B.S. Geology, need job

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Kajun-odo in Bakersfield, California

70 months ago

I can definitely relate to most of you guys. After graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in geology, it took me more than a year before I got my first job. Yes, it is mudlogging job but the company I am working is relatively better than the ones you can read on this forum. They fly us in and out of the location (our contracts are mostly in southern california), even if you are from the east coast or hawaii(?) they will fly you to california. We stay in a motel in a nearby town and they provide us with rental cars. We go back to the town everyday where we can drink beer at the local bar or dine in restaurants. Our company has been hiring over the last 6 months and around 20 new people have been accepted already. I believe the hiring will continue because most of the older loggers here are going back to grad school.

All I can say is work on your resume and make it look as good as possible. That's what I did. You dont need to pay several hundreds of dollars for other "specialist" to make your resume. You can do it yourself. Although I have to read several resume writing articles and ebooks to furnish my long and boring resume.

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G.Jenk in Newark, Ohio

70 months ago

Thats cool! my one prob is I have never performed mud logging. Here in Ohio its mostly drilling for soil samples n classifying it and in some cases we rock core but lol Ohio is either shale limestone or sandstone(boring geology) lol

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G.Jenk in Newark, Ohio

70 months ago

old geologist in Lake Jackson, Texas said: Just heard from a mining company in another country. They said I do not have the skills they desire. Funny, I have done the same job in the past and I found minerals. I wrote the report and calculated the reserves. I even laid out the mine area for the engineers. I do not think these HR people have a clue about just what a Geologist does or how to read a resume. Anyone else have these types of experiences?

Yeah I have lol, Im in Ohio n all I have ever worked with has been civil engineers had one tell me that he doesn't beleive in using Geologists on projects said just a waste of budget said he can describe soil n rock just as well so yeah im in the same boat man.

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Texan in Dallas in Midland, Texas

70 months ago

Yea, my experience is that that some folks have no idea what to look for sometimes when looking at resumes. You can only hope someone who knows the industry looks at your resume. I've also gone on interviews where the guy doing the interview desribes a job that sounds unlike the job posting

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G.Jenk in Newark, Ohio

70 months ago

Yup! hell i even took a day off from work to go to an interview with the Ohio EPA only to be told that the job went to someone internally! missed a whole days pay. I have came to the conclusion I need to get out of Ohio lol

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Mudlogger in Pine Grove, California

69 months ago

I don't know why everyone here has had such bad luck. I graduated in spring of 2011 and EVERY member of my graduating clas in geology was either employed before graduation or within a couple of months. I myself was hired as a mud logger within a month of graduating. You guys looking for jobs need to network with your classmates and professors in order to find a job. Most young geologist I know got jobs because someone knew someone who was hiring. Your professors know geologists in the industry and you need to capitalize on that. They all have friends who are senior geologists or run their own companies. Pick their brains, befriend a professor, see if you can help them with their research. There is more to getting a Geo degree than showing up and turning in your homework. Network within the small Geo community and it will pay off. As far as mud logging I love it. I've work oil and geothermal wells all over the world. This is definitely a job for people that don't mind working long hours or traveling a lot. I also work directly with energy company geologists and already have had a couple ask me to come work for them. I garuntee you if you work hard and look in the right places you will find a Geo job. Their are tons of them out there.I have friends working for environmental, oil, geotech, and engineering companies and they are all hiring right now. Get out there and good luck.

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s.williamson in Muncy, Pennsylvania

69 months ago

Best comment I have ever seen on this forum. This is the attitude you should have, upon embarking on your new career.

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Sneji in Granada Hills, California

69 months ago

s.williamson in Muncy, Pennsylvania said: Best comment I have ever seen on this forum. This is the attitude you should have, upon embarking on your new career.

Easy to say.....

