Exploration Geologist

The Exploration Geologist would use their intricate knowledge of the earth’s surface to make decisions as to the probable location of mineral deposits for extraction purposes.

Typical Duties

  • Responsible for identifying and assessing the location, quantity and quality of mineral deposits in the earth
  • The mapping of locations where the Exploration Geologist believes mineral deposits would be located
  • Testing the location – which involves looking for geological evidence of mineral deposits
  • The supervision of drilling operations in order to collect samples
  • Collecting and recording of samples and data from test sites
  • Analysing of drilling samples to determine what resources are present
  • Assessing extraction risks
  • Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering an management personnel
  • Devising solutions around issues related to land reclamation and water and air pollution

Working Conditions

  • Exploration Geologists may work in laboratories or offices for some of their time but will be required to travel to mine sites and remote sites on a regular basis
  • Typically will spend long periods of time away from home
  • Exploration Geologists must be prepared to travel and will often stay away from home for extended periods. They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis. FIFO commonly involves flying in for a certain period of time whilst the Exploration Geologist would be on site, and then flying home for periods when they are off work
  • Exploration Geologists will often get to see the world as if working for large international companies, their job will often involve international travel

Educational Requirements

  • Whilst many schools do not offer dedicated geology courses, subjects such as Earth Science or Environmental Science are offered and would be good choices for those interested in a career in Geology
  • Additional subjects such as biology, chemistry, computers and physics would be advantageous
  • A degree in Geology is often the minimum requirement for entry, although many regions and employers will expect a relevant post graduate qualification such as a masters or doctoral degree in Geology
  • Should you be interested in a Research or Academic position, it will require a doctorate or master’s degree
  • Many of the more senior positions also require an advanced degree in Geology
  • Specialised onsite training is often required

Personal Attributes

  • Have an interest in chemistry, maths and physics
  • Have an interest in the environment and earth sciences
  • Need to be familiar with data, mapping and modelling software, GIS remote sensing equipment etc.
  • Be able to analyse numerical and graphical data
  • Identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Be able to embrace new techniques and technologies, and be interested in keeping up to date on industry requirements and advancements
  • Be able to work under pressure
  • Have a good work ethic and be goal oriented
  • Have an ability to work with multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists
  • Must be interested in working in remote locations and on mites sites
  • Need to be physically fit


  • Geologists in mining typically command good salaries and Exploration Geologists are no exception
  • Geologists across the board are renowned to earn high salaries
  • They spend many years studying, work hard and often have to make sacrifices in times of time spent away from their families, and for this reason it’s important that they are adequately compensated


  • Find out more about salaries here.

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