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The most in-demand jobs in the UK: Geophysicist

Geophysicists have an invaluable role in this industry

We continue writing about some of the key jobs in demand in the UK this year - specific professions that made the country's shortage occupation list in 2023.

The UK government every year provides a detailed list of roles that are in short supply in different areas of the country. Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to work in the UK, but these roles have more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications. If your job is on the list, you can be paid 80% of the job’s typical salary to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa.

The list includes Geophysicists in the oil and gas industry - these specialists are in demand in all parts of the country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). Geophysicists have an invaluable role in this industry - they use modern advanced scientific methods to efficiently and cost-effectively acquire and interpret information about the Earth’s subsurface both before and during drilling. This allows companies to find and produce more oil and gas, avoid fruitless drilling, and identify potential risks such as earthquake-prone areas.

For example, a geophysicist might create three-dimensional (3D) geological models or digital representations of geological structures and formations, and work in a team of geologists, reservoir engineers and drilling engineers to identify where to drill, and how much oil or gas is stored below a certain surface.

Geophysicists work for companies involved in various areas of oil and gas industry - from exploration and production to transport and distribution. They need to work well in a team, be flexible and adaptable, have great problem-solving skills and IT skills to process data and produce three-dimensional models of geophysical features.

Typically, the salaries of Geophysicists in the oil and gas industry are among the highest in the sphere of Geophysics in general. They can range between £28,000 and £80,000 per year and rise above £100,000, depending on one's level of qualifications and experience.

What do you study to become a Geophysicist in the oil and gas industry?

Geophysicists in the oil and gas industry usually need a bachelor’s degree in geology, geophysics, geoscience, mathematics, or physics. It's also important to get as much work experience as possible early on - for example, don't miss out on the opportunity to get a summer job or undertake work placements during your studies.

Here are some of the best UK Universities to get relevant degrees:

Imperial College London (BSc (hons) geophysics)

University of Glasgow (BSc (hons) geology)

Durham University (BSc (hons) geophysics with geology)

Royal Holloway, University of London (BSc (hons) geosciences & sustainable energy)

Keele University (BSc (hons) geology (applied geophysics))

What are the entry requirements?

Typically, you need to take Maths, Further Maths, Geology, Physics as your A-Level subjects. Relevant subjects also include Chemistry, Geography and Biology. The course usually requires a minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS and A-Levels from AAA to BBB.

Want to learn about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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