Geologists are geoscientists who study all aspects of the earth, including its origin, history, composition, and structure. Along more practical lines, geologists may, through the use of theoretical knowledge and research data, locate groundwater, oil, minerals, and other natural resources. They play an increasingly important role in studying, preserving, and cleaning up the environment. They advise construction companies and government agencies on the suitability of locations being considered for buildings, highways, and other structures including wind farms, geothermal power plants, and solar power plants). They also prepare geological reports, maps, and diagrams. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are approximately 31,800 geoscientists (including geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers) employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Economic Geologists, Engineering Geologists, Environmental Geologists, Geochemists, Geochronologists, Geohydrologists, Geological Oceanographers, Geologists, Geomorphologists, Geophysicists, Glacial Geologists, Hydrogeologists, Marine Geologists, Mineralogists, Paleontologists, Petrologists, Planetary Geologists, Sedimentary Stratigraphers, Sedimentologists, Seismologists, Structural Geologists, Volcanologists
Duties Study the earth, including its origin, history, composition, and structure; help locate groundwater, oil, minerals, and other natural resources
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but 28 percent of all geologists work in Texas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Science
  • Geography
Experience Internship or co-op experience helpful
Personality Traits
  • Realistic
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Organizational
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Project Leader or College Professor
  • Geologist
  • Research Assistant or Geological Technician