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Working as a Geologist and Geological Engineer

Job Description

Geoscientists (NOC 2113) study the history and structure of the earth’s crust and the rocks and minerals that make it up.

Working as a geologist, geochemist, or geophysicist you perform the following duties:

  • Conduct field studies, drilling and geological testing
  • Prepare maps that show rock types and geological structures
  • Locate new oil fields and mineral deposits, and plan ways to access them
  • Advise builders and engineers on the suitability of sites for building or mining projects
  • Plan and conduct seismic, electromagnetic and other remote sensing programs
  • Develop models and applied software for the analysis of data
  • Advise in areas such as site selection, waste management and restoration of contaminated sites

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for NOC 2113Career Cruising database [profile for Civil Engineer]

Geological engineers (NOC 2144) carry out geological and geotechnical studies to assess suitability of locations for civil engineering, mining and oil and gas projects.

Working as a geological engineer you perform the following duties:

  • Conduct programs of data acquisition, analysis, and mapping to assist with civil engineering, mining, petroleum and waste management projects
  • Analyze and prepare recommendations and reports for construction or civil engineering projects
  • Conduct studies of groundwater flow and contamination
  • Carry out studies in mining exploration and mine evaluation
  • Supervise technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for NOC 2144

Industry Overview

Future employment opportunities for geologists and geological engineers are expected to be good, with more job openings than number of workers to fill them.

New jobs will likely come from oil, gas and mining exploration in BC and the environmental geosciences sector including land use planning, risk assessment and water resources management. There is currently demand for workers in independent power projects in the province.

Much of the demand for geologists and geological engineers is expected to be filled by immigration.

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for NOC 2113

Job Outlook in BC


job outlook in BC for geoscientists

Chart from WorkBC, NOC 2113
Geological Engineers

job outlook in BC for geological engineers

Chart from WorkBC, NOC 2144
WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2015-2025:

Geological Engineers (NOC 2144)

Region Expected # of
Job Openings
Average Annual Employment Growth Expected
Increase in Employment
Vancouver Island 30 0.6% 5
Lower Mainland /Southwest 220 1.5% 100

Geologists, Geochemists, and Geophysicists (NOC 2113)

Region Expected # of
Job Openings
Average Annual Employment Growth Expected
Increase in Employment
Vancouver Island 160 0.9% 40
Lower Mainland /Southwest 610 2.0% 270
Thompson-Okanagan 60 0.6% 1.6%
Kootenay 60 0.4% 10

You can learn more about working as a Geologist and Geological Engineer from

  • WorkBC, Career Profiles at 2113, and 2144

Types of Employers

Geologists work for:

  • petroleum and mining companies
  • consulting geology, geophysics, and engineering firms
  • government and educational institutions
  • may be self-employed

Geological engineers work for:

  • consulting engineering companies
  • electrical utilities, mining, and petroleum companies
  • government
  • research and educational institutions


In BC, the median annual salary for Geologists is over $77,000. The median annual salary for Geological Engineers is between $99,129.

Your salary varies depending on education, work experience, position, and employer.  Management positions may make more.

In addition to your salary, full-time employees often receive benefits such as pension plans, dental coverage, sick leave, and paid vacations.

Sources: WorkBC & Career Cruising

Job Bank Canada website provides hourly wages:

Geologists [NOC 2113]

hourly wages for geologists

Geological Engineers [NOC 2144]

hourly wages for geological engineers

Source: Job Bank, Wage Report

Working Hours

You generally work between 8 and 10 hours a day, 40 to 50 hours a week.

However, at times you may be required to work longer hours due to seasonal site access limitations, remote location or data gathering equipment requirements.

Skills, Education and Experience


  • Applied knowledge of math, physics, chemistry and biology
  • Detailed observation skills
  • Good physical stamina
  • Excellent problem solving and decision making abilities
  • Project management experience
  • Ability to travel to field locations
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills

Education and Experience

  • University degree in geology, geological engineering, geochemistry, geophysics, or a related discipline is required.
  • Registration with Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) is required.
  • A master’s degree or a PhD may be required for some positions


This occupation is regulated in British Columbia.

This means that if you are working as an engineer or as a geoscientist in BC, you must either:

  • Be registered as a Professional Engineer or Geoscientist in BC


  • Work under the direct supervision of someone who is registered as a Professional Engineer or Geoscientist in BC

In order to become a registered member of Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia you require:

  • graduation from an accredited educational program
  • four years of supervised work experience in engineering or geoscience
  • passing a professional practice examination
  • completion of the law and ethics seminar

For more information:

Internationally Trained Professionals

If you have completed your P. Eng or P. Geo application process you may qualify as a “Provisional Member” with Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia. This designation provides member status to internationally trained engineering graduates who have completed the academic, experience, professionalism, character, and residency requirements.

For more information:

  • Introduction to Engineering in BC – Langara College
    These courses are designed to provide internationally trained engineers with industry specific skills in order to find employment in an engineering environment. They also help you gain a good understanding of Canadian workplace culture.

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For geologists, look for these related job titles (from NOC 2113):

  • Geochemist /Geophysicist
  • Hydrologist
  • Mine Geologist / Mineralogist
  • Petroleum Geologist / Petrologist
  • Sedimentologist

For geological engineers, look for these related job titles (from NOC 2144):

  • Geophysical Engineer
  • Hydrogeological Engineer

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the mining or engineering industries in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Mines Handbook
    Available at the Central Library, 380 Mi6C
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “geological” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following pathfinders:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for professional and civil engineers in BC and Canada provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession.

Examples at the Central Library:

  • CIM Magazine / Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
    Also available at the Central Library, 622.06 C21c
  • Innovation / Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia
    Also available at the Central Library, 620.5 B86