How to Get a Job as a Geologist


How to Get a Job as a Geologist

Getting a job as a geologist is actually easier than you might think, if you know some effective ways to go about it that is. Geology is a wide field and there are many jobs available for geologists, even outside the mineral resource sector. Other sectors, such as government, environment, and education require the services of geologists at a higher rate than in previous years.


Being competent in the field of geology plays a key role to landing a job. It’s relatively easy for an individual to be employed as a geologist if they have obtained these three items: education, skills and experience.


This may seem cliché, but one of the best ways to secure a well-paying job as a geologist is by standing out among your peers. The years you spend in college will lay your foundation for the world outside of college. If you want to get hired as a geologist you must be a standout to employers; step out of the crowd and prove that you deserve the spot.


To get you started on your journey to securing that perfect job, let’s begin with the basics:


What Qualities Do Employers Look for When Hiring Geologists?

In many ways, getting a job as a geologist is not any different from getting a job in other professions, especially in the fact that you need to have the basic skills that employers are looking for.


Interpersonal and teamwork skills: For most of the positions you would be applying for, you would work as a part of a team with other geoscientists, environmental scientists, engineers, and technicians. For this reason, geologists must have excellent interpersonal skills. A geologist must show that he or she can work on a team with others, in order to bring out the best of the organization.


Communication skills: Strong oral and written communication skills also are important. They will come in handy when writing technical reports and research proposals, as well as communicating research results to others.


Computer skills: Computer skills are part of the essential skill set for prospective geologists; students who have experience with computer modeling, data analysis and integration, digital mapping, remote sensing, and geographic information systems will be the most prepared when entering the job market. Knowledge of Global Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies has also become essential in this field.


Having a second language: Since many geologist jobs require foreign travel, it’s a smart move to get to know a second language. Though you may not have to make use of your second language, it shows your employer that you have initiative, and that you are ready for change.


Analytical thinking: Geologists must also be inquisitive, be able to think logically, and be capable of complex analytical thinking, including spatial visualization and the ability to develop comprehensive conclusions often from sparse data. If you hope to be involved in geological fieldwork, you have to have physical stamina. You should also be to cope with a variety of weather conditions.


How Do You Gain the Experience Necessary to Get a Job as a Geologist?

If you have ever come across any job posting for geologist as a graduate, it’s easy to get discouraged by the fact that they - more often than not - need applicants with a few years of experience.


So how do you gain experience in the field if you haven’t worked in the field? And how do you get work in the field without having experience? Fear not, there are several ways around this frustrating catch-22:


Internships: Fortunately, many institutions offer placements programs (internships) as a requirement of a bachelor of science program. If it is not mandatory through your science program, try to land one on your own time to gain the experience. Speak with your professors and career counselors about how to go about finding these opportunities.


Summer field programs: There are many programs available in many countries. They are typically offered by the geological society, or other scientific societies and interest groups. Search for these opportunities in your country and you are sure to find plenty of opportunities.


Summer jobs: Try to get a summer job or an internship with a company, government agency, or non-profit agency. This is a great way to make contacts and get some experience while you’re a student, without interfering with your schoolwork. Even if there is no money involved, the contacts could be well worth the effort.


Join geology associations: For students, there are many good professional groups that one can join, usually at a reduced student rate. These meetings offer great contacts, friendships, as well as the chance to hear geological jargon. For those wanting a job in a new area, these meetings are the best place to meet the professionals who practice in a particular technical area or location.


Take additional classes: Geology field camp, stratigraphy, structural geology and hydrogeology. These courses (and their prerequisites) provide the fundamental foundation for a career in consulting in environmental geology, or geological engineering.


Spend time in the field: See as many rocks as you can, regardless of what field of geology you want to enter. Those who have spent the most time in the field will have a much higher probability of helping the project team come to a successful result. Go to field camp, learn to produce a good geologic map, do an independent study in field geology, and spend every summer in the field. Get out from behind the computer screen now and go find some rocks.


Success Tip: Employers often note on job postings that, “the ideal candidate should have 3-5 years of experience with…”. When looking for geologist jobs, make sure to note if that is an absolute requirement, or merely a preference of the employer. If it is merely a preference, and you do not have the required amount of experience, you can still apply for the job.


Geologist Job Prospects

Increasing concerns about the environment, and a subsequent increase in governmental regulations, are driving up the demand for geologists. Currently, there are many interesting, well-paying jobs and the outlook is good, even for new geology graduates with little or no experience.




Where to Look for Geology Jobs

There are numerous organizations with whom you can find geologist jobs. These organizations might include:


• Petroleum exploration companies (oil and gas exploration, production, storage and waste disposal)

• Independent drilling companies

• Coal companies

• Mining companies

• Geological mapping companies

• Construction companies

• Landscaping companies

• Astrological and space science agencies (such as NASA) and many others.

• Local, regional and federal government agencies

• Non-profit organizations

• Environmental consulting companies

• Many other types of organizations


Just as we stated earlier, the field of geology is broad, and employment in this field still on the rise. For this reason, there are numerous ways you can find a job as a geologist.


