Is Geology a Good Career? The Ultimate Guide to Making the Right Choice


When it comes to choosing a career path, it can be an overwhelming decision. If you have an interest in earth sciences and are considering a career in geology, there are many factors to consider. Geology is the study of the Earth’s physical structure, composition, history, and natural resources. It is a field that is important for various industries, including mining, oil and gas, environmental sciences, and construction. This post will explore the advantages and drawbacks of a career in geology, provide alternative career options, and offer tips to consider when pursuing this path. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of whether geology is a good career choice for you.

Advantages of a Career in Geology

  1. High demand for geologists: Geologists are in high demand for many different industries, including mining, oil and gas, environmental consulting, and geotechnical engineering.
  2. High paying salaries: The median salary for geologists is above average when compared to other professions in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for geoscientists was $92,040 as of May 2019.
  3. Wide range of job opportunities: Geologists have a variety of job opportunities from exploration geologist, environmental consultant, mining geologist, engineer in geotechnical engineering, natural resource manager, academic researcher, and many more.
  4. Opportunities for travel and exploration: Geologists have opportunities to travel to remote and exotic locations for fieldwork, exploring different geological contexts, and visiting different types of mineral deposits.

Drawbacks of a Career in Geology

  1. Requires extensive education and training: Becoming a professional geologist requires obtaining an undergraduate degree in geology, and most jobs require a master’s degree or higher. This level of education and training can be time-consuming and expensive.
  2. Field work can be physically demanding: Geologists spend a lot of time in the field, which can be physically demanding and challenging work. Geologists may need to hike long distances, carry heavy equipment, and work in harsh weather conditions.
  3. Limited job opportunities in certain areas: The job market for geologists can be limited in certain regions, which can make it difficult to find work without relocating. For example, areas with abundant natural resources may have ample job opportunities, while urban or coastal regions may not have as many job options.

Alternative Careers in Earth Sciences

If a career in geology is not suitable for you, there are other options within the earth sciences:

  • Environmental Science: Environmental science is the study of the interactions between humans and the environment, including air and water quality, pollution mitigation, and natural resource management.
  • Meteorology: Meteorology is the study of the Earth’s atmosphere and weather patterns, providing information about forecasting and climate change.
  • Oceanography: Oceanography is the study of the ocean, including its physical characteristics, such as temperature, currents, and tides, as well as its impact on marine life and coastal systems.
  • Soil Science: Soil science is the study of soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties, including how it affects plant growth and land use management.

If you are interested in exploring other career options, you may be interested in Salesforce careers, which is a popular and rapidly growing field in the technology industry.

Tips for Pursuing a Career in Geology

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree in geology or related field: A bachelor’s degree in geology provides a solid foundation for careers in the field, and related fields such as Earth science, environmental science, or geophysics can also be useful.
  2. Gain hands-on experience through internships or field work: Practical experience is essential to better understand how a geologist work, and to improve your chances of landing a job after graduation. Seek internships or field work opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.
  3. Earn professional certifications to increase job opportunities: Professional certifications can help demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in a specific area and increase your job opportunities. Some certifications in different areas of geology include the Certified Hydrogeologist (CHG), or Certified Engineering Geologist (CEG).
  4. Network with other geologists and professionals in the industry: Networking is crucial for finding job opportunities, learning about new projects or research, and keeping up with changes in the field. Participate in geology association events, lectures, and conferences to get connected with other geologists and geology professionals.

Interesting facts

  • A career in geology can offer high salaries and a wide range of job opportunities.
  • The demand for geologists is high, with projected job growth of 6% from 2018 to 2028.
  • Geologists have the opportunity to travel and explore different regions of the world as part of their job.
  • While geology requires extensive education and training, hands-on experience through internships or field work can increase job opportunities.
  • It’s important to consider alternative careers in the earth sciences, such as environmental science or meteorology, before deciding on a career in geology.
  • For those interested in a hands-on career that doesn’t require extensive education, welding may be a good option.


Is a degree in geology necessary for a career in geology?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in geology or a related field is typically required.

What is the average salary for a geologist?

The average salary for a geologist is around $92,040 per year.

What are the most common job opportunities for geologists?

Many geologists work in the oil and gas industry, mining, or environmental consulting.

Is there room for career growth in geology?

Yes, there are opportunities for career advancement in management or research positions.

Do geologists have the opportunity to travel?

Yes, many geologists travel to different regions of the world as part of their job.

Is field work required in a geology career?

Yes, field work is often required for geologists to collect data and samples.

What other careers in earth sciences are available besides geology?

Alternative careers in the earth sciences include environmental science, meteorology, and oceanography.

What certifications are available in geology?

The American Institute of Professional Geologists offers the Certified Professional Geologist certification.

What is the projected job growth for geologists?

The projected job growth for geologists is 6% from 2018 to 2028.

How can networking help with finding a geology job?

Networking with other geologists and professionals in the industry can open up job opportunities and provide valuable insights into the field.

Real experience

Marie grew up in a small town with rolling hills and miles of farmland. While most of her peers worked on the farms or in low-paying retail jobs, Marie spent her free time exploring the outdoors, fascinated by the different rock formations and plant life she discovered. Despite her love of nature, Marie never considered pursuing a career in the sciences. Instead, she enrolled in a local community college to study business administration but found herself restless and unfulfilled.

One day, Marie signed up for a geology course on a whim. From the moment she stepped into the classroom, she knew she had found the right fit. Marie devoured the course material, excitedly discussing geological concepts with her professor and peers. After graduating with her associate’s degree, Marie transferred to a four-year university to study geology full-time.

Throughout her studies, Marie gained hands-on experience through internships and field work. She traveled to different regions of the world to conduct research, immersing herself in new cultures and environments. Despite the physical demands of field work, Marie felt energized and alive, knowing that she was pursuing her true passion.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Marie landed a job with an environmental consulting firm. Her work ranged from evaluating the potential for mineral deposits to assessing the impact of construction projects on the environment. Although her job was challenging and often required long hours, Marie loved every minute of it. She felt a sense of pride and fulfillment, knowing that her work helped protect and preserve the planet.

Years later, Marie looked back at her decision to pursue a career in geology with gratitude. She knew that she had found her true calling, one that allowed her to combine her love of the outdoors with her scientific curiosity. Although the path wasn’t always easy, Marie was glad that she took the leap and followed her heart.


Choosing a career in geology can be a rewarding experience for those interested in earth sciences, and there are many advantages of pursuing this career, such as high salaries and job opportunities. However, the field also comes with challenges, such as extensive education and training, and physically demanding work. Those who are interested in earth science but are unsure about a career in geology may want to consider alternative fields such as environmental sciences. For those who are looking for more specialized and high-tech career options, Petroleum Engineering can also be a great field to explore. Whatever career path you choose, do your research, gain practical experience, and network with other professionals to increase your chances of success. Good luck!

Leave a Comment