
the Canadian Council of Technologists and Technicians (CCTT) at www.cctt.ca.
Through the CCTT, technologists are granted certification by the
provincial associations. For instance in Alberta, where the
majority of the jobs in this occupation are located, technologists
become certified as a Registered Geological or Geophysical
Professional Technologist (RPT).
You will need a valid driver's license in good standing as
travel to worksites may be required.
What are the working conditions like?
Many Geoscience Technologists perform their work indoors in
office settings. They work regular business hours with some
overtime. Other Geoscience Technologists find seismic field
operations more attractive as it offers the opportunity to work
outdoors. Field jobs involve extensive travel, absence from home,
variable weather conditions, irregular shifts and potentially,
exposure to hazardous conditions. Following safety protocols is
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 well developed communication
- I can follow safety rules and
precautions, and understand their importance when dealing with
potentially hazardous material and equipment.
- I can work rotational shifts and long
hours, and do not mind changes in routine.
- I am able to travel to and from work
- I have the tolerance, stamina and
flexibility to work outdoors in any weather conditions.
- I can work and live in isolated
regions for extended periods of time.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent Geoscience Technologist!
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 forinformation on
- To learn more about a career in
seismic operations, check out careervideos at www.cagc.ca.
- 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.
- Check out the Canadian Society of
Exploration Geophysicists' website www.cseg.ca. Go to the Students
section for more information aboutcareers in geophysics, including
photos of this fascinating work.
- Look for summer jobs in assisting
Seismic Operators in the field.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out