Become a Geoscientist

By Eric Hammer

One of the more unusual jobs around is that of geoscientist. In essence, a geoscientist is a scientist who studies the geology of the earth. He or she looks at things like plate tectonics and shifts in the earth's crust to determine various pieces of information about the earth.

While some geoscientists work in a variety of purely scientific pursuits, one of the biggest areas of employment for a geoscientist is actually in the field of oil prospecting. In essence, when an oil company is trying to find out whether or not a particular area is likely to contain oil (or natural gas or any other fossil fuel or mineral for that matter), they hire a geoscientist to help them find clues to the nature of the particular area they happen to be studying.

Your work will typically involve working with computer models and using advanced equipment such as sonar detectors to try to find out what is under the ground in any particular area. You may also study earthquakes and why they happen, attempting to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in any given location.

How Much Can You Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a geoscientist in 2008 was approximately $79,000 per year with the top geoscientists in the country making in the low six figures.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

There are a number of different related areas of geology where a geoscientist may work and as such, this profession allows you to choose from different options. As noted above, you may want to consider working as an oil prospector. However, you could just as easily focus on the science of hydrology, which is the study of water and how it flows. This kind of work is becoming increasingly important as some areas of the country are experiencing severe drought conditions and need help with finding new sources of drinking water.

Geoscientists tend to vary from those who work out in the field, taking measurements, sometimes in harsh environments (this is especially true for geoscientists who work in the field of petroleum exploration since the easiest places to take oil out of the ground have already been tapped) to those who work in a lab.

You'll need a strong science background in order to work as a geoscientist and it helps to know some math as well since you'll often be doing projections based on the information you are able to glean from various examinations of the earth's crust.

Qualifications / Requirements

While some geoscientists do work in the field with nothing more than a bachelor's degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does recommend that most geoscientists pursue a master's degree as well in the field of geology in order to improve their employment options.

First Steps

Start by going to college and earning at least a bachelor's degree in geology. Then, consider taking a master degree program as well where you specialize in a particular area of geosciences.

If you liked this page please let others know with one of these...

Other Relevant Pages

Fun and Interesting Jobs

Some Good Jobs to Have

(The newsletter has been discontinued.)

Every Way to Make Money | Become a Geoscientist