2023 was a better year for both compensation and hiring demand for experienced Geologist, GeoTechs and GIS Analysts, particularly for the early and mid-career professionals. Let’s be clear, the demand was not like that of the early 2000’s or even during the heady days of the Shale Boom, but it was a good year for Geoscience hiring. We saw openings across the markets where CSI Recruiting is most active, namely DFW, Houston, Midland and Oklahoma City. Denver also had more opportunities than in years prior, but not at the pace of those other markets. 

For those Geologists and GeoTechs presently in industry, the full-time employed stay plenty busy and find themselves integrated into the technical teams within their respective companies. Geologists still garner high levels of respect within active E&P environments, be they involved in operations work or acquisitions evaluations and prospecting. Layering in additional schooling, be that an MBA or a degree in GIS, Data Analytics or Finance or has helped a good number of experienced Geologists and GeoTechs increase their marketability and growth opportunities. 

As we reported in the 2022 Report, the most experienced Geologists and GeoTechs continue to retire and the industry consolidation will accelerate these departures in 2024. The severance packages and stock vesting associated with deals like the Pioneer / ExxonMobil transaction will allow these industry veterans to fold up their maps and retire for good. Undoubtedly the quantity of veteran geoscientists leaving the industry far outstrips the number of new grads entering the field, which should bring better balance of supply and demand as the industry moves forward with fewer geologists on staff. 

2024 should be a positive one for Geologists and GeoTechs seeking to change jobs, as we expect a continued hiring activity for those with the ‘right’ experience for the company seeking talent. We see those firms in the market for a Geologist seeking specific regional and software experience as they choose candidates to interview. Those requirements are stringent and the feeling of the hiring manager is “I should get what I want” versus “I like this candidate and they’ll get up to speed on anything they don’t know”.

Those companies looking to hire a GeoTech have their list of requirements, which include specific workstation software experience or may insist on GIS skills. That said these requirements are less rigid than the “must haves” for Geologist hires. 

As for compensation, in 2023 we were pleased to see that Geologist base salaries slightly increased across most experience levels and regions. Houston again led other regions with an average of $181,655, with Denver / Rockies at the low end of the geographic locations with an average base salary of $154,884. 

For the GeoTechs and GIS Analysts, salaries increased by almost 3% from last year, which is great to see after we reported compensation declines in last year’s report. Like the Geologists, we received sufficient participation from early-career GeoTechs, allowing us to report an average base salary of $75,580 for those with 0-4 years of experience. We saw an increase for all the experience bands, with both the 11-20 Years and the 21+ Years sections seeing 6-figure base salaries. Again, Midland was the highest region for average base salary, at $105k in base. 

As we’ve reported for too many years recently, again in 2023 Geophysicists saw very few hiring opportunities domestically. The majority of opportunities were overseas, with a few openings in Houston for offshore-focused roles or the occasional role in Alaska. We again did not have sufficient data to provide average base salary or bonus information for Geophysicists. 

 

GEOLOGISTS BASE  SALARY 

ANNUAL CASH BONUS 

OVERALL AVERAGE 

$169,450 

21% of base salary 

EXPERIENCE DATA 

0-3 Years’ Experience 

$127,805 

15% 

4-10 Years’ Experience 

$148,232 

20% 

11-20 Years’ Experience 

$168,510 

20% 

21-30 Years’ Experience 

$196,644 

24% 

31+ Years’ Experience 

$206,060 

22% 

REGIONAL DATA 

Dallas/Fort Worth Metro 

$162,460 

20% 

Denver/Rockies 

$154,884 

17% 

Houston Metro 

$181,655 

24% 

Mid-Continent 

$172,048 

18% 

Midland 

$173,415 

24% 

ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION 

STOCK / EQUITY 

58% participate in a company stock program 

BONUS 

85% receive an annual cash bonus 

PAID TIME OFF 

Average 3.4 weeks 

 

GEOTECH / GIS ANALYST BASE SALARY 

ANNUAL CASH BONUS 

OVERALL AVERAGE 

$96,600 

21% of base salary 

EXPERIENCE DATA 

0-4 Years’ Experience 

$75,580 

19% 

5-10 Years’ Experience 

$88,075 

22% 

11-20 Years’ Experience 

$102,412 

25% 

21+ Years’ Experience 

$120,334 

23% 

REGIONAL DATA 

Dallas/Fort Worth Metro 

$94,830 

20% 

Houston Metro 

$100,222 

22% 

Mid-Continent 

$92,705 

19% 

Midland 

$105,212 

23% 

ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION 

STOCK / EQUITY 

57% participate in a company stock program 

BONUS 

84% receive an annual cash bonus 

VACATION 

Average 3.3 weeks