Before diving into any subject, we all get curious about a couple of things. How long is the course? Will it be useful? How much does it pay? Our interests rarely align with these parameters. One such course which is currently under scrutiny is geology. What Is Geology? Is studying it worth it?
What is geology?
Geology is the science which deals with the physical structure of the earth and all the substances that it comprises. One studies the history of the formation, the components, and other naturally occurring elements that make this earth.
Geology is a field that has a lot of potentials if one takes it seriously. Here we have created a comprehensive and detailed list mentioning the various subfields one can work in and what each job entails. Hopefully, you will find something which will interest you by the end of it.
What does a geologist do?
A geologist is namely a kind of a scientist who studies the soil, sediments, and the states of matter present on Earth and other planets.
A geologist mainly studies geology but physics, chemistry, biology, and other sciences are also needed as foundation subjects to deal with various aspects of this job. You have to be alert and be willing to get in-depth on the subject to be good at your job.
You have to be good with data, research, doing theoretical work and calculations along being physically fit and environmentally conscious.
What are some things a geologist has to deal with?
Here are some of the main areas of work that a geologist has to deal with are –
- Environmental protection – Assessing the state of the environment and developing plans to conserve and preserve the resources. This can involve studying the science of soils, weather, etc to make sure the forests in any given area give maximum output.
- Resource Management – Creating a framework to manage the limited amount of natural resources including but not limited to coal, oils, minerals, etc.
- Mineral and Oil Exploration – This refers to looking for oil and minerals inside the earth and making sure the mining and extraction are ethical and produces the least amount of waste possible.
A geologist’s main tasks in any field include – the exploration of earth’s resources, gathering samples, operating geological equipment, fieldwork, data analysis and processing, and research and development.
A geologist also has to work using software like Imagery Software, Mapping Software, Remote Sensing, and GIS.
What are some career options for a geology graduate?
The top 5 geology graduate jobs are –
- Geologists – The most common profession pursued after a geology degree, includes studying the Earth and its processes. They attempt at understanding the history of the earth so that they can predict the future and avoid dangers by making changes in the present. Geologists work to understand why and how natural disasters caused by the earth occur (volcanoes, landslides, etc). Using this information, they can make maps of the area to make sure what parts are prone to disasters so that development is the least in such places.
- Mineralogists – Unlike geology, mineralogy focuses on the structure, composition, chemical distribution, and occurrence of minerals found in the earth. Instead of broadly studying an area, mineralogists specifically study rocks and minerals.
- Environmental Professionals – A person who becomes an environmental professional is qualified to conduct and supervise on-site assessments before big projects are carried out.
- Civil Engineers – Civil Engineers design, build, supervise, construct and operate upon developmental plans in the private and public infrastructure sectors.
- Geophysicists – Geophysicists study the range of earth using various methods involving gravity, magnetic, seismic, electrical, etc.
Here are some more jobs which directly involve the use of the degree –
- Engineering geologist – deals with the mechanical aspects of geology.
- Environmental Consultant – gives feedback about the environment and how to manage it effectively by making predictions via calculations and predictions.
- Geochemist – deals with the chemistry aspect of geology which deals with minerals, ores, rock composition, etc.
- Geoscientist – a broad term used for people working in the research field of geology.
- Geochemical Engineer – it uses geochemical processes to improve the environment. Environmental protection is an important part of geochemical engineering.
- Hydrographic surveyor – a scientist who deals with the science of measurement and description of features that affect maritime navigation, marine construction dredging, offshore oil, exploration/offshore oil drilling, and other related activities.
- Mud logger – creates a detailed account of a borehole by examining the various rocks present on different levels.
Some jobs where your degree will be useful –
- Energy Engineer – involves handling broad subjects like energy services, energy efficiency, and facility management.
- Drilling Engineer – it is an extended field of petroleum engineering which involves the use of geology. Drilling engineers are expected to design procedures for drilling wells.
- Mineral Surveyor – A mineral surveyor deals with preparing and processing potential mining sites.
- Quarry Manager – A quarry manager oversees and coordinates quarry operations. It includes managing extraction, processing, and transportation so that the operations can run smoothly without any hazards.
- Sustainability Consultant – They advise companies on how to distribute their products sustainably so that the harm to the environment is reduced as much as possible.
Skills Required to Be a Geologist
- To be a good geologist, you need to have keen observational skills. A geologist has to make note of the smallest of changes and occurrences as it all adds up to the way a certain thing functions etc. While collecting samples, one has to be able to catch the minuscule differences between samples that are collected from the same site.
- Geologists also need to conduct surveys, intensively study topics and draw conclusions to make a plan for further investigation/action.
- One should also have strong analytical skills to have the most effective results. Geology is not a standalone field, one needs to have a firm understanding of various other sciences like physics, biology, and chemistry.
- Once detailed studies are done, one has to tie it all up in a broader sense so that the research and study justify the findings. So a geologist should be able to draw conclusions and be calculating and alert.
- One should also be comfortable with technology and have good communication skills because this is not a solitary job and you will have to interact with people outside of your teams including but not limited to locals of the area you are conducting your studies in and even other professionals from other fields and your own.
Is Geology a Good Career Option?
Geology is a vast field of study and there are numerous career options in it, all of them full of potential. You can filter the studies that are mentioned above based on your interests. The pay is good in all fields; the range is roughly between $60k-$110k per year depending on your field of specialization.
More than the money, if you are passionate about the earth and making sure this planet’s resources don’t dry up and humanity and nature suffer, you can give it a go. It is a highly rewarding job depending on where your ambitions lie.
All jobs under geology involve some kind of fieldwork so you should also be ready to exert yourself physically. On-site evaluation, assessment, and intensive studies are a part of the job.
One can also get to work at NASA if they are a US resident looking for bigger career developments. Almost all private sector industries require environmental professionals who can help them source and manage resources in a viable manner.
Apart from that, even governments require experts in various geological fields so that they can plan infrastructure efficiently. They need experts to consult about pollution, climate change, oil and gas industries, etc.
The long-term viability of a geologist is very positive. With the state of the earth and increase in demand for more resources combined with the fluctuation market of construction and other jobs which rely heavily on geology, experts are in high demand, and the demand will see a rise in a decade or so.
We wish you the very best with your career. As long as you are enjoying what you’re doing, you will not have a lot of trouble with it.