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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

Geophysicists will study the physical aspects of the earth to create a picture of what lies below the earth's surface. They do this by collecting data on seismic waves which move around and through the earth.  Geophysicists are used by oil and gas exploration and extraction companies, environmental consultancies, research institutes.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • geology
  • geophysics
  • geoscience
  • mathematics
  • physics

Many employers will expect you to have, or be working towards, a PhD in a relevant subject.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

Click here to search for a suitable course.


You could start as a PhD research assistant, for example in a university Earth sciences or geophysics engineering department. With further training and experience you could become a Geophysicist.

More information

You can discover more about working in seismology from The Geological Society and the British Geological Survey.

Career Path and Progression

You could become a project co-ordinator or manager with a seismic research organisation, university or energy company.

In a university post, once you've got experience and published original research, you could become a senior research fellow or professor.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Research scientist
  • Geospatial technician
  • Geotechnician
  • Physicist

Required Skills

  • A keen interest in physics and geology
  • Good project management skills
  • The ability to communicate findings and write reports
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Good team working abilities
  • Flexibility 

Salary Range

£15,000 to £45,000

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