Geology Careers: What You Can Do With This Degree

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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:








Energy Policy Analyst

Environmental Analyst

Environmental Education Assistant

Environmental Education Officer

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental Policy Officer

Environmental Scientist

Environmental Technician

Fluvial Geomorphologist


Geomatics Plan Technician


Geoscience Technician


Global Warming Advocate




Land Surveyor

Museum Curator

Natural Resources Manager

Natural Resources Planner


Remote Sensing Technician

Research Assistant


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





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 Grad Salary: Factors that Can Influence Your Earnings

The salary you could earn as a geology graduate depends on what career you pursue. For example, if you go on to become a water quality control manager, your earnings may be different, for better or for worse, from what you would earn if you choose to become a research assistant. Other factors that have an effect on your earnings include:


• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued

• Other skills you may have




Some Actual Salary Figures

Geology Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $45,427 CAD is the average salary earned by Physical Sciences graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.


Success Tip: To get a better idea of what you could earn, click on some of the career fields listed above, in the "Career Guides Related to a Geology Degree" section. It is more accurate (although still not perfect) to estimate your potential future salary based on the career field you plan on pursuing, rather than by your general degree.







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.



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



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