Geologists work in a wide range of settings, depending on their specialisation. Exposure to the elements is an important part of a geologist's fieldwork, as is the possibility of working in remote and isolated locations. In Western Australia, geologists might conduct research in areas as diverse as rivers, along the coastline, in mine sites and the outback.
On average, geologists can expect to earn between $2 308 and $2 500 per week ($120 000 and $130 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a geologist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Equipment and technology used by geologists during the course of their fieldwork or in laboratories may include microscopes, GIS mapping software, compasses, picks, and rock hammers. Safety clothing such as helmets, protective glasses and steel capped boots need to be worn in most locations, particularly those involving rocky or dusty terrain.
To become a geologist you usually need to complete a degree in science with a major in geology or a related science.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.