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Ekaterina in Toronto, Ontario

68 months ago

I'm HR consultant looking for geologists,chief geologists, exploration managers and mining professionals for my clients all over the world.
I can't guarantee a job but an additional opportunity to find it. All interested can contact me by e-mail: e.kimaeva@inbox.com
Best regards,
Ekaterina

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McNutty in Massapequa, New York

67 months ago

Ive read some pretty depressing posts on here, Whew- I was hoping someone with some experience in Geology could give a breakdown of what types of jobs catagories there are in Geology. Let me say, Im 32 I have a degree in Business, hated the work, landed a job as a Driller -Stabo work, and I bumped elbows with some geologists. I actually like drilling as sadistic as that seems. I decided to study Geology, and I really want to land a job on an oil rig, or in some remote location somewhere near the corner of the earth getting really dirty, freezing cold, and attacked by bears or something. Can anyone suggest, what path to take in my studies to get me the best chance of landing that sweet job. No joke as funny as it seems. I will do whatever it takes to land a job in some remote mountain region, desert, or ocean!

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jake noneyour in salt lake city, Utah

67 months ago

McNutty in Massapequa, New York said: Ive read some pretty depressing posts on here, Whew- I was hoping someone with some experience in Geology could give a breakdown of what types of jobs catagories there are in Geology. Let me say, Im 32 I have a degree in Business, hated the work, landed a job as a Driller -Stabo work, and I bumped elbows with some geologists. I actually like drilling as sadistic as that seems. I decided to study Geology, and I really want to land a job on an oil rig, or in some remote location somewhere near the corner of the earth getting really dirty, freezing cold, and attacked by bears or something. Can anyone suggest, what path to take in my studies to get me the best chance of landing that sweet job. No joke as funny as it seems. I will do whatever it takes to land a job in some remote mountain region, desert, or ocean!

I work for an oil service company and just got off an offshore rig in the Gulf. I am a mudlogger or "mud logging geologist" to be fancy. I obtained a degree in Geology and didn't specialize in anything specific. It depends what you really want to do, if it's oil go for petroleum engineering, if it's mining go to a school of mining and engineering, Montana has a good one. But really a straight geo degree will do, but it may be a little harder to find a job. It took me about a year. Right now things are booming in the Gulf as the Moratorium situation is dying down. I am new at my job, just 4 months in and I have done so much, traveled to different countries for training, worked along side wellsite geologists, and many more!

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jake noneyour in salt lake city, Utah

67 months ago

McNutty in Massapequa, New York said: Ive read some pretty depressing posts on here, Whew- I was hoping someone with some experience in Geology could give a breakdown of what types of jobs catagories there are in Geology. Let me say, Im 32 I have a degree in Business, hated the work, landed a job as a Driller -Stabo work, and I bumped elbows with some geologists. I actually like drilling as sadistic as that seems. I decided to study Geology, and I really want to land a job on an oil rig, or in some remote location somewhere near the corner of the earth getting really dirty, freezing cold, and attacked by bears or something. Can anyone suggest, what path to take in my studies to get me the best chance of landing that sweet job. No joke as funny as it seems. I will do whatever it takes to land a job in some remote mountain region, desert, or ocean!

So my advice, do internships during your summer breaks, volunteer, become a member of professional societies, oh and study of course. Good Luck! Geology is one of the greatest studies!!

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gf in Muscat, Oman

67 months ago

jake noneyour in salt lake city, Utah said: So my advice, do internships during your summer breaks, volunteer, become a member of professional societies, oh and study of course. Good Luck! Geology is one of the greatest studies!!

does pursuing a bachelors of science in geology involve alot of math coursework or is it just the basics with just alittle of complicated stuff lol

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bubba in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

66 months ago

Come to Canada they are begging for geologists to work here, and you will make more money than most Doctors.

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Geofun in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

66 months ago

I completely agree. Not one person had ever heard of a PG in my class until we started interviewing. My personal belief for professors at our college not mentioning it is they spent minimum time in industry and don't think about telling us this.

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bob curfman in Calgary, Alberta

65 months ago

carpediem in Davenport, Iowa said: Just Curious what type of work you did straight out of college? I am really hurting here. I graduated 6 months ago with a BS in geology and I haven't have one phone call yet. I've had two internships with the government during my college years but still that doesn't seem to help me. I've been digging so deep for jobs. I've applied for almost every single job category in the geosciences.

