Seismologist | Selby College
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Seismologists study shock waves created by earthquakes and volcanic activity. They also work in oil, gas and minerals exploration.

Potential salary

£15,000 to £45,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 42 a week

  • knowledge of geography
  • science skills
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • monitoring and analysing data from seismic sensors around the world
  • mapping seismic regions and fault lines in the Earth's surface
  • developing early warning systems for earthquake zones
  • investigating target sites for new seismic stations
  • searching for oil and gas deposits under land and sea
  • producing survey reports for mining and energy companies
  • attending conferences and publishing research findings
  • taking students on field trips to study earthquake and volcano hot spots
  • teaching

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work at a research facility, at a university or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be physically active and you may spend nights away from home.

You could become a project co-ordinator or manager with a seismic research organisation, university or energy company.

In a university post, once you've got experience and published original research, you could become a senior research fellow or professor.

You can discover more about working in seismology from The Geological Society and the British Geological Survey.

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