Exploration Geologist Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Exploration geologists make around $56,527 to $103,053 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, an exploration geologist’s salary in the US ranges between $56,527 and $103,053, with an average salary of $76,219. As of July 2022, the base salaries for exploration geologists are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is an Exploration Geologist? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of an Exploration Geologist is determined by a number of factors, including education, experience, and job location. In this article, we will take a closer look at how these factors impact salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as an exploration geologist, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your exploration geologist salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$40,613
Early career (1 to 4 years)$49,784
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$67,432
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$92,474
Late career (20+ years)$136,753

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as an exploration geologist. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average exploration geologist salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Houston, TX$128,085
Oklahoma City, OK$98,817
New Orleans, LA$82,283
Washington DC, DC$81,705
Denver, CO$79,482
Charlotte, NC$50,214
Atlanta, GA$49,222
Baltimore, MD$48,963
Detroit, MI$47,257
Indianapolis, IN$43,184

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how an exploration geologist’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Environmental Scientist$53,671
Soil Scientist$68,056
Petroleum Engineer$122,847
Mining Engineer$87,960
Civil Engineer$78,472

How to increase your exploration geologist salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as an exploration geologist, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Mineralogy: Understand the physical and chemical properties of minerals
  • Stratigraphy: Study the layers of rock to understand the Earth’s history and the formation of mineral deposits
  • Structural Geology: Analyze the deformation of rocks to understand the stresses that have affected them
  • Geophysics: Use techniques such as seismic surveying and gravity measurements to map the subsurface
  • GIS: Use geographic information systems (GIS) to store, visualize, and analyze data
2. Get a good performance review

One way to increase your salary is to make sure you’re doing a great job and impressing your boss. If you can get a positive performance review, you may be in a better position to negotiate for a higher salary. You should also be prepared to back up your request with data on your contributions to the company.

3. Talk to Recruiters

If you’re looking to make more money as an exploration geologist, one of the best things you can do is talk to recruiters. They’ll have a good sense of what companies are willing to pay for your skills, and can help you negotiate a higher salary when you do find a new job.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Exploration Geologist Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Exploration Geologist Annual Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

6. “Exploration Geologist Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Exploration Geologist Salaries,,21.htm.” Accessed July 2, 2022.


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