Geologist

Job Description

If you’ve got a talent for science, a love for nature, and a desire to help improve the environment and public safety, a career as a Geologist might be perfect for you. 

Geologists study earth materials and processes, including rocks, gasses, sediment, minerals, and fossil fuels. Their breadth of work can span from doing individual studies on the environmental impact from the construction of buildings to advising mining and energy companies on how to safely extract earth materials with minimal impact on the environment. Decision-makers ask advice from Geologists before starting on significant projects. 

Balancing safety for humans with minimizing environmental impact is at the heart of every ethical Geologists’ job, with a heavy focus on conservation and sustainability. 

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collect and analyze surface soil samples
  • Develop detailed project maps and reports according to project specifications
  • Document and explain all findings and note any issues or concerns
  • Collaborate with a team and subcontractors to ensure each phase of a project is complete
  • Compile and present findings and recommendations to project management

Education and Background

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in geosciences, engineering, or geophysics. Employers often prefer candidates with Professional Geologist licensure.

Skills and Proficiencies

  • Broad knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental regulations
  • Experience with ecological surveying and reporting
  • Knowledge of various sampling techniques and equipment
  • Robust critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and communications skills 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and industry-related software
  • Comfortable with fieldwork

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Geologist with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $48,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $49,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $50,000
  • Miami, Florida: $56,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $60,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $65,000
  • Houston, Texas: $55,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $63,000
  • New York City, New York: $67,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $65,000
  • Overall: $54,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $72,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $69,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
  • Miami, Florida: $68,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $75,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $78,000
  • Houston, Texas: $75,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $85,000
  • New York City, New York: $88,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $75,000
  • Overall: $77,000

Similar Job Titles

Career Path

The path to becoming a Geologist typically starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in geosciences, engineering, geophysics, or a related field. Beyond that, employers prefer job applicants who obtain Professional Geologist licensure. 

Position Trends

Geologists will be expected to make important recommendations on how to balance growing environmental concerns with the ever-increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management should spur demand for geoscientists.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for Geoscientists should experience six percent growth through 2028, about an average increase across all occupations.  

Typical Hours

The typical work hours for a Geologist are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, typically in an office setting or in the field.  

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster 

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