Anyone have any suggestions for good mud logging companies or anything, just anything. Thank you.

I am looking for geo's work in ohio b-curfman@hotmail.com

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bob curfman in Calgary, Alberta

65 months ago

looking for geo's have work b-curfman@hotmail.com

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bob curfman in Calgary, Alberta

65 months ago

looking for geo's have work b-curfman@hotmail.com

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Mudlogger in San Jose, California

65 months ago

Kajun-odo in Bakersfield, California said: I can definitely relate to most of you guys. After graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in geology, it took me more than a year before I got my first job. Yes, it is mudlogging job but the company I am working is relatively better than the ones you can read on this forum. They fly us in and out of the location (our contracts are mostly in southern california), even if you are from the east coast or hawaii(?) they will fly you to california. We stay in a motel in a nearby town and they provide us with rental cars. We go back to the town everyday where we can drink beer at the local bar or dine in restaurants. Our company has been hiring over the last 6 months and around 20 new people have been accepted already. I believe the hiring will continue because most of the older loggers here are going back to grad school.

Which mudlogging company do you work for? Looking to maybe switch. Thanks!
All I can say is work on your resume and make it look as good as possible. That's what I did. You dont need to pay several hundreds of dollars for other "specialist" to make your resume. You can do it yourself. Although I have to read several resume writing articles and ebooks to furnish my long and boring resume.

Which mudlogging company do you work for? Currently looking to maybe switch companies. Thanks!

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Rockhead in Carlsbad, New Mexico

65 months ago

For those still in school or wishing to pursue an MS in geology (or other sciences), you may wish to look into the Bureau of Land Management's Student Career Experience Program (SCEP): www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/res/blm_jobs/students_and_recent/scep.html

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SD in Calgary, Alberta

64 months ago

old geologist in Lake Jackson, Texas said: I do not think these HR people have a clue about just what a Geologist does or how to read a resume. Anyone else have these types of experiences?

Older Geophysics MSc student here, you're absolutely right about clueless HR types, the trick has always been to get around these gatekeepers and it's not easy. I'm a recent BSc. grad from the wrong side of the age tracks(40+) and even though I graduated in the top 10% of my class I can barely get an interview(10% hit rate) and I've never gotten even a summer internship in three years of trying.

I see all this happening and then I see women and minorities and minority women get the red carpet rolled out for them by these HR types, even when their GPAs were mediocre at best. I've seen 60% of new grad jobs get staffed by the "protected" classes and the very best students not get a single offer because they not "favored".

I've been informed by a headhunter off the record that I'm "unemployable" because most O&G and resource company HR departments are fixated on youth and will absolutely not entertain the idea of an entry level grad over the age of 45. This when I have almost 20 years of computer experience and a physics BS in addition to a Geophysics(hons) BS degree.

All potential geoscience students need to realize that the information put out by O&G companies and their service companies are 99% propaganda and hype. The so called demographic hiring crisis when the Boomers retire is all hot air, what a lot of these companies have done is offshore the jobs like other companies in other sectors.

The only reason they keep broadcasting this propaganda is to collect resumes and select only the most perfect candidates, ie 4.0 GPA, the right pedigree in terms of clubs, community organizations etc.
In effect less then 5% of new grads will be picked up by the super majors and I think only about 25% of new grads of any year will be hired, if they're lucky.

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Mine Recruiter in Colorado Springs, Colorado

64 months ago

When an individual is immerse in generalities and prejudices, their perspective is skewed and the individual no longer has an accurate viewpoint or understands the issue. In every profession there are good people who are skilled professionals and there are bad people who for one reason or another are in a position in which they should leave immediately. However, we work in an industry to which we have no room for people who are not productive. No room for unproductive people in HR as well as in Geology.

As a candidate, you have to meet the criteria of the position. I find that older Geologists do not know the current mining software applications. Mining employers are not training people. You have to have the specific experience and you have to be able to present this in your resume. A lot of people have also hurt themselves by being unproductive on their previous job or not being able to work with other people. It's a small world and it doesn't take but a couple calls to find out that a candidate is a bad apple.

