Development Geologist

Locate new oil reservoirs.
picture of Development Geologist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$44,000 – $161,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Development Geologists do?

Development Geologists are the diviners of the oil world. In this job, you find new sources of oil, and help energy companies tap them. Unlike the waterfinders of old though, instead of a special twig, Development Geologists use advanced seismic detection apparatuses, detailed computer modeling, and an in-depth understanding of geology and geophysics to determine where the largest sources of oil are and how best to reach them.

Uncovering something so precious hidden so deep underground may seem like a daunting task. But if you’re the kind of person who revels in a challenge like digging up buried treasure without a map, then this might be the career for you. Development Geologists pit their brain and human technology against the earth itself, seeking out new sources of energy. But you won’t have to do it alone—you’re part of a team of talented researchers and Equipment Operators, all working together to collect data and paint an accurate picture of what lies deep below the surface of the earth.

As a Development Geologist, you live in a number of worlds. You have an office in a laboratory, where you work most of the time with your team. You use a computer almost every day, and on paper, your workweek is 40 hours long with standard vacations and time off. However, you’re also called upon to journey out into the field from time to time to survey new sites (though you often have support people for that).

Making presentations to management is also important when you submit your findings, so you need good communications skills. Expect some overtime when these reports are due and you need to get them finished by a set deadline.


Should I be a Development Geologist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Development Geologist

    Most Development Geologists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aba9ta&chl=|certificate+%281%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2857%25%29|master%27s+%2842%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
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