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Geoscientists Career

Career Description

Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.

What Job Titles Geoscientists Might Have

  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Mine Geologist
  • Project Geologist

What Geoscientists Do

  • Analyze and interpret geological, geochemical, or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, or aerial photos.
  • Plan or conduct geological, geochemical, or geophysical field studies or surveys, sample collection, or drilling and testing programs used to collect data for research or application.
  • Prepare geological maps, cross-sectional diagrams, charts, or reports concerning mineral extraction, land use, or resource management, using results of fieldwork or laboratory research.
  • Analyze and interpret geological data, using computer software.
  • Investigate the composition, structure, or history of the Earth's crust through the collection, examination, measurement, or classification of soils, minerals, rocks, or fossil remains.
  • Assess ground or surface water movement to provide advice regarding issues such as waste management, route and site selection, or the restoration of contaminated sites.
  • Locate and estimate probable natural gas, oil, or mineral ore deposits or underground water resources, using aerial photographs, charts, or research or survey results.
  • Locate and review research articles or environmental, historical, or technical reports.
  • Communicate geological findings by writing research papers, participating in conferences, or teaching geological science at universities.
  • Measure characteristics of the Earth, such as gravity or magnetic fields, using equipment such as seismographs, gravimeters, torsion balances, or magnetometers.
  • Conduct geological or geophysical studies to provide information for use in regional development, site selection, or development of public works projects.
  • Identify risks for natural disasters, such as mudslides, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions.
  • Design geological mine maps, monitor mine structural integrity, or advise and monitor mining crews.
  • Advise construction firms or government agencies on dam or road construction, foundation design, land use, or resource management.
  • Inspect construction projects to analyze engineering problems, using test equipment or drilling machinery.
  • Develop applied software for the analysis and interpretation of geological data.

What Geoscientists Should Be Good At

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Geoscientists Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Geoscientists Need to Learn

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Median Salary: $89,780

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.