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Seismologist

Alternative titles for this job include Geophysicist

Seismologists study shock waves created by earthquakes and volcanic activity. They also work in oil, gas and minerals exploration.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

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How to become

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How to become a seismologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role

University

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • geology
  • geography
  • Earth science
  • geophysics
  • environmental science
  • computer science

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

Entry requirements

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

More Information

Work

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 seismologist.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • science skills
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • monitor and analyse data from seismic sensors around the world
  • map seismic regions and fault lines in the Earth's surface
  • develop early warning systems for earthquake zones
  • investigate target sites for new seismic stations
  • search for oil and gas deposits under land and sea
  • produce survey reports for mining and energy companies
  • attend conferences and publish research findings
  • take students on field trips to study earthquake and volcano hot spots
  • teach students, or train professionals in related fields like people working in disaster risk reduction

Working environment

You could work at a research facility, at a university or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be physically active and you may spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a seismologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Geology

  • Provider: LITTLEOVER COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Derby

Geology

  • Provider: ALTRINCHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR BOYS
  • Start date: 03 September 2021
  • Location: Altrincham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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