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The latest Australian geoscientist employment update is open for contributions until this Saturday

Australian Institute of Geoscientists >

Please take two minutes to share your employment experience and encourage your friends and colleagues to contribute.  

Contributions to the latest Australian geoscientist employment survey close 24th October 2020.

The second quarter 2020 employment survey, conducted in June, provided a first look at how Australian geoscience, particularly mineral exploration and mining, was being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. 


Geoscientist unemployment fell in Australia during the second quarter of 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The slight improvement in employment conditions evident from the results of the first quarter survey for 2020 was unexpected.  This was interpreted as a sign that companies were seeking to retain staff and continuity of exploration programs and mining operations.  Since then, Victoria has experienced a second, more serious wave of infections resulting in renewed, strict limits on business activity and mobility of staff between states.  International travel remains out of the question for many Australians.  How was geoscience employment affected? 

We have added a question to this survey relating to where you work relative to where you completed your highest degree.  A debate is emerging around whether Australia needs to be more self-sufficient in meeting geoscience skills needs in all areas of work, which new data is needed to address.

The survey typically takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are sought from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results. Sincere thanks in advance for your continued support of the survey series.

Click here to complete the survey.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists >

The latest instalment in the survey series is open for contributions.

This survey will provide data on trends in geoscientist employment in Australia during the first quarter (January to March) of 2020.  Australia, during the first quarter of 2020, was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which has placed restrictions on normal work and travel, both within Australia and internationally.  These surveys will, during the coming year, help to build a picture of the impacts of the pandemic’s impact on geoscientist employment, exploration and mining activity.

This survey commenced just over ten years ago to help assess the impacts of the global financial crisis.  It’s more than unnerving to find our profession and broader community facing another situation with potentially serious economic impacts.  A strong exploration and mining industry is an essential element of  Australia’s economic well-being.  The survey series has demonstrated that employment prospects for geoscientists help to monitor the broader health of the industry.

Unemployment amongst Australian geoscientists, at the end of 2019, was running at a rate of 7.3%, little changed over the second half of the year.  The underemployment rate amongst geoscientists was 13.1%.


Long term employment was a major concern, with more than half of the unemployed respondents reporting being out of work or unable to achieve their desired level of work for more than 12 months.  One-third of unemployed geoscientists reported being out of work for more than two years.  

The survey takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are required from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 1 May 2020.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results.  

Follow this link to complete the survey.

Sincere thanks in advance for your continued support of the survey series.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists >

The Commonwealth Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (DESSFB) have released their review of geologist and geophysicist employment in Australia for 2019.

The department’s survey revealed recruitment difficulty for geophysicists and underground mine geologists, in a generally tightening employment market.

The DESSFB survey concluded:

  • The number of applicants and suitable applicants per vacancy have decreased substantially in the last year, while the proportion of vacancies filled has decreased slightly.
  • Importantly, there were significant differences in recruitment experiences across specialisations.
  • The relative availability of exploration geologists is broadly consistent with results from the 2018 survey.
    • In 2018, all surveyed vacancies for exploration geologists were filled, and employers received many suitable applicants per vacancy (12.2 on average). 
    • Half of the non-exploration geologist positions were filled.
  • Many employers noted that underground geologist positions were particularly challenging to fill due to the difficult working conditions of these roles.
  • Around a quarter of employers had no suitable applicants, compared with less than 10 per cent in 2018.
  • Applicants were often considered unsuitable if they did not meet requirements such as:
    • experience in a particular commodity or mine type, such as gold or coal, underground or open pit
    • competency using particular software or the ability to undertake data modelling and/or analysis
    • length of experience, or senior experience.
  • A number of applicants were rejected or not considered because the employer thought they were overqualified.

Demand and Supply

  • The demand for geologists and geophysicists is strong, while entry of new graduates to the market is declining. 
  • In the year to February 2019, internet vacancies for geologists and geophysicists increased by 31.9 per cent, well above the average for all occupations.
  • Employment for these occupations is projected to grow by 21.6 per cent in the five years to May 2023. 
  • Bachelor degree completions for geology and geophysics declined in the two years to 2017.
  • The majority of workers in these occupations are employed in the mining industry. 

The release of the DESSFB survey findings coincides with the latest quarterly AIG Australian geoscientist employment survey being open for contributions. The declining trend in geoscientist unemployment evident in the AIG survey results is considered consistent with the tightening of the skills market identified by DESSFB. Long-term unemployment remains a feature of the AIG surveys. This could be consistent with the high number of applicants per job identified by DESSFB.

The DESSFB, importantly, notes that exploration and mining are the dominant source of geoscientist employment opportunities in Australia.

What do these results mean for you? Have your say by leaving a comment here or via the AIG Linkedin group. You can also contribute to the latest AIG geoscientist employment survey by following this link before 26 October 2019.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists >

Click on the image for a high resolution PDF copy.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists >

Click on the image for a high resolution PDF copy