You can complain about HR, the government, the man, whatever or you can be realistic. Don't apply for a job that you are not qualified for. How do you know that the Geology team knows you are a buttock hole and they have told HR to throw your resume in the trash. Stop making assumptions and be realistic. Pointing fingers and blaming people does nothing for no one.

Take a realistic analysis of your skill set. Go after opportunities that closely match your experience. Do your homework. Everyone wants to work for the big players in the industry versus working for a junior mining company.

It takes work. I think you are partially right. You need to contact people in the industry to see if there are opportunities out there that meet your skill set. Don't burn bridges. If you make a bad name for yourself, people are not going to hire you.

I sincerely wish you the best.

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rock doc

64 months ago

I gave up looking for a job during 2008 after a headhunter told me I am unemployable because my degree is too old. I recently took the ASBOG FG exam and passed it the first time I took it. I guess I did well because I have been teaching geology courses as an adjunt during the last couple of years.

I still have headhunter calling me, but all they want is for me to explain technical terms to them. They keep asking,"What does that word mean?" or "What should I be looking for on a Geologist resume/cv?"

As an old geologist who is unemployable, I have found the various software packages used in mining, as well as o&g, to be easy to use. I go to the companies site and down-load the demos and play with their example data base. I construct cross sections from e-logs and seismic sections for o&g or cuttings and cores for mining.
The software companies have demos and training resources of their sites, but they are expensive.

That is just my experience, during the last three years as I spend time in my cardboard box under one of the I-45 overpasses in Texas, after a headhunter told me I am unemployable because I have a bad reputation or poor grades or lack experience or I am just too freaking old.

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trans-pecos dot com in Odessa, Texas

64 months ago

Oil & Gas is probably the most demanding industry to work in, and it's simply not for most people. That being said, if you think you are the right person, getting a job in the current market is not very hard at the moment. I would also add, that most people who condemn O&G's "cyclical" nature, and characterize it as being unreliable, are only the people who have been jaded by it, or have been told that by someone who has. If you get into a quality organization, and are not jumping ship every six months to a year for an extra $5.00/hr or some other frivolous benefit, long term employment is not some long lost concept. Companies do not terminate quality people!

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hammer in Elkins, West Virginia

63 months ago

mikeg19_82 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: I graduated in May 2008 with a BS in Geosciences from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I have had no luck finding work. I've applied for many many jobs including oil companies, as well as local, regional, and national environmental consulting jobs. One world-renowned company I just about got hired to in Washington, DC had a hiring freeze after my final interviews. My resume is on most databases and the "environmental jobs" websites.

What do degree holders do with this degree? I'm currently a part-time bank teller. I need help.

I understand your situation because I was in the same boat. Get your Masters Degree. I almost started on 2 occassions however marriage, kids and debt kept me from going. You will have a better chance with an advanced degree. GET YOUR MASTERS and you won't be working as a technician.

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me

63 months ago

Mine Recruiter in Colorado Springs, Colorado said: When an individual is immerse in generalities and prejudices, their perspective is skewed and the individual no longer has an accurate viewpoint or understands the issue. In every profession there are good people who are skilled professionals and there are bad people who for one reason or another are in a position in which they should leave immediately. However, we work in an industry to which we have no room for people who are not productive. No room for unproductive people in HR as well as in Geology.

As a candidate, you have to meet the criteria of the position. I find that older Geologists do not know the current mining software applications. Mining employers are not training people.

Do you think universities train undsergraduate students to use mining software applications? I have a PhD and I teach geology courses. I can tell you that there is not enough time to introduce all software applications in any course. They are too expensive for an university to buy all of them. Some are of very limited use, and that is is a gentle and kind statement. Which universities teach the use of specific mining software applications to undergraduate students?

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Val Bayuga in Angeles, Philippines

62 months ago

Good day to all the Geologist on this site. I am not a Geologist but I am seeking advice from all of you. Don't have money to pay for Geologist consultant so here we go.

