Seismologist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Geoscientists Career Video

Insider Info

dotA seismologist studies earthquakes and vibrations in the Earth. Seismologists use sophisticated tools such as seismographs, which measure the intensity of an earthquake. They also use computers to help generate graphical models of the vibrations of the Earth.

dotSeismologists work in a variety of environments. Some choose to work as professors in universities or colleges. Others work in research, either in an office or in the field. Additionally, some seismologists choose to work in the petroleum industry, predicting the impact of oil drilling.

When working in research, a seismologist uses the data gathered by researchers to hypothesize and verify how and where earthquakes start. Using statistical analysis to extrapolate answers, seismologists can track data about earthquakes through time and then use that information to help make predictions about future earthquakes.

dotThe average workday for a seismologist will depend on where they work. For seismologists working at petroleum companies and at earthquake monitoring centers, nights and weekends might be required. For seismologists working in a lab or teaching in a college or university setting, the hours are more likely to be similar to regular office hours.

dotUnless actively working in the field, a person with physical disabilities can enjoy a full career in this field. The only limitations that might become an issue are if the person wanted to visit earthquake sites or set monitoring devices.

At a Glance

Study the forces that move the Earth

  • Seismologists can help make predictions about future earthquakes
  • You'll use computers to help generate graphical models of the vibrations of the Earth
  • A university undergraduate degree is necessary