What Are Some Career Options in Geology?

The field of geology offers a wide variety of career options, such as mining, consulting and teaching. Many of these careers only require a bachelor's degree in geology. Continue reading for more details about geology careers and how to prepare for them. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Geology Career Overview

Geology is the study of the processes and materials that combine to make the planet Earth, and this field includes locating natural resources, conserving land and water quality and predicting natural events, like earthquakes and tsunamis. Career options are wide-ranging and include the fields of mineralogy, geochemistry, oceanography, stratigraphy, seismology, crystallography and environmental geology.

The majority of geology careers require at least a bachelor's degree. Some geological technician and petroleum technician jobs can be obtained with just an associate's degree. A master's degree may be needed for some advanced positions, and if you're interested in academia and independent research, you'll likely need a doctoral degree. Geology and geoscience degree programs are fairly common, but you can also enter this career field with a related natural science degree and training specifically in geology. Continue reading for an overview of four job options:

Important Facts About Career Options in Geology

Mining and Geological Engineers Environmental Consultants Teachers
Median Salary (2018) $92,250 $71,130 $60,320 (for high school teachers); $58,600 (for middle school teachers); $57,980 (for kindergarten and elementary school teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth 11% growth 7-8% growth
Key Skills Analytical and logical thinking; good judgment and decision making; strong mathematical foundation; clear communication Analytical thinking; problem solving; determination; clear communication Patience; ingenuity; creativity; clear written and oral communication
Similar Occupations Geological and petroleum technicians; hydrologists; natural science managers Environmental engineers; conservation scientists and foresters; postsecondary teachers School and career counselors; instructional coordinators; career and technical education teachers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mining and Geological Engineers

The mining and geological industries offer high-tech, well-paying jobs for geologists. In these fields, geologists gather and analyze mineral, seismic and other data to determine the viability of excavation sites and strategies. A bachelor's degree is necessary for entry-level jobs in these fields, though a master's degree may be required in some cases.

Environmental Consulting

Geologists who work as environmental consultants work for private companies to ensure that these companies are in compliance with local, state and federal environmental regulations. They analyze companies' activities to estimate their environmental impact. A bachelor's degree is necessary for these positions.


In order to teach Earth science at the K-12 level, a bachelor's degree and graduation from a teaching program is necessary. The goal of geology teachers at this level is to introduce students to the history and make-up of the Earth.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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