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Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Salary Range
€23k - €60k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Geochemists monitor developments in the earth's chemical composition by undertaking analysis of rock and other environmental samples.

Knowledge

  • Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

  • Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.

In Summary - Geochemist

Career Sectors

Geochemists typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Chemical Science
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science

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Further Information

The Work - Geochemist

Geochemists study the type and distribution of chemicals that make up the Earth, for example, in rocks, soil and water. They also study the chemical processes that occur on and beneath the Earth's surface. They develop information about the age, nature and structure of specific areas.  
 
In fieldwork, geochemists may collect soil and stream sediment samples. In the laboratory, they use computers to analyse the samples' chemical composition. Geochemists use the results to map the location and concentration of chemical elements over large areas of land. This helps them to find the probable location of resources like oil, coal or uranium, and leads to exploratory mining or drilling. The formation and movement of natural gas is traced by geochemists in gas companies, to work out how much gas is present, and where it can be extracted.  
 
Geochemists may also identify the presence of chemical pollution, for example, in soil, or in water below the Earth's surface (the water table). They may investigate landfill or disused industrial sites, and see if pollution has seeped into rocks, soil or water.  
 
Geochemists are important to agriculture. For example, they may assess the lime content of soil. Lime is a very cheap and abundant source of alkalinity, and may be used by farmers to reduce soil acidity. Geochemists may identify chemicals in the soil that can harm crops. For example, pollutants react with minerals in the soil, and can stop plants taking up certain nutrients. They provide support and recommendations to mainstream geologists.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.
  • Conduct quality control tests.
  • Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.
  • Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.
  • Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.
  • Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.
  • Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.
  • Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.
  • Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.
  • Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interests - Geochemist

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Qualities

As a geochemist, you will need good analytical skills. You must be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. You will need to be able to work independently as well as in a team. You must be able to read and draw geochemical maps, and use technology to analyse samples.

Entry Requirements - Geochemist

Pay & Salary - Geochemist

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €23k - €60k

Data Source(s):
prospects.ac.uk

Last Updated: April, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Geochemist

Useful Contacts - Geochemist

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