About This Career
Geophysicists typically work in exploration and research. They apply their knowledge of earth sciences and expertise in physical measurements of the earth’s properties to enhance geological interpretations. Responsibilities vary with level of expertise, but in general they include planning, acquisition, processing, and interpretation of seismic and other geophysical data.
Geophysicists use many remote sensing methods to study the earth’s structure including gravity, magnetic, electrical and seismic methods. They apply different methods depending on existing data, the type of target they’re searching for, and the terrain which can range from land to the ocean floor.
Geophysicists may specialize in areas such as petroleum exploration and development, environmental, archeological and earthquake seismology, earth physics and geodesy. Within petroleum exploration and development, Geophysicists typically focus on acquisition, processing or interpretation.
Education: A post-secondary degree in geophysics or a related discipline is typically required. A master’s or doctoral degree in geophysics, physics, mathematics or engineering may be preferred by some employers.
Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production, oil sands and oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Example titles: Exploration Geophysicist, Seismologist
- Advancement to supervisory and management positions in mining, petroleum and other industries is possible with experience.
- Geologist to Geophysicist
- Geophysicist to Team Lead to Manager of Geosciences
- Mobility between specializations in this group is possible with experience.
- Senior Geophysicist to Exploration Team Supervisor to Exploration Manager
As Canada prepares for the launch of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, this occupation will play a key role in:
- Natural gas resource development
When the LNG industry takes off, you can be a part of the action!
Some Overtime Required
- Federal government public administration
- Mining and quarrying
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Provincial and territorial public administration
Oil and gas services
- Post-secondary degree
- Standard and emergency first aid
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- H2S Alive
- Geophysicists are eligible for registration with a provincial or territorial association of professional geoscientists following graduation from an accredited educational program and after several years of supervised work experience and, in some provinces, after passing a Professional Practice examination.
- Licensing and registration with a provincial or territorial association of professional geoscientists is mandatory to practice in Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.