Cement, gravel, sand and water as usually applied in road building or construction of highways. This one is different.It is perhaps, the most hardened cement concrete one can ever imagine. The presence of affirmative evidence proves that the endurance and hardness of the same is comparable to iron steel. Based on continuing studies and research, there is that enormous amount of silica quartz and pyrites mixed together with undetermined amount of resin adhesive and hardener. There is also an authentic presence of fly ash and intrusion aid. The process of mixture is dry pouring method. The moisture of the soil served as a slowing catalyst.
My question is how can I break this seal? Portable jackhammer is painstaking. Can't use a bigger jackhammer because there is little room to work. Drilling takes too much time and I have used a lot of bits because it keeps breaking or tip smoothen out. I've been told that there is a chemical that I can se that can aid or hopefully break and even melt this formidable seal. Location is in a cave and yes this seal is man made. I appreciate for any input from all of you fine Geologist.

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londonguy in London, United Kingdom

62 months ago

Garrett in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: If you don't even have enough professional experience to know how to proofread your own "writting" what makes you think that people will want to work for you?

you are a douchebag.

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Garrett in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

62 months ago

londonguy in London, United Kingdom said: you are a douchebag.

I thought it was good advice since the poster was asking for "excellent writting skills." Bottom line: An employer shouldn't demand professionalism if they are not professional. It's usually a very stressful thing attempting to get a job, and yet you have companies coming on here and telling stressed out people that they want a high degree of professionalism without having much themselves. A job should be a MUTUAL privilege between the employer and employee, not "You'll want to work for us no matter what we say, how we act, or the amount of professionalism we exhibit." If an employer expects you to show up to an interview in a suit, I expect THEM to be able to proofread themselves.

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Garrett in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

62 months ago

jenny in Houston, Texas said: Hello all,

I debating on going back to school as a post baccalaureate student for geology. I currently have a nutrition degree therefore it would only take me roughly 2 years to finish a second BS in geology, but would it be absolutely nessecary to get a MS in geology? After i am done with school, i would like to get into the job market asap. Is this highly unlikely?

I agree with what the other poster (BN97201) said. Geology is one of those professions where a Master's makes a world of a difference. I would also recommend investigating the many sub-disciplines of Geology (if you haven't already!) and perhaps Google "What types of jobs can a _____ get." There's the fantasy of Geology - working in the field and making decent money, going to exotic locales, being immersed in nature...Then there's (what could be) the reality - working long hours in an unstable energy industry, being in the middle of nowhere in less than favorable weather, being a grunt where "field work" is generally seen as bottom rung of the corporate ladder (if you want to advance you will probably be working in an office).

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bubbalutz in Regina, Saskatchewan

61 months ago

huami in Vancouver, British Columbia said: I m in Canada looking for geology jobs. I have no experience. Really anything I can take even without pay.

Move to Calgary

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Blah in Rock Springs, Wyoming

61 months ago

Tom in Texarkana, Texas said: A mud logger doesn't need to have a geology major for the position. No one can never start at the top, but their are oilfield positions besides mudlogging that are entry level and pay twice as much. Having a 40,000 dollar degree and going to work at 13 an hour for 5 years is unproductive. Mudlogging companies just use and abuse Geology graduates. Almost all follow crude practices. Anyone here have a positive mudlogging experience?

Believe it or not there are quite a few mudlogging companies that only hire degreed geologists. Although, I have heard that it dosent take much to be a mudlogger in Texas. I have been a mudlogger in Colorado for about 2 years now and have had a fairly good experience thus far. Granted its not something I want to be stuck doing for the rest of my life. I make around 80k a year and get to take off as much time as I want. Typically, I work approx. 2-3 weeks a month. You WILL need a Masters to get a Ops Geo position with an O&G company. However, they do offer many geotech positions that assist the exploration and productions teams as well for undergraduate degrees. You gotta start somewhere right?

