Geologist

The South African landscape consists of diverse geological features that contain ancient fossils and rich resource deposits. The identification and sustainable management of these resources are essential to create a thriving economy as well as ensure healthy environments. Geology involves the science of the physical structure, substances, history and processes acting on the earth.

Geologists explore and estimate resource deposits such as coal, metal, petroleum and natural gas deposits for proposed mining operations. They also study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth and advise construction and mining companies on mitigating risks and potential land impacts. They also plan environmental protection measures by forecasting change in the landscape caused by for example climate change to reduce the impact of natural disasters on both people and the natural environment.

Geologists can perform long hours of fieldwork above and below ground that can be physically taxing. They additionally work in laboratories and offices, testing material samples and reporting on findings.

Skills

Geologists must have a thorough geological knowledge of varied ores, soils, minerals and rock types as well as the ability to conduct extensive and complex fieldwork and research. They will also benefit from: 

  • Ability to use geological mapping software 
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Knowledge of related policy and regulations
  • Good verbal and written communication and presentation skills

Tasks

Study the composition and processes impacting varied earth surfaces

Identify and survey geological risks and opportunities

Locate and map the nature and extent of varied resource deposits

Measure seismic, gravitational, thermal, and other forces impacting the earth

Studies

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Geology at NMU, NWU, RU, SU, UCT, UFH, UFS, UJ, UKZN, UL, UP, UWC and Wits

B., M. in Mining and Environmental Geology at Univen

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Geology at TUT

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

NGOs, development organisations and private consultancies.

Research institutions.

Related career paths