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Geology Major Careers

Environmental Program Manager Job Description

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Geology Career Information




Energy (Coal, Oil, Gas, and Other Energy Sources)

  • Stratigraphy

  • Sedimentology
  • Structural Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Economic Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Paleontology
  • Fossil Energy
  • Petroleum industry including oil and gas exploration, production, storage, and waste disposal facilities
  • Independent drilling companies
  • Federal government agencies such as:
    • Department of Energy
    • Bureau of Land Management
  • State government
  • Private companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Geologists working in the area of energy use various methods to determine where energy sources are accumulated.
  • Because geologists often work closely with engineers, obtain some knowledge in engineering to aid communication.
  • Gain knowledge of computer modeling and Global Positioning System (GPS). Both are used to locate deposits.
  • Many geologists in this area of expertise work with oil and gas and may work in the geographic areas where deposits are found: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, California, offshore sites, or overseas in oil-producing countries.
  • This industry is subject to fluctuations, so be prepared to work on a contract basis.
  • Develop excellent writing skills to publish reports and to solicit grants from government, industry, and private foundations.
  • In order to manage projects, obtain management and leadership experience.


  • Mining Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Geochemistry
  • Economic Geology
  • Paleontology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Sedimentology
  • Crystallography
  • Mining Companies
  • Consulting Firms
  • Federal government agencies such as:
    • Bureau of Mines
    • Office of Surface Mining
    • Bureau of Land Management
  • Coal companies
  • Well services and drilling companies
  • Construction firms
  • Quarries
  • Railroad companies
  • Geologists who are focused in the mineralogy or mining geology area are interested in locating the accumulations of minerals or metals within the earth’s crust.
  • Become familiar with environmental regulations and government permit issues.
  • Mining geologists rely heavily on the computerized Geologic Block Model to learn about a mineral deposit, so computer literacy is essential.

Environmental Geology

  • Sedimentology
  • Hydrology
  • Geomagnetism
  • Earth Surface Dynamics
  • Coastal & Marine Geology
 Federal government agencies such as:
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Forest Service
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Geological Survey
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Defense
  • Geologists in this category may focus on studying, protecting, and reclaiming the environment.
  • Obtain a great deal of lab experience.
  • Consider obtaining a double major in physics because of the geophysical nature of this concentration area.
  • Develop excellent written and public speaking skills.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of federal and state government guidelines for the management of solid, liquid, and gaseous waste.
  • Consider a law degree for work with land-use laws and legal matters.

Geologic Mapping

  • Federal government agencies such as:
    • US Geological Survey
    • Department of Defense
  • Private companies
  • Geologists interested in geologic mapping collect, process, analyze, translate, and disseminate earth-science information through geologic maps.
  • Obtain excellent computer and technical skills because much mapping is now digitized.
  • Gain experience in surveying through internships or academic opportunities.

Astrogeology and Space Sciences

 Federal government agencies such as:
  • National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA)
  • US Geological Survey
  • Geologists involved in astrogeology may participate in processing and analyzing data from various missions to planetary bodies in our solar system, assisting in finding potential landing sites for exploration vehicles, mapping our neighboring planets and their moons, and conducting research to better understand the origins, evolutions, and geologic processes operating on these bodies.
  • Work in this area often requires many years of experience and developed research. A PhD is often required.
  • Develop extraordinary analytical writing skills for grant writing and research.

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Floods

  • Seismology
  • Tectonophysics
  • Geomagnetism
  • Global Seismic Networks
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    • US Geological Survey
    • Department of Defense
  • Private research groups and foundations
  • Geologists involved in this area focus on the detection of hazards and the effects of hazards on the landscape.
  • Gain experience in technical mapping such as digital terrain modeling.
  • Consider an additional major in physics or take additional geophysics courses.
  • Gain some knowledge in engineering.
  • Develop presentation and writing skills.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Elementary/secondary public or private schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Museums
  • Obtain certification/licensing for public school teaching.
  • Obtain Ph.D. for higher education teaching and/or advanced research and administrative positions.
  • Develop grant writing skills.
  • Become familiar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

General Information and Strategies


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