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Tom in Dallas, Texas

61 months ago

Blah in Rock Springs, Wyoming said: Believe it or not there are quite a few mudlogging companies that only hire degreed geologists. Although, I have heard that it dosent take much to be a mudlogger in Texas. I have been a mudlogger in Colorado for about 2 years now and have had a fairly good experience thus far. Granted its not something I want to be stuck doing for the rest of my life. I make around 80k a year and get to take off as much time as I want. Typically, I work approx. 2-3 weeks a month. You WILL need a Masters to get a Ops Geo position with an O&G company. However, they do offer many geotech positions that assist the exploration and productions teams as well for undergraduate degrees. You gotta start somewhere right?

Yes, I am aware many companies only hire people with Geology degrees. As far as Texas mudlogging companies, your looking at making 150 - 200 a day. At these rates if you worked every single day of the year you would only be around 50k - 65k. Your either working all the time, or Colorado day rates are significantly higher in the Niobrara. You said 2 - 3 weeks a month? That would put your day rate at about 350. I am sure everyone on this board would want to know which mudlogging company is paying that rate.

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Dawn in Sydney, Australia

61 months ago

Move to Australia! There are tons of jobs for geologists especially in the booming mine industry. Ive had no problem getting 2 engineering geology jobs here with only a bs in earth sciences and a few engineering classes.

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o in Pleasantville, New Jersey

61 months ago

So, I'm in the same boat as most of you here. I'm looking for an entry level geologist job but haven't gotten any responses back. I thought that getting HAZWOPER certification might help, but so far my situation hasn't changed. I think what's holding me back is my lack of job experience in the field. I'm stuck in the circle: I can't get a job because I don't have experience and I don't have experience because I can't get a job. So I'm wondering if anybody here knows of any internships/apprenticeships/opportunities out there where I can get the experience I need? Even if it's unpaid? I'll travel anywhere to do it. I really want to join this field so desperately. The responsiveness from potential employers has been really disheartening. I just don't wanna feel like my time at college has been a complete waste. Please help?

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jenny in Houston, Texas

61 months ago

Garrett in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: I agree with what the other poster (BN97201) said. Geology is one of those professions where a Master's makes a world of a difference. I would also recommend investigating the many sub-disciplines of Geology (if you haven't already!) and perhaps Google "What types of jobs can a _____ get." There's the fantasy of Geology - working in the field and making decent money, going to exotic locales, being immersed in nature...Then there's (what could be) the reality - working long hours in an unstable energy industry, being in the middle of nowhere in less than favorable weather, being a grunt where "field work" is generally seen as bottom rung of the corporate ladder (if you want to advance you will probably be working in an office).

All of this talk about not being able to get a job with a geology degree is scaring me! I'm already experiencing this with my nutrition degree and would not like to go through this again :( with just a BS in geology, what type of pay would entry level be? and as for mud logging, what type of pay do they receive? I really cannot afford to get a masters, I need to start a career asap.

Another question, would relocating to another country pay better than jobs in the states? Just wondering. Thanks everyone!

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jenny in Houston, Texas

61 months ago

Also, is there anyone out there that has received their BS in geology recently and has a success story to tell?

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Kajun

61 months ago

Too many bad stories here. Let me share you a good one. And a lot are saying that mudlogging really sucks. I guess it depends on the company.

Ive been working on this mudlogging company for almost 2 years now. I got accepted straight out of college. I work 4 weeks on-2 weeks off schedule and we stay in Bakersfield, california for the duration of our work. They fly us in and out for our days off and have a great per diem + separate housing per diem. We make about 60-70k a year which is not bad for an entry level job.

We are planning to hire more people this month due to the number of our people going back to grad school or getting a better paying job.

So my point is, there are still good jobs out there. Try Canrig drilling technology and check out the California division.

Good Luck!

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Brett in Owasso, Oklahoma

61 months ago

I started working as a petroleum geologist in 1981. I worked thirty years for several oil and gas companies, and never lost a job. This included working through the terrible downturn in the 80's when half the oil and gas jobs in the country disappeared. I really hate to tell you guys (and girls) this, but things are a helluva lot better right now.

First of all, if you studied geology in college because you heard the field was paying big money, or you didn't know what else to major in, I really am very sorry for you. Be honest with yourself. If you did not hang around the geology department half the night, beg professors to be the lab assistant, knock out an "A" in geology and a "B" in everything else, there is just not much hope. There is no way you can compete with a person who loves geology, and showed their interest every day at school. You should get into another line ASAP.

