The earth is not a stationary entity. Not only can there be earthquakes but also there are also constant smaller geological movements and vibrations often referred to as seismic waves. Seismologists are earth scientists who are experts at measuring movements and vibrations that travel throughout the earth. They often work on teams using equipment such as seismographs to record the earth’s vibrations. These measurements are important for determining the risk of earthquakes and also for evaluating whether oil exploration mining or construction should be undertaken on a particular site. Seismologists must be physically fit because they spend time outside in all kinds of weather and they often work long and irregular hours. They may have to hike on rough terrain in order to reach sites where they will conduct surveys and gather specimens for subsequent analyses. However they also spend time in laboratories where they use computers to construct maps and analyze the specimens they have collected in the field. Seismologists are employed by federal and state governments as well as mining companies construction firms and the oil industry. Seismologists must complete a minimum of a four-year bachelor’s degree in geology but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics most jobs in federal and state governments as well as in private industry favor applicants with a master’s degree. Seismologists who work in academic settings usually have doctoral degrees. The website says that salaries for this profession vary widely depending on geographical location employer educational level and experience. For example those in government jobs earn an average of $57000 annually whereas those employed by oil companies earn an average of $125000 annually.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $91000
High Salary: $125000
Low Salary: $57000
Tasks: Studies the physical aspects of the earth.
Collects information on earthquakes and seismic waves.
Monitors seismometers that are placed around the world.
Conducts geological surveys.
Also Called: Geophysicist
Field Seismologist
Earth Scientist
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