Careers with a Geology Degree

Home >> Careers with a Science Degree >> Geology Careers

 

What You Can Do with a Geology Degree

With a B.Sc. in Geology, you’ll have many interesting career options. You could work in an office, a laboratory, in some of the world’s most exotic places, and even a combination of all three!


 

Regardless of the setting, careers in geology can take many forms, and with many different types of organizations. For example, as a geology graduate, you may choose to pursue professional careers with oil and mining companies, government agencies, research institutes, consulting firms and universities. 

 

 

 

 

Job Board for Geology Students & Grads

 

 

 

 

In addition to your immediate career options, an undergraduate geology degree is of great use if you wish to pursue advanced study in related areas such as structural geology, economic geology, geophysics, geochemistry, mineralogy and stratigraphy and seismology and many others.


 

So, if you want to know more about where this degree can take you, read on below. This geology careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. 

 

 

 

Career Guides Related to a Geology Degree

The knowledge and skills you can gain by studying geology at the university level serve as an excellent foundation for a variety of careers.


 

Below, we’ve chosen careers that we feel relate to a geology degree, either because the subject matter of the degree relates to the occupational field, or because the skills you’ll need to be an effective employee can be acquired from a geology degree program. Please note, this is not an inclusive list:

 

 

Archaeologist

Assayer

Blogger

Cartographer

Climatologist

Energy Policy Analyst

Environmental Analyst

Environmental Education Assistant

Environmental Education Officer

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental Policy Officer

Environmental Scientist

Environmental Technician

Fluvial Geomorphologist

Geologist

Geomatics Plan Technician

Geophysicist

Geoscience Technician

Geoscientist

Global Warming Advocate

Hydrogeologist

Hydrographer

Hydrologist

Land Surveyor

Museum Curator

Natural Resources Manager

Natural Resources Planner

Paleontologist

Remote Sensing Technician

Research Assistant

Seismologist

Soil Conservationist

Soil Scientist

University Professor

Water Quality Control Manager

Water Resources Specialist

 

Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.

 

 

What Does a Geology Program Teach You?

Geology is a scientific field wherein the earth's physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it are studied.


 

Typically in the first year of a geology degree program, you’re given an overview of the entire science of geology. Coursework may cover material such as learning how to identify different varieties of minerals, rocks and fossils, as well as how landscapes and geological structures develop.


 

In second year, you’ll likely take courses in paleontology, mineralogy, geomorphology, and stratigraphy and other areas of geology.


 

As a result of the first two years of your studies, you’ll have an understanding of the processes involved in melting and crystallizing rocks, depositing mud, sand and limestone. You’ll also have an understanding of the formation and development of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, as well as examine the processes of rock deformation and plate movements

 

 

During these first few years, you may also undertake optional coursework in related fields as geophysics, geochemistry, atmospheric science, petroleum geology, or hydrogeology.


 

In order to properly prepare you for a future career in geology, many undergraduate geology degree programs involve intensive lab experience, as well as field expeditions to local igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock localities and geological structures.


 

This lab and field experience allows you to learn and refine hands-on skills such as the appropriate use of equipment, and various techniques for investigating the composition and history of our planet. 

 

 

Employable Skills of Geology You’ll Gain in Geology

Geology programs can teach you a set of skills as well as a knowledge base that is highly employable in geology-related careers. Some of these skills include:


 

• An understanding of scientific thought and the scientific method

• Ability to critically evaluate and assess scientific studies

• Experience working in a modern geological science lab

• Ability to collect, interpret and evaluate scientific data and observations

• Ability to read, understand and present information in a variety of formats

• A creative and innovative approach when exploring possible solutions

• Able to contribute to a team in scientific settings

 

 

 

 

 

Average Salary Levels of Geology Graduates

The salary you could earn with a geology degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:
 
• The type, size, and budget of your employer
• The discretion of your employer
• Your level of education and experience
• Your level of certification (if applicable)
• The region in which you work 
• How much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)
• The amount of responsibility inherent in your position
• Your level of experience (it’s worth noting that people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than what’s listed below)
 
The salary you could earn as a graduate of this field is also highly dependent on the occupation you pursue. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in a few career fields that are relevant to a degree in geology (some careers may require further education and training). Please note however, that the salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn a much lower, or much higher salary, than what is listed below. 


