Geophysicist Job Description

A person capable of applying various laws of physics to study various features of a planet like its gravity, internal heat, energy, magnetic fields and earthquakes is called a geophysicist. Briefly, the geophysicist responsibilities include the study of the various processes happening in the interior and on the surface of a planet and examining how these processes result in volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and other natural calamities. Geophysicists generally work in fields studying various rocks, collecting huge data and taking measurements, while they also create the models of these planetary processes on computers.

Geophysicists are required in the field of extraction of minerals like crude oil and various metals, in weather department to understand the effect of various processes happening in a planet's crust and on its surface and their after-effects on environment and also in understanding the risk areas when a dam or other huge buildings or monuments are to be built.

Geophysicist Responsibilities at a glance

A geophysicist is involved with the following responsibilities:

Study the physics of a planet:

Geophysicists study every part of the earth comprising detailed study of surface, crust, atmosphere, volcanoes and oceans.

Daily comparison of readout data:

Geophysicists are continuously involved in comparison of the data obtained from measurement equipment used in the examination of electromagnetic fields, tidal waves, earthquakes, etc. Detailed reports comparing the data from a consecutive set of days are needed to be maintained on a regular basis.

Depending on the sub-filed of their work:

Geophysics is actually a combined term of many sub-sciences including geology, oceanology, seismology, and volcanology among many more.

Geophysicists in the field of geology study issues and draw measurements about earth's gravity, magnetic and electronic fields.

Geophysicists working in seismology maintain and study seismic readings to find out the probabilities of an earthquake in a particular region.

Geophysicists working in volcanology measure underneath temperatures and chemical reactions happening over the surface of a volcanic mountain and predict about the future eruptions and so on.

In general, a geophysicist's responsibilities deal with studying and maintaining records regarding various aspects of processes happening inside and on the surface of earth and by applying various laws of physics and studying the uncertainties and risk issues.

All the fields included in geophysics in a way require specialization in that field. The work involved in all of these fields is widely variant and so as a volcanologist cannot predict or draw a conclusion from seismic changes, specialization in the former would do no good for the later field. So is the case with all other fields included under geophysics and specialization in one of the sub-fields does not qualify the person to other subfields.

Though some geophysicists move from one field of specialization to other with time and collective experience of the other field, gathered out of curiosity or specifically to study the relations between the two fields, such cases are very rare. The specific fields are so vast in their own that most of the geophysicists remain in their own field for a lifetime.

Form of work

Geophysicists mostly work outdoors, studying various rocks, oceans, various processes inside the earth, exploring the ocean and earth's crust and making measurements, of-course. The work is done under the supervision of geophysical technicians who maintain the specialized and powerful computers meant for maintaining and processing the raw data.

Some geophysicists also work with computers to plot down their studies in machine form for further references. The task includes processing the raw numerical data and presenting it in the form of maps and seismic sections, so that they are comprehensible for humans.

Educational qualifications

Geophysicists generally start with a bachelor's degree in the core scientific fields like physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, geology or some other related science. Further, a specialization or a PhD in one of the specific branches is required. To gain some experience of the field beforehand, some laboratory work or some part-time field work is greatly advised in the college days.


While good educational qualification oriented around a good career opportunity and money does well in gaining an entry to the field, the harsh form of work, continuous camping and on-site projects at literally the worst places of the globe, where humans rarely exist, test the patience of the most talented ones. Only the ones who are passionate for such things can survive here and the ones entering this field need to understand that once here, their personal life is going to be very unstable. To seriously think about this field as your career field, you need to be passionate about at-least some of the following:

If you are well versed with geophysicist responsibilities and are ready to look forward to a career that involves huge efforts and talent, then go for this field. The ones who enjoy working here and can do well are very few and so, there is no need to worry about career opportunities. The jobs are also very high paying for the right resource and so if you've got the talent and the sheer passion, you should consider this field for a fulfilling career.

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