If you grew up collecting rocks and reading science books, you have a BS in geology, and you now work for a mud-logging outfit because geology is you, get back in school and get your MS ASAP. A couple of years of mud-logging experience (say, 2-3) is good. But don't keep it up much longer than that. Mud-logging is fine, but not 10 years of mud-logging. It just does not play well. Get back in a MS (not MA) program. Go to the school that will give you a teaching or research assistantship. Go to a school in Oklahoma, Texas, or Louisiana if possible. Once you get there, make sure you keep busy. Act (and be) interested all the time. Find out which professors worked (or now consult) for oil companies, and hang out with them.

If you have a BS and MS degree, and you can't find a job, you might think about moving. Yes, you might have to go to Houston. Yes, you may have to go international.
If you want a job in petroleum geology, you can't stay in Seattle.

That's all I can type, due to word limit. Sorry if I offend.

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OP in Washington, District of Columbia

61 months ago

Geology was interesting until I realized I had to dedicate my time to catching up on math and science from trigonometry upward, along with my electives, and can't spend enough time on geology. If I could have focused on geology it would have been better. Multitasking or not geology took a back seat due to the fact that it was easier to pass geology classes than math and physics. But I never liked rocks as a kid anyway so that must mean it wasn't meant for me.

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Jenny in Houston, Texas

61 months ago

Bret, I've heard all success stories fr those who have graduated over 20 years ago. Do you have any insight for the job market ahead?

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scissorhands in Hamilton, Bermuda

61 months ago

very very helpful and insightful!!

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Brett in Owasso, Oklahoma

61 months ago

Jenny, all is not roses. I can't predict the future. I know plenty of geologists with a MS degree who lost jobs in the eighties. If geology was not for them, they stayed out permanently. But 90% of them came back into what they loved. You could not keep them away.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the current petroleum job market. It's better than it has been in years. I'm afraid expectations among recent graduates are too high. I'm afraid BS applicants are not taken seriously, because they have not taken geology seriously. Mud-logging is one of the few opportunities available to graduates with a BS (in the petroleum field).

If no one ever told you there was a very sharp line between BS applicants and MS applicants, I'm telling you now. It's HUGE.

This industry has always been a boom-bust affair. Dedicated people who loved the job and tried to give the company something for their money have survived through good and bad cycles. Work ethic and attitude are everything. If you don't show those attributes right up front, you are not going to make it in any field.

Sorry if I sound like an old guy, but there are lots of young people here asking for direction. I want to show part of the other side.

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me

61 months ago

I graduated with a BS in Geology during December 1985. Mt GPA was a 2.3. After several years of working for a mining company I was layed off. I floundered around for several years and managed to find a graduate program that was willing to work with me. I graduated with a MS in environmental geology/hydrogeology in May 1993. Mt GPA was 3.25 and I did not let that stop me. I wanted to be a geologist. Time and reality caused me to accept other jobs. Even to this day, my low gpa comes back to haunt me. I had to have a geology job and I am now working as a mud logger. The pay is low, I average a little over $20.80 per hour. I work 12 hour towers until the well is completed. That works out to 84 hours a week, but when the rig moves I am left without a pay day for about 10 days. I wish I had done better in school but I was a young, dumb, and very naive kid when I was in college. Some people took advantage of me and I was left in pieces, trying to graduate. I did the best I could while in graduate school and working full time. I have no regrets during that time. I was notthe sharpest pencil in the box. My message: do what you can and do your best.

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me

61 months ago

Frank in Odessa, Texas said: We need to warn those we care for about this degree and what lies in store. I am talking about fellow classmates and those new to Geology programs. I would like to see many Geology departments close their doors. They simply do not teach skills relevant or necessary to the oil industry. Field Camp with mapping projects and drawing strat columns? Give me a break... Lets teach students more about data processing and program usage. As this is actually relevant. Spread the word about this Forum!!!!!!!!

