Questions and Answers
About Careers

What skills do you need to be an engineer, geologist or geophysicist?

Do you enjoy science and math?  These subjects are an essential part of engineering, geology and geophysics. If you enjoy them, chances are you would enjoy being an engineer, geologist or geophysicist.

Are you naturally curious? A problem solver? Do you like coming up with new ideas and trying them out, or finding new ways of getting a job done? Do you want to know why or how? Are you able to work and share your ideas with others? Good communication skills are an important tool in the work of an engineer, geologist or geophysicist.

Engineering, geology and geophysics are interesting careers that give you the satisfaction of finding, inventing or making things that benefit people, the community and the environment.

What do engineers, geologists and geophysicists do?

Engineers use their imagination, creativity and expertise to solve problems and improve the world we live in. They take ideas and turn them into reality. They are working on ways to make the world cleaner and provide people with healthier and safer lives. Engineers design things we use everyday - from cars to airplanes, computers to VCRs, toys to toothbrushes, and artificial limbs to kitchen appliances. In fact, engineering affects our lives every day often without us even realizing it.

Geologists and geophysicists are earth scientists. They help us understand our place in the history of the planet. They find and develop resources like water, petroleum, natural gas and minerals which is important because much of what we make, use or wear comes from mineral or energy resources. Earth scientists investigate natural earth processes and phenomena like the erosion of rocks caused by wind and rain, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. They study fossils, explore space and investigate the ocean floor. Geologists and geophysicists help solve modern problems such as waste disposal, water pollution, and find safer water sources.

A Career Challenge

Careers in engineering, geology and geophysics are innovative and exciting. Men and women who are bright, educated and creative are needed for these fields. Count yourself among those involved in challenging boundaries and providing solutions for the future!

Employment Opportunities

Technology is advancing at a rapid rate. Highly skilled, qualified professionals are need to meet these advances now and in the future.

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Salaries for new graduates range between $36,000 and $40,000. As engineers, geologists and geophysicists gain experience, they become more valuable to employers.

2000 Salary Survey
1999 Salary Survey
1998 Salary Survey

The Real Nitty Gritty

  • In general, a degree in engineering, geology and geophysics requires four years of university education.
  • You require an advanced diploma (Chemistry 30, Physics 30, English 30, Math 30 and Math 31) for entrance to most universities.
  • Requirements vary slightly, so check with the appropriate university department for information on student quotas and what average marks are required.

Work Atmosphere

As a professional, you have considerable control over what you do and where you work. With a degree in engineering, geology or geophysics your career possibilities are endless. Engineers, geologists and geophysicists work in a variety of settings. You may find yourself in a research lab, at an oil refinery, in a manufacturing plant or a high tech facility. You could be on a construction site, a ship, or a drilling platform in the ocean. You may be a field crew member on a mountain top, in the jungle or on the northern tundra. You may be surrounded by massive equipment at a plant site or have little more than a rock hammer and a notebook in a remote region. Or, you may find yourself in a corporate setting - in an office or executive meeting room. Wherever you work, it is important to enjoy what you are doing?

Which Program Is For You?

The next section describes some of the jobs available to graduates of engineering, geology and geophysics. It isn't necessary for you to decide right away which area you would like to speialize in. In most cases, you have until the second year of university to consider the alternatives.