Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog
2016-17

Geological Sciences - Careers

Career Information and Further Study

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, geoscientists held about 36,400 jobs in 2014, while another 7,000 were employed as hydrologists, (counted separately from geoscientist) excluding the many individuals who held environmental science and geosciences faculty positions at colleges and universities. About 22 percent of geoscientists were employed in architectural, engineering, and related services and 19 percent worked for oil and gas extraction companies. State agencies such as state geological surveys and state departments of conservation employed another 9 percent of geoscientists. Eight percent worked for the federal government, including geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers, mostly within the U.S. Department of the Interior for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and within the U.S. Department of Defense. Among hydrologists, 22 percent were employed in architectural, engineering, and related services, and 19 percent worked for management, scientific, and technical consulting services. The federal government employed about 30 percent of hydrologists, mostly within the U.S. Department of the Interior for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and within the U.S. Department of Defense.

Employment projections suggest a 10% increase in all geoscience jobs between 2014 and 2024. Due to the relatively low number of qualified geoscience graduates and the large number of expected retirements, opportunities are expected to be good in most areas of geoscience. Employment in management, scientific, and technical consulting services should continue to grow as more geoscientists work as consultants. Many geoscientists work in the exploration and production of oil and gas. In the long term, continued high oil prices and new extraction techniques are expected to maintain demand for workers who can find new resource deposits. Demand will also be spurred by a continuing emphasis on the need for energy, environmental protection, responsible land management, and water-related issues.

Salary Information

According to the American Geological Institute's (AGI) recent report on the Status of Geoscience Workforce, starting salaries in geosciences have been competitive with other science and engineering fields. Average starting salaries for Geoscience-related occupations in 2014 in the US were reported to be $35,540-$89,910 Salary estimates released by Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014 indicated that the mean annual salary for geoscientists was $89,910. Geoscientists in the petroleum and mining industries earned the highest salaries $138,380 and those in state government earned the least $63,130. Geoscientist faculty earned a mean annual salary of $78,170 in 2014.

Last updated: November 22 2021 21:01:55