Study the composition and structure of the earth to locate minerals and materials and advise on their extraction, and the environmental protection and rehabilitation of land after mining.
- explore specific areas of the earth to work out its structure and the types of rocks or minerals that exist
- study rock cores, cuttings and samples
- study geostatistics and sampling theory
- study fossilised life forms and date rock strata
- study the nature and effects of natural events such as erosion, sedimentation, glaciation, earthquakes and volcanic hazards
- locate and manage groundwater resources, investigate groundwater contamination and land salinity; undertake geochemical sampling of stream sediment and soils
- undertake ground magnetic and gravity surveys
- examine geological specimens in laboratories
- assist in determining the economic viability of extracting earth resources
- advise on the geological suitability of sites for structures such as tunnels, roads, coastal installations, bridges and water supply schemes
- contribute information about land use, planning and rehabilitation, and the effects of pollution on seabeds to environmental assessments
- prepare geological models to describe processes and predict future situations
- prepare geological reports and maps
As a geologist, you could work for mining and petroleum companies; engineering and environmental consultancy firms; geological survey organisations; and state, territory and federal government departments. You could also be employed as an industry analyst and/or advise on the economic viability of particular mining projects. Geologists may progress to exploration managers and even company managers or directors.
The following study pathway shows the most common and direct route for a UWA student to pursue this career.
This course is required to pursue this career.
A second major could include:
Graduates may be eligible after a qualifying period for membership of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and/or the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Postgraduate study is not necessarily required for entry to this profession but will be helpful for career advancement.
Relevant postgraduate courses include:
Executive Technical Director, Ironbark Zinc Limited, Subiaco WA
Non Executive Director, Corazon Mining Limited, Subiaco WA
Non Executive Director, Wolf Minerals Limited, Subiaco WA
BSc (Hons) Geology, UWA; BEc, Murdoch University; ongoing postgraduate studies
When I began my studies I did not think much beyond probably working for a mining company, and this had not changed by the time I had finished. Within the first few years of working in a fly-in fly-out role I decided to go into a more business development/economic vein. Studying Economics and taking up a position in the head office of another mining company allowed me to explore this avenue. In 2002, two partners and I went into business for ourselves, and our first private company went public the following year.
Four further ASX company listings followed, with all companies involved in the minerals industry and returning profits to investors who have backed those listings. These have been great moments; ones of which I am extremely proud.
One of our companies is developing a large zinc deposit in northern Greenland, and I am also involved as a Non Executive Director through Wolf Minerals Limited at its tungsten and tin deposit in Devon. Another company I am on the Board of is exploring a nickel sulphide deposit in central Canada. These and other activities in Australia mean a good deal of travel and meeting some great people.
What advice would you give someone who is considering taking up a degree in Science at UWA?
Having a goal, even if it changes during study, is very important so that you end up being ‘something’.