USGS Seismologist Works with Haitian Officials

Geophysicists are geoscientists who are concerned with matter and energy and how they interact. They study the physical properties and structure of the earth, from its interior to its upper atmosphere, including land surfaces, subsurfaces, and bodies of water. There are approximately 31,800 geoscientists and 6,580 hydrologists employed in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Applied Geophysicists, Exploration Geophysicists, Geodesists, Geomagnetists, Geophysical Prospectors, Hydrologists, Marine Geophysicists, Planetologists, Seismologists, Tectonophysicists, Volcanologists
Duties Study the physical properties and structure of the earth
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but 28 percent of all U.S. geophysicists work in Texas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship or co-op experience helpful
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Head Researcher or Party Chief
  • Geophysicist
  • Intermediate Geophysicist
  • Junior Geophysicist
  • Geophysical Aide, Helper, or Trainee