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UK Skills Shortage Occupation 13 Geoscientist


This is the 13th instalment in a series of blogs that provide information on occupational roles that employers struggle to fill. In this article we take a look at the role of the geoscientist.

In this series of blogs, we will be taking a look at skills shortages in the UK as published by, a leading international immigration consultancy firm. The occupations that we will cover in this series are listed as those where the skills shortage is such that employers struggle to fill the roles to such an extent that jobs on this list do not need to be advertised before they can be offered to a non-EEA (European Economic Area) immigrant.

There are regional differences in the skills and occupations where employers are experiencing shortages and throughout this series we will endeavour to provide information on where the greatest demand for the occupations and skills exist geographically.

What does a geoscientist do?

Geoscientists use techniques like seismic surveying (where you produce detailed images of the various rock types and their location beneath the Earth’s surface), drilling and electromagnetic measurements to collect information which they then analyse and combine with other geological data. This allows them to understand the subsurface and identify places to drill and to identify natural hazards.

There are several specialisms in geoscience including geophysics, environmental, natural hazards, energy resources, mining, and extraction. As a geoscientist you would use your expertise to:

  • assess the ground for building suitability on engineering projects like dam or tunnel building
  • advise on suitable sites for landfill or storage of nuclear waste
  • search for energy resources and minerals, like gas and oil
  • design projects to search for new water supplies
  • study volcanic and seismic activity to develop early warning systems for communities living close to earthquake zones.

What is the work like for a geoscientist?

Geoscientists go where they are needed and work can be on land, off shore, abroad or in the UK. The work can be physically demanding.

What skills does a geoscientist need to have?

Geoscientists work as part of a team and often have to explain geological information to people who are not experts. So, aside from the obvious skills that they need to have in statistical analysis, science and technology, they also need:

  • Great communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Skills in teamwork and cooperation.

The average starting salary is between £22,000 and £35,000. You can find out about other geological careers here and compare job prospects and salaries using our labour market tool.

See skills shortage occupation 14

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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