Geology Careers


Job Availability:
There always has been and always will be career opportunities for the well qualified
student. As in other fields, the need for new people fluctuates with time. The U. S. economy has caused a tighter job market in recent years, although that trend is slowly being reversed especially in the area of hydrogeology.

Types of Employment:
Because of the great variety of jobs and employers, only a broad description of available jobs can be given here. Our department maintains a "job file" including the names and addresses of potential employers, submitted by past SUCO graduates.

Some of the largest employers of geologists are listed below:

Petroleum, Mining and industrial minerals, Coal

Federal/State Agencies:
US Geological Survey
US Forest Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
Soil Conservation Service
State Geological Surveys,
Depts. of Conservation,
Depts. of Water Resources
Department of Transportation
Corps of Engineers

Consulting Groups:
Geotechnical Engineering
Environmental remediation
Urban planning
Waste Management

Colleges and Universities:
Laboratory Technicians
University-sponsored research groups
(e.g., Desert Research Institute at
University of Nevada)

Many jobs in geology require a master's degree. The number and variety of jobs, the salary, and potential for advancement are limited for those having only a bachelor's degree, and yet nearly all of our past graduates who have sought employment after receiving their BA or BS have been successful in finding jobs. Most of these people plan to obtain advanced degrees at some later date. A Ph.D. is useful, and in many cases necessary, for university teaching, or can be used as a means for advancement later on in one's career in a non-academic field. At present, however, jobs for Ph.D. holders are scarce.

Salaries for teachers (college and university) are generally lower because of the 9-10 month academic calendar. Entry jobs in industry (non-teaching) are in the range of $22,000 to $25,000 for BA or BS and about $27 ,000 to $30,000 for MS/MA. Growth and development beyond this is purely a function of personal achievement.