Geoscience Career Resources

Approximately 50,000 geologists are at work today in private industry, in government, in teaching and research, and as self-employed consultants. Geologists work in a variety of settings which include:

  • natural resource companies (mineral and energy exploration)
  • renewable resource companies (wind, solar, and geothermal energy)
  • environmental and geotechnical consulting companies 
  • hydrologic and watershed consulting and engineering
  • government agencies (e.g. US Geological Survey, US EPA, US Forest Service)
  • non-profit organizations (environmental justice, food and water security, NGOs)
  • colleges/universities (technicians, lecturers, professors)

In recent years the awareness of environmental issues has increased the need for geologists trained in the areas of groundwater, landslides, soil conservation, oceanography, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods. Employment opportunities in environmental and geotechnical fields continue to expand, even during times of economic slowdown, and promise to continue to be a major area of geological need. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has more information on the outlook for geoscience jobs over the coming decade.

Graduates with a BS in geology are well-prepared for graduate study, which is required for some professional positions in geology. Teaching and research at the college or university level requires the PhD degree. Regardless of the particular area of employment, a well-trained geologist must have a sound background in basic sciences, including math, chemistry, physics and essential geology courses. Computational skills are in particulary high demand. It is the goal of this department to provide this essential preparation at both the undergraduate and graduate level through its programs of laboratory and classroom activities and fieldwork

Approximately annually, the Department sponsors Career Days, which brings students, alumni, and industry experts together to highlight key trends in employment and the skills required in the modern workforce. 

There are also many opportunities for students who are members of major geological organizations such as those listed here. Students get a membership discount, and more inexpensive tickets to conferences, field trips, and meetings, at which there is always an opportunity for networking with other geologists and even employment! Get yourself out there, find what you love, and get involved!