A geologist salary in the United States earns $58,000 on average. Those working in the United Kingdom and Canada earn slightly less, with Canadian geologists earning about C$67,231 ($52,030) per year and British geologists earning as little as £31,198 ($40,106). In Australia, Switzerland, and Norway, geologists earn significantly more on average. Australian geologists earn as much as AU$95,377 ($72,579) per year. Swiss geologists make CHF 88,511 ($91,446) on average. In Norway, geologists get paid as much as NOK708,397($93,540) per year.
Geologist Salary Influencers
Although many of the different salary reporting sites disagree about the exact average salary of a geologist, there are definitely some identifiable trends and influential factors on a geologist’s salary. These include the type of industry one works in, the geographical area one works in, and the geologist’s level of experience.
For the most part, geologists work for private industries, especially in the fossil fuel industry. The highest-paying jobs are typically found working as a senior geologist for a petroleum company. Most of the work involves collecting soil and rock samples.
A handful of geologists work in a school or university setting, working on research or teaching as a professor. Other jobs may be found in the public sector, working with various environmental protection agencies or climate change organizations.
2. Geographical Area
|Geologist Salary||Hourly Wage||Annual Wage|
|Canada||C$30 ($23)||C$67,231 ($52,030)|
|UK||£11 ($14)||£31,198 ($40,106)|
|Australia||AU$35 ($26)||AU$95,377 ($72,579)|
|Switzerland||CHF 31 ($32)||CHF 88,511 ($91,446)|
|Norway||NOK 375 ($44.95)||NOK 708,397 ($93,540)|
Geologist Salary in the US
A geologist working in the United States earns an average annual income of around $58,000. In terms of hourly wage, this translates into about $23 per hour. On average, geologists earn an entry level pay of $39,754 per year. Senior level geologists make as much as $107,604 a year.
Geologist Salary in Canada
In Canada, geologists earn C$67,231 ($52,030) per year, a bit less than those working in the United States. This roughly translates into an hourly wage of C$30 ($23). Entry level geologists make roughly C$47,173 ($39,269) initially, with earnings climbing as high as C$86,745 ($67,132) for senior level workers.
Geologist Salary in the UK
In the UK, geologists make about £31,198 ($40,106) per year. In terms of hourly wage, geologists earn £11 ($14) per hour. An entry level geologist typically gets paid about £19,750 ($25,389) annually. At the senior level, geologists earn an average of about £58,526 (75,238).
Geologist Salary in Australia
Geologists working in Australia bring in about AU$95,377 ($72,579) annually on average. Per hour, they bring in about AU$35 ($26) on average. What can a geologist expect to learn at the entry level in Australia? According to Payscale, entry level salaries start at around AU$59,180 ($45,034) and senior level salaries climb as high as AU$136,708($104,031) a year. This rate of pay is comfortably higher than other countries.
Geologist Salary in Switzerland
In Switzerland, geologists make about CHF 88,511 ($91,446) per year, which comes to about CHF 31 ($32) per hour, according to the Swiss website LohnAnalyse. Although LohnAnalyse lacks data for entry level and senior level pay. Entry-level geologists in Switzerland can expect to receive around CHF 77,436 ($79,995) for entry level geologists, with senior level workers earning as much as CHF 131,835 ($136,193). An ad for a senior level geological position at a petroleum firm operating in Geneva lists the pay offerings as £85000 – £99000 ($10,9271-$127,269) yearly.
Geologist Salary in Norway
The average pay of a Norwegian geologist is around NOK780,397 ($93,540) per year. According to Glassdoor, by contrast, geologists in Norway make about kr 502,500 ($60,230) per year, yet this number only came from three reported salaries. The starting pay for a geologist in Norway is about kr 568,442 ($68,134) while the average senior level geologist earns about kr 967,781 ($116,000) annually. If these numbers add up, that means that Norway offers the best pay for geologists of all the countries we have looked at.
For any position in geology, a person requires a bachelor’s degree. However, most geologists will require a master’s degree for the higher paying jobs, especially in European countries. For teaching at the university level, a doctorate degree is required.
The highest paying jobs typically require a master’s degree in geology and a great deal of work experience. These highest paying jobs are typically senior level positions at petroleum companies.
Geological work involves long hours in the field doing research on geological formations. This often requires difficult physical labor, lengthy hours, and frequent travel, making it difficult for geologists to often see their family. Many geologists will have to spend a significant amount of time underground in caves or mining structures.
After a great deal of experience doing fieldwork, geologists can migrate to working in the laboratory setting, earning more and having more time to spend at home.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
In many countries, geologists earn an end of the year bonus. SalaryExpert says that American geologists end up earning an average bonus of about $2,565 at the end of the year. Other countries offer similar bonuses.In Norway, bonuses can be as high as kr 23,788 ($2,731). In the United Kingdom, bonuses range from zero to £14,899 ($19,153) according to PayScale.
In the United States, geologists benefit from paid holidays, vacation time, health insurance, and pensions. In Europe, as is elsewhere in the world, healthcare and vacation time are provided by international law as a basic human right, and holidays are typically taken off.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for geologists are expected to grow by ten percent faster than average over the next several years. A great deal of employment opportunities have arisen because of the earth’s rising temperature, meaning that many jobs are opening up for geologists to help tackle our need for new energy and environmental practices. For this reason, geologists can reasonably expect to find employment in the future.
Becoming a geologist will take getting a master’s degree for the higher paying jobs, but with the promise of employment, offers a decent paying job with upward mobility and benefits. The best paying jobs are working for the petroleum companies, although many geologists also find careers in the public sector or in education.