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GEOCHEMIST

DEFINITION

Geochemistry is the study of the amount and distribution of elements in rocks and minerals. The
movement of these elements into soil and water into their studies. In the exploration industry,
geochemistry can be used to help improve water quality and to develop clean up plans for toxic waste
sites.

JOB DESCERIPTION/WORK ACTIVITIES

Geochemists work in environments such as the oil and gas industry, the mineral industry, environmental
consultancies, universities and research facilities, where they may use state-of-the-art equipment to
analyze rocks, soil and minerals.

Some of these hi-tech equipment include: Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers, Carbon analyzers
and Differential scanning calorimeter/thermogravimetry (DSC/TG) instruments.

A Geochemist's work activities include field sampling of data followed by analysis using the previously
mentioned equipment and research. Their work activities also involve generating computer models
using specialized software and mapping geochemical areas for further analysis. Communication also
plays a large role as a Geochemist. Constant communication should be maintained between mainstream
geologists, petroleum engineers and commercial managers to provide adequate support and
recommendations.

While geochemists guide oil and gas explorations, they also aid in remediation of toxic waste and in
producing highly valued academic publications from theoretical research and analysis.
INCOME

Generally, the annual salary of an entry-level geochemist ranges between USD$35,000- $50,000 while
senior posts and consultants can acquire up to USD$110,000.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Relevant degrees include those in the fields of applied sciences and engineering such as:

 Geology
 Geochemistry
 Geophysics
 Chemistry with Geology courses
 Chemical/Mining/Mineral Engineering
 Marine Sciences

Courses directly related to geochemistry always proves to be advantageous when coupled with another
non-geotechnical degree.

In higher degrees, the type of degree is directly related to a specific area or field. For example,
Geochemistry with respect to toxic waste remediation may require an MSc in Environmental or Waste
Management whereas in the Petroleum or Petrochemical industry, higher degrees in Petroleum
Geochemistry are more applicable.

Requirements for Tertiary Education may vary depending on your desired location

 CAPE/GCE A’level: Min. 3 A’Levels with at least A grades in two


from the following list:
 Mathematics
 Physics
Europe/Canada
 Chemistry
 Geology
 Biology
 Geography

 CXC/ GCE O’level (inclusive of Advanced Mathematics & Physics)


 SATs (score requirements vary by school)
USA
 CAPE/GCE A’level (not a strict requirement for most US school, but
advantageous)
Joining professional societies, such as the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GSTT), Society of
Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and The European Association
of Geoscientists and Engineering(EAGE), while you are a student with allow you to keep up to date with
developments in the field and also provide excellent opportunities for networking.

For more information, visit:

http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career/chemistry-careers/geochemistry.html -
The American Chemical Society

http://www.aapg.org/- The American Association of Petroleum Geologists

http://www.usgs.gov/- The U.S. Geological Survey