Example Careers You Can Pursue with a Geology or Earth Science Degree

  • Environmental Geology: You can be involved in water and soil testing and remediation, assessment of sites for pollution types and amounts, clean-up of toxic chemicals from the water and/or soil.
  • Engineering Geology: Engineering geologists work with other professionals to oversee the planning and construction of buildings, bridges, roads, dams, landfills, and tunnels.  Geological engineers are experts in rock strength, stability of slopes, and the mechanics of soils.
  • Geological Education: You can specialize in middle childhood or secondary education, bringing the earth sciences to children of a broad spectrum of ages.  Teaching at the college/university level requires a Ph.D. at most institutions.
  • Petroleum Geology and Economic Geology: This involves searching for and helping to mine or exploit Earth’s resources, including ore minerals, oil, natural gas, and coal.
  • Field Geology: You can make maps, assess areas for geological activity, and monitor environmental remediation.
  • Science Writing and Editing: With a combination of English or journalism coursework, you can write or edit science articles, manuals, and other texts.
  • Environmental Law: With background in the earth sciences, you can go on to study and litigate various aspects of the impact of humans on the physical environment.
  • Administration and Management:
  • Sales and Service Industries:
  • Sales and Service Industries:
  • Engineering:
  • Administration and Management:
  • Architecture:
  • Computer Science:
  • K-12 Teaching:

Graduate School

You can enter graduate school to specialize in a specific area of geology or an allied field.  Geologists who specialize in the following areas typically have a master’s degree or a Ph.D.

  • Paleontology: the study of ancient life and ecosystems
  • Paleomagnetism: the study of the Earth’s ancient magnetic field
  • Volcanology: the study of volcanoes
  • Seismology: the study of earthquakes
  • Hydrogeology: the study of groundwater, its flow, and its pollution and remediation
  • Hydrology: the study of surface water flow
  • Geochemistry: the study of geochemical reactions in rocks and water
  • Geophysics: the study of the physics of the Earth (e.g. paleomagnetism, plate tectonics, earthquakes)
  • Structural Geology: the study of mountain building and the folding and faulting of rocks
  • Paleoclimatology/Paleooceanography: the study and modeling of past oceans and climates
  • Oceanography: the study of coastal processes, sediment transport, construction of harbors, ocean circulation, and other marine aspects