Geophysicists study the structure and composition of zones below the surface of the earth by taking measurements using seismic, gravity, magnetic and electrical data collection methods.
To become a geophysicist you usually have to complete a degree in science with a major in geophysics, geoscience or a combination of geology and physics, preferably at honours level. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Geophysicists may perform the following tasks:
Geophysicists often work as part of a team of geoscientists. Some carry out fieldwork, which may involve a lot of travel, often to remote areas.
Most geophysicists are exploration geophysicists, employed by oil and mineral exploration companies. They are also employed by data processing centres, computer software development companies, environmental groups, state government geological survey teams, the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and universities. There are some opportunities for self-employment as geophysical consultants. Because the skills of geophysicists can be applied in other areas, alternative employment is available when activity in the mineral or petroleum industries declines.