Archaeologist
Alberta: $87,546 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $62,280 (BLS)

 

Assayer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $75,129 (PayScale)
United States: $66,000 (PayScale)

 

Blogger
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $36,580 (indeed)

 

Cartographer
Alberta: $74,501 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $63,990 (BLS)

 

Climatologist
Alberta: $86,419 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $92,070 (BLS)

 

Energy Policy Analyst
Alberta: $55,368 (ALIS)
Canada: $58,882 (PayScale)
United States: $53,458 (PayScale)

 

Environmental Analyst
Alberta: $80,949 (ALIS)
Canada: $79,902 (indeed)
United States: $79,446 (indeed)

 

Environmental Education Officer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $69,400 (BLS)

 

Environmental Lawyer
Alberta: $137,072 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $122,531 (indeed)

 

Environmental Policy Officer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $80,782 (Glassdoor)
United States:$65,000 (Glassdoor)

 

Environmental Scientist
Alberta: $75,812 (ALIS)
Canada: $62,849 (indeed)
United States: $58,665 (indeed)

 

Environmental Technician
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $46,810 (PayScale)
United States: $41,077 (indeed)

 

Fluvial Geomorphologist
(See “Environmental Scientist”)

 

Geologist
Alberta: $128,940 (ALIS - Higher salary could be due to high levels of employment for geologists in the Oil & Gas industry in Alberta)
Canada: $76,299 (PayScale)
United States: $71,040 (BLS)

 

Geomatics Plan Technician
Alberta: $55,746 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $43,340 (BLS)

 

Geoscience Technician
Alberta: $91,026 (ALIS)
Canada: $75,340 (Glassdoor)
United States: $54,190 (BLS)

 

Geoscientist
Alberta: $128,940 (ALIS)
Canada: $86,903 (indeed)
United States: $85,890 (BLS)

 

Hydrogeologist
(See “Geosciensits”)

 

Hydrologist
Alberta: $128,940 (ALIS)
Canada: $65,486 (PayScale)
United States: $79,990 (BLS)

 

Land Surveyor
Alberta: $78,975 (ALIS)
Canada: $82,799 (PayScale)
United States: $61,140 (BLS)

 

Museum Curator
Alberta: $72,973 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $47,360 (BLS)

 

Natural Resources Manager
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $65,875 (indeed)
United States: $79,500 (PayScale)

 

Paleontologist
(See “Archaeologist”)

 

Remote Sensing Technician
Alberta: $74,501 (ALIS - Higher salary may be due to high levels of employment for remote sensing technicians in the oil and gas industry in Alberta)
Canada: $49,063 (PayScale)
United States: $43,340 (BLS)

 

Research Assistant
Alberta: $41,027 (ALIS)
Canada: $32,796 (Glassdoor)
United Sates: $26,560 (BLS)

 

Seismologist
(See “Geologist”)

 

Soil Conservationist
Alberta: $75,812
Canada: $75,000 (PayScale)
United States: $69,170 (BLS)

 

University Professor
Alberta: $74,877 (ALIS)
Canada: $157,610 (indeed)
United Sates: $76,000 (BLS)

 

Water Quality Control Manager
Alberta: $99,194 (ALIS)
Canada: $80,421 (indeed)
United States: $71,000 (Glassdoor)

 

Water Resources Specialist
Alberta: $63,721 (ALIS)
Canada: $69,245 (PayScale)
United States: $69,400 (BLS)
 

The name in brackets next to the salary data for each region is the sources from which the data was obtained. Please note, the salary data that is sourced from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) represents median salary figures, rather than average salary figures. 

 

The figures from the sources of BLS and ALIS are representative of the larger occupational group that the occupation is part of. For example, “Museum Curators” are part of the larger occupational group “Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers” for the purposes of the salary information provided.

 

 

Geology Careers Salary Reference Information

ALIS: Alberta Learning and Information Service (alis.alberta.ca), sponsored by the Government of Alberta. For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated (payscale.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated (glassdoor.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

 

 

 

 

FIND A SCHOOL >

 

 

 

Who Hires Geology Graduates? Where Might You Find Work?

A wide variety of employers need the skills that a geology graduate can bring to the table. Below are some examples of public and private employers with whom you may find work as a geography graduate (not an inclusive list):

 

• Private and public research laboratories

• High schools

• Colleges and universities

• Environmental and related engineering firms

• Environmental consulting firms

• Museums

• Land survey companies

• Mining and resource exploration companies

• Jewelers

• Municipal planning offices

• Provincial/state and national parks

• Provincial/state and federal government agencies 

• Financial trading firms

• Publishers of scientific journals, magazines, and books

• Geological software development companies

• Non-profit organizations

• Law firms specializing in matters related to minerals, petroleum, mining, environmental effects

 

 

 

Geology Jobs!

Whether you're a geology student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.

 

Find Geology Job Opportunities

 

 

 

Geology Scholarships

If you’re a geology major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to geology, scholarships for science students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.


 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.

 

 

Professional Associations for Careers in Geology

To find out more about careers directly related to your geology degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.


 

Canada

Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists

Canadian Geomorphology Research Group

Canadian Geotechnical Society

Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists

 

 

United States

American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists

American Geological Institute

American Geophysical Union

American Water Resources Association

 

 


Popular Degree Programs in Your Area