What is Geology?
The word geology means “study of the earth.” It is also known as geoscience or earth science. Geology is the primary earth science that explores how the earth formed, its composition and structure, and what processes can change these things.
Geology is a degree for people with a particular interest; earth science. However, it can lead to various career options. A career in geology is promising because there are many prospects and fields for geology students. Most geology jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, postgraduate programs and other degrees with a geology degree often increase the market value of geology graduates.
Who Hires Geology Majors?
The following firms are usually looking for geology graduates.
- Engineering Firms
- Environmental Firms
- Mining Companies
- Energy Consulting Agencies
- Federal and Military Organizations
Types of Geology Jobs
Careers after geology education are quite interesting. Here is a list of common career options you can pursue as a geologist. Some career choices may need additional knowledge, skills, or degree.
Survey Geologists: These guys conduct geological surveys. These surveys are then used for exploration and mining. Employment is steady with growth and development. Most survey geologist vacancies require Ph.D.
Mine Geologists: They work in established mines alongside engineers to help them increase production and develop new resources. Employment often depends on how successful the exploration project was. Most mine geologists work on a contract basis, and employment opportunities are available worldwide.
Exploration Geologists: These geologists work for mining companies. They may be permanent or contract basis to explore or quarry a certain mine. The increase in oil, gas, and petroleum demand has opened many vacancies for exploration geologists. Extensive opportunities are available in Latin America, Central Asia, and Africa.
Marine Geologists: Marine geology combines oceanography and geology to study the ocean floor’s physical, chemical, and biological aspects. Employment opportunities are rare but are very highly rewarding. Most employment opportunities are with government organizations or underwater mining firms.
Hydro-geologists: These geologists deal with groundwater resource exploration and its problems. Hydro-geologists also study water distribution in rocks and soil. These guys never go unemployed. Their demand is highest in the US and Canada.
Environmental Geologists: They study the effects of human activities on earth. Their demand has increased due to increasing awareness about pollution and how mining firms pollute the earth. Governments and private firms usually hire environmental geologists as consultants.
Geophysicists: They study the physical, electric, and magnetic properties of the earth. It is a highly rewarding and lucrative career, with most of the demand coming from the petroleum industry.
Geological Engineer: A geologist becomes a geological engineer when he/she pursues an engineering degree after studying geology or vice versa. These guys usually work for mining, oil, engineering, or government agencies. They are involved in designing structures related to the earth, such as dams, buildings, bridges, roads, water wells, and waste disposal sites. It is a steady career with good compensation.
Teachers (High School/university and research): Geology graduates have high demand in the teaching sector. You can become a high school teacher with a B. Ed and a geology degree. University teachers must have a Ph. D degree. Field experience is a big plus. University level geology teachers get paid well depending on teaching experience and field exposure.
Stock Brokers: Many stock exchanges and financial institutions have started employing geologists as full-time or part-time consultants to guide them on the reliability of trading in the mining and petroleum industry. The demand is low, but most companies offer excellent salaries on top of lucrative commissions.
Lawyers: Mining firms prefer hiring lawyers with a geological background as they better understand the legal and geological aspects of legal disputes. Most employment is on a consultancy model. However, some large companies may retain people full time.
Salary Range for Geologists
Geologists get paid well. The money a geologist makes depends on factors like education, experience, company, industry, location, and nature of the job. People involved in the mining industry will earn more compared to someone teaching at a university. However, there are always exceptions to the general rule.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has mentioned the median annual wages for geoscientists in the top industries. These figures were calculated based on salaries in May 2021.
- Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction: $119,210
- Federal government, excluding postal service: $103,960
- State government, excluding education and hospitals: $81,700
- Architectural, engineering, and related services: $77,750
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: $76,270