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What do you enjoy most about geologist work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Jillian in Cary, North Carolina

76 months ago

Right now, I am looking to get my Master's degree in structure and tectonics. I would consider my research a job, as it is similar to survey work. The thing I like most about mapping and survey work is just being outside in nature. I mean, I get paid to hike the countryside and look at rocks! How awesome is that? The thing I dislike the most is sometimes you have to work in extreme conditions, deal with some unpleasant people or animals, and it can be extremely frustrating. It is a long process sometimes to get to your goal. It is very challenging in some parts of the world, because the geology can be very straightforward or it can be a muddled mess!

As a student, there are obviously a lot of opportunities to learn and advance, but you need to seek them out and figure out what best fits your interests. For example, I don't plan on staying with "hard-rock" geology forever, because I do have other interests. But with a Master's degree and my whole life ahead of me, I have plenty of options in the future.

What keeps me going with geology is the vast diversity of topics, interests, and jobs available. You can work in an office, overseas, in the wilderness, from home, in a mine, in the sea, on the beach. You can be a teacher, a business owner, a researcher, a supervisor... I mean, anything! Plus, if you like science... this has it all! Its kind of like applying all forms of science (physics, chemistry, biology) to the Earth into a comprehensive and interesting one-science.

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