What Does a Geologist Do?
Geologists can work in a variety of industries including natural gas processing, mining, oil extraction, engineering, government and higher education where they do research and fieldwork to provide expert advice on how people can safely interact and use rock formations. They can work in a laboratory and on work sites where they collect and analyze data. Geologists use mapping software to create visual representations of the types of rock and other natural formations in a certain area, their stability and possible changes based on erosion. They compile information in databases and produce reports explaining possible risk factors of developing certain regions.
Geologist Skills and Qualifications
A successful Geologist will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, including:
- Communication: Verbal and written skills are important in a Geologist role. Geologists must communicate with other team members, both in a verbal and written method. Clear communication skills are necessary to transfer information.
- Project management: Geologists are often involved in large research projects. Project management skills can help the Geologist organize each part and keep the project on its intended timeline.
- Problem-solving: Geologists often conduct research to solve problems. Strongly developed problem-solving skills will help the Geologist interpret data and come to a solution.
- Research: Many of the responsibilities of a Geologist requires research. Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills will help the Geologist organize, interpret and report research. The ability to read and apply previous research is also an important skill for those in Geologist roles.
Geologist Salary Expectations
The average yearly salary for a Geologist is $64,185 per year. Geologist salaries range depending on location and position. Geologists who work in a local city or state position may benefit from good benefits but have a lower pay rate due to tighter budgets. Geologists working in a government position may experience a higher pay rate but may be expected to lead a team or to travel more. More experience often translates to a higher pay scale. The normal tenure for a Geologist is between one and three years.
Geologist Education and Training Requirements
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement for a Geologist role. The bachelor’s degree should be in a related industry, including engineering, environmental science, mineralogy and earth science. Some Geologist positions will require a master’s degree.
Many programs offer on-the-job training for Geologists. Additionally, an internship or fieldwork may be a part of an aspiring Geologists’ education. Certification in geology is offered in 31 of the U.S. states. While certification is not a requirement in all Geologist positions, Geologists who offer public services must hold a certification.
Geologist Experience Requirements
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, many Geologist employers require some field experience. Some employers may choose to hire a new graduate in geology and train in-house. Other employers may prefer a more experienced Geologist to conduct research and lead the team. The needs of the organization will dictate the level of experience a candidate needs.
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Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
If you are looking to fill a similar role that is not a geologist, then you might find one of these job description samples for relevant positions to be useful: