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Geophysicist/field seismologist : Training

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Some of the large oil companies offer a full two-year structured training programme across the breadth of geophysics, including the opportunity to experience work in various teams before specialising in one area. Training may include work on:

  • existing wells;
  • research;
  • rock analysis;
  • magnetic and gravitational potential field data analysis.

However, it is more usual for initial training to be provided on the job. Training in the first six months can be intensive and includes health and safety and field training, as well as exposure to geophysics and seismic data processing. There may be a probationary period during which a new geophysicist works alongside an experienced colleague. Competency-based appraisals take place regularly in most firms.

In smaller firms, and for academic posts, there is unlikely to be any formal training - you will be expected to start work straightaway and pick up skills as you go along.

External training may be offered to teach new skills, such as learning how to operate a new piece of equipment. If you work for a smaller company, you may find that you need to take responsibility for arranging and funding your own development and training.

There is no industry-wide professional qualification. Geophysicists/field seismologists may join a relevant professional body, such as the Geological Society , the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) or the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB)  without passing examinations or having specific levels of experience, but a degree in geophysics, geology or any related discipline is essential.

Study to Masters or PhD level while working may be an option and a few courses are available on a part-time basis.

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2013

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