- What do researchers do? Labour market information
- Occupational information
- Research outside the higher education sector
Between 2006 and 2009, 0.5% of employed doctoral graduates or 70 employed doctoral graduates, are known to have been working as geologists six months after graduation
Doctoral level geologists and mineralogists are typically found as researchers outside the higher education (HE) sector, usually in the oil and gas industry, at the start of their careers, although some enter HE research roles.
Geologists and mineralogists provide advice and expertise on the qualities and amounts of substances found underground. Often this expertise focuses on extraction of minerals and gems, hence many geologists work within the oil and gas industries, estimating the size and location of resources. Wellsite geologists, for example, study rock cuttings from oil and gas wells to determine what rock formations are being drilled into and how drilling should proceed. They identify critical strata from core samples and rock-cutting data, and build up knowledge of the structure being drilled.
Other geologists provide advice and expertise on the geological aspects of development and production in mine, pit and quarry sites. It is often necessary for geologists and mineralogists to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, assuring the quality of minerals extracted, and ensuring the safety and viability of extraction processes.
Much academic research work for geologists and mineralogists is very similar in nature to the research work the new entrant carried out as a doctoral student, with an increased level of responsibility. As a result, most entrants into these research roles should have a good idea of the basic nature of the job and many of the key responsibilities. Industry field roles may differ more.
In practice, most doctoral graduate geologists who are not in research, are employed in the oil or gas industries and these will be a crucial group of employers for those looking for private sector employment.