Geoscientists essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $90,890
- 2012, number of jobs: 35,180
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 21 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Geoscientists; what they do:
Ever wonder what the earth is made up of? Ask a geoscientist. They know the answers to the earth’s internal mysteries. A geoscientist career, a highly analytical and scientific career, appeals to people interested in the earth’s composition, conducting research, mathematics, physics and technology.
A geoscientist career involves studying the structure, composition and other physical aspects of the earth to truly understand its history; its impact in the present as well as its role in the future.
A typical day for a geoscientist involves traveling to survey sites to conduct research on many different areas of exploration such as drilling for oil, searching for gas or looking for underground water. After conducting different methods of research, geoscientists collect, analyze and conduct tests on the samples collected in the field.
Geoscientist careers include designing maps and charts and writing reports. After careful review of research conducted, geoscientists present their findings to colleagues and write reports and publications.
The tools geoscientists use range from simple hand gadgets to complex radar and technological equipment. Geoscientist careers include using sensing equipment to gather data and using software to analyze data. They also work in different specialty areas such as oceans, natural resource development, environmental protection, and atmospheric research.
Geoscientist job titles:
- Environmental Geoscientist
- Petroleum Geoscientist
- Exploration Geologist
- Project Geologist
Geoscientists Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in a geoscientist career need at least a bachelor’s degree in geosciences or a bachelor degree in a relevant field and experience with computer modeling, digital geologic mapping and data analysis. However, a Ph.D. is mandatory for many research and university teaching positions and some states may also require licensing.
Most employers highly encourage laboratory and field experience. Summer programs help future geoscientists gain necessary field experience. These hands-on field opportunities allow students to work closely with teachers to gain valuable experience in data collection and mapping.
Geoscientist programs cover subjects such as:
- Computer mapping
- Political geography
- Remote sensing interpretation
- Earth history and evolution
- Physical oceanography
Geoscientists Job Outlook
Forecast: 21 percent employment growth for geoscientists between 2010 and 2020. The job growth includes oil and gas management jobs as well as scientific and technical consulting services jobs.
The occupational growth stems from the demand for environmental protection, land and resource management and energy. Budget cuts and constraints as well as outsourcing contract work may decrease the number of jobs in the state and federal government.
More employment opportunities are available for geoscientists who graduate with a master’s degree. In addition, a large number of openings are also expected due to retiring geoscientists leaving the field. However, geoscientists with a Ph.D. have competition for positions in university settings and research.
- 2012 median annual wage: $90,890
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $130,330
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $63,670
- Architectural, engineering and related services
- Oil and gas extraction
- Management, scientific and technical consulting services
- State and federal government