Job Description of a Geophysicist

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A geophysicist is knowledgeable about both physics and the geology and atmospheric sciences. It is a very demanding job that requires extended schooling. As a geophysicist, you can find work in a number of different sectors studying a variety of subjects. Here is a general description of what these scientists do, how they do it and how much you can make as a professional in the field of geophysical science.

Function

  • Geophysicists apply their knowledge and studies of the earth and the atmosphere to solve problems. This can include studying continental drifts, atmospheric pressures, earthquakes and sometimes even other planets.

Branches

  • There are two main branches that some geophysicists take. The first is seismology, which is the study of earthquakes, and the second is volcanology, which is the study of volcanoes and the interior of the earth.

Workplaces

  • Geophysicists can find work in a number of different fields. They often work with architects, teach in universities and are employed by private, corporate and governmental organizations.

Tools

  • In order to do their job, geophysicists employ a number of different tools. These include dynamite explosives, computers, maps, sonar and radar devices, and basic laboratory equipment.

Salary

  • As of January 2009, the median salary for a level II geophysicist who has had some experience in the field is just over $80,000 annually, which is reported by CNN Money and Salary.com. This salary changes depending on the level of experience and the sector the geophysicist is working in, with private companies often paying more than governmental ones.

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