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Geophysicists use sophisticated equipment to measure and analyse the composition and structure of the earth. They are interested in understanding the transmission of sound, magnetic fields and the phenomenon of radioactivity in rocks. The results of their work are often used in oil and other resource exploration, environmental analysis and impact assessments, government agencies, engineering companies, universities and research laboratories.

While geophysicists spend time in the field collecting samples and data, they also spend a substantial amount of time in a laboratory analysing samples and on computers using modelling and mapping software. Consequently, geophysicists require a good knowledge of mathematics, statistics, software and environmental issues. Entry level positions require undergraduate science or physics qualifications while post-graduate study is often required in research roles. The resource industry is a prominent employer of geophysicists often providing entry through structured graduate programs with higher than average starting salaries.