Job Boards

Using these boards, you can search for relevant vacancies worldwide. Ensure you check the qualifications required for the job and the responsibilities the job entails before applying. A good example of a job board for geologists is the Geological Society of America’s job board.


Employer Websites

An obvious source for geologist jobs, job vacancies with geology employers are often found right on the organization’s website. An employer you really want to work for may not have any postings listed when you are looking, but may post them soon after, so check back frequently!


Staffing Agencies

Many employers that hire geologists also contract hiring services to staffing agencies. A staffing agency is responsible for filling specified positions on behalf of their client (the employer). It does so by advertising the job position, shortlisting candidates, and sometimes interviewing suitable candidates to choose the most qualified person(s). The individual then takes up the work in the company but is hired by the staffing agency, rather than the employer itself.


Social Media

With today’s social media world, you can also get in touch with people in your personal and professional network. While there are many social media platforms, it’s best you invest your time into one that caters to your professional needs. Search for companies and professionals on LinkedIn and stay connected. If done properly, you could use this as an advantage over other job seekers.


Where are Geologist Jobs Located?

Because of the nature of geological work, there are companies hiring geologists that are situated both in big cities and small towns. The companies themselves may be located in big cities, but the work may be in a small town. Some companies may also offer work that involves travel, both domestically and internationally, sometimes to remote locations. 


Geologist Job Postings

We get new job postings every day! Search our job board for geologist jobs.


Find geologist jobs


The Hidden Job Market: Unconventional Job Search Methods

While applying for job postings is the most conventional, and arguably the most effective way to get a job as a geologist, it does not help you tap into the ‘hidden job market’. Tapping into hidden job market is something you may need to do if using the conventional methods is not working for you.


It is estimated that somewhere between 20% and 80% of available jobs are not posted for a variety of reasons. For example, they may not have finalized the posting yet, the employer may be lacking confidence that they will find a qualified or suitable candidate, or any number of other reasons.


Fortunately, there many ways to explore the hidden job market, many of which involve contacting an employer directly. These methods may include:


Calling employers: Calling employers directly on the phone is not a conventional way to go about finding a geologist job, people have had success with it. In using this approach, you have to know how to present and sell yourself. Audio with no complementary visual can make it a bit harder for person to assess you. It’s important to do your research on the company before making the call and speak in a manner that shows you know what you have and are not afraid to sell it!


E-mailing employers: Emails is a more common way to approach a company. You just have to know the difference between an official email and an informal one (this is not your normal chatty conversations with a friend). Many resumes and cover letters are being sent through email these days. It’s thus very important to make good first impression. If using this method, don’t waste the subject line by just inserting the job number, and certainly don’t ever leave it blank. Always remember to keep your introductory e-mail short and dynamic.


Walking into a company office: This age-old approach is still relevant with some employers. Simply walk into the company and request to see the relevant personnel, or at the very least to make an appointment with them. Dress well and be courteous, and bring your resume and other supporting documents (such as letters of reference) with you.


Success Tip: It’s always best you do your research on the company before choosing one of these methods to know which one is their modus operandi (way of doing things). 


How to Write the Perfect Geologist Resume

Now that you have all of the qualifications, and you know where to find geologist jobs, you'll have to prepare the perfect resume. This is the last big step in landing your dream job. Read more on how to prepare the perfect resume for getting a job as a geologist. 


How to Prepare For the Interview

One needs to prepare both psychologically and physically for a geologist job interview. Most interview questions are designed to test your confidence, composure and intelligence. Here are some quick tips for having a successful interview:


• Prepare for ‘behavioural’ interview questions, as these are becoming more common

• Always dress smart and sharp

• Keep to time

• Be confident

• Let your personality shine i.e. don’t try to be someone you are not

• Listen and ask for clarification

• Always have something to offer, such as how are you going to make the company better


How to Follow Up on Your Geologist Job Interview  

Many people believe the after the interview they don’t have any role to play, and simply leave whether or not they get the job to fate. It’s always advisable to follow up on the interview process. Don’t leave it to fate, there are still things you can do to stand out in an employer’s eyes that are well within the realm of good manners.


A good way of doing this is by sending a thank you note to the company. If you want to make it a little bit less formal, you can politely ask your interviewers for their business cards. To help you out with a format, here’s how the letter should look:


• Thank the interviewer for their time

• Repeat why you are right for the position and restate your enthusiasm for the opportunity

• Include any interesting details or commonalities that may have come up during the interview

• Close by stating you look forward to hearing from the interviewer


The two best methods of sending this letter are either by email or direct mail. Consider the nature of the company and how receptive they are to either of these methods. Some companies will be more receptive to one over the other.


Geologist Career Guide

To find out more about how to become a geologist, including more details on the educational and experience requirements, please visit our How to Become a Geologist: Career Path Guide page.


References: How to Get a Job as a Geologist

Please consult the following online references for more geologist job search tips: website - Geology Jobs:

Murray Resources website - How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note:

Columbia College Geological Sciences Program website - Employment Opportunities of the Future:

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website - Geoscientists:

University of Birmingham website - Undergraduate Programmes in Geology:


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