For years the oil companies have said the same thing. The Universities must teach the basics before they can do the program usage. Most say that it is the oil companies job to teach new hires how to use the programs and data processing. At my old college it is still that way! A lot of the majors use their own programs, which can't be used by all colleges. The cost of common programs, such as KINGDOM Suites and Petra, are very high for the license and computer usage. I doubt most faculty know how to use those packages.

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me

61 months ago

I doubt that will happen. Most of the faculty does not know how to use it. They must teach the basics before the computer usage gets taught. There are a lot of software packages out there, so which ones do they buy? The major oil companies have been asking all the universities to teach data processing and modelling for years! The colleges respond by telling them that they must teach the basics first. It is the oil companies job to teach new hires how to use their, high priced, software applications.

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Frank in Odessa, Texas

61 months ago

If colleges can't produce or adapt and teach skills relevant to the work force of today, then shut the programs down. Lets not milk student's for every last dollar by teaching irrelevant courses on Paleontology or Petrology...

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Brett in Owasso, Oklahoma

61 months ago

"...do what you can and do your best." I surely agree with that. There is certainly nothing wrong with mud logging, core-sampling, tool-pushing, or any other work that goes on in the field.

In the comments above, I noticed a lot of younger folks who seem surprised that an undistinguished undergraduate degree in a field perhaps chosen by chance does not automatically lead to a high-paying job. I know it's hard to listen to old coots when you're young. But this old coot is warning you against screwing around too much while you still have the chance to direct your own future.

Teaching is well-known as a low-paying career, and it is for most, yet thousands of graduates crowd into it every year. Undergraduate degrees in geology generally lead to low-paying jobs, especially at first. It is totally supply and demand. No need to complain when you know that up front.

Colleges and universities have traditionally resisted the idea of making themselves into tech schools. Also, many professors of geology try to distance themselves from the practical world, and the petroleum field in particular. So, you can't always count on them for realistic advice.

I consider my own experience in school as similar to taking a tour of a job fair. That course in optical mineralogy and the following summer of making thin-sections got me interested in plutons. A later semester of petrology made me decide plutons weren't really for me. Exposure to different courses got me interested in micro-paleontology (a Big-Oil subset job for sure), coal geology, and stratigraphy. I never really even thought about petroleum until the end of graduate school.

What would have helped me would have been seminars conducted by people who actually held jobs in the profession. These days, if you are not getting any job guidance at your school, ask a couple questions of some geoscience people on LinkedIn. I bet you'll get some useful answers!

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American... Tried and True in Midland, Texas

61 months ago

Roland,
get bent.

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Garrett in Allentown, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

h6 in Richmond, Texas said: Kristina, as a woman as well as with someone with a BS in geology that I've gotten absolutely no use out of, please know that if you choose to stick with it you are not choosing an easy path and the fact that you are female is an added challenge. My short experience as a mud-logger (which is pretty much all you're going to get with just a BS) showed me that women are NOT welcomed onto rigs with open arms. In fact, they aren't welcome at all. The things I love about geology there are no practical (employable) applications for. I have been out of school for 2 years and the only thing I could get was mudlogging which was awful. If you plan to have a relationship, if you want to have a family, if you want children- you will not be able to go into geology because the jobs rely very heavily on you traveling (and not to anywhere cool) and staying at sites for months at a time. Additionally, those jobs all have physical requirements that you may or may not be able to meet (I can't) like being able to lift and carry very heavy loads. If you want to be employed when you finish school, go into nursing or get a teaching certificate. Schools are really hurting for science and math teachers and there are probably a lot of options there. You can use a BS in geology and go through an alternative certificate program with no problem.
If you're going to get a masters I'd recommend going ahead and getting a PhD while you're at it and becoming a professor.
I love geology so much, but if I could do it over again I would never major in it in a million years because there are just no jobs.

I know a few women grad students that have gotten good jobs directly out of school. The one applied to Hydrogeology jobs on the west coast, specifically burgeoning "green energy" fields, geothermal etc...She got a job making $45,000 a year to start. There are jobs, mostly for those with masters degrees who have a really solid academic record.

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