What does a geologist need to know?

Trilobite FossilChildren ask me this question over and over. 

The answer is based on the type of work that the geologist is involved with in their career.  You may be surprised to learn of all of the different types of jobs that a geologist can perform.  Geologists can work in many areas including: 

Classic geology where you may work for the United States Geological Survey or state agencies or private companies evaluating earthquakes, volcanoes, or mapping areas to determine the types of rocks and formations. 

Environmental geology where you may work for Federal or State agencies (like the US EPA) or private consulting firms and evaluate the quality of the soil and groundwater of an area.  If you find that the soil or groundwater quality is bad you may clean it up to make it safer for the people, animals and plants that live there.  Some studies focus on how to preserve our natural resources such as groundwater. 

Petroleum geology where you may work for an oil and gas company exploring oil and gas underground.

Paleontology.  Geology is the basis for a paleontologist who studies fossils.  Paleontologists combine their knowledge of rocks, minerals and how the Earth was created with the fossils found in various areas to determine the types of animals and plants that were alive when the rocks were formed and what the Earth was like at that time.

Teaching.  The United States is in need of great teachers who are trained in science at all age groups including elementary, middle and high school as well as college.

Regulatory.  Geologist are often employed by state or federal governments to develop and implement laws that apply to the health of citizens or the environment. 

If you are interested in being a professional geologist get a basic geology degree and see what type of work you may be interested in doing.  Your general geology degree will be a great base for any of these jobs.  Later, you will figure out if you need more training at a graduate school or if you can learn everything else you need to know on the job. 

One Response to “What does a geologist need to know?”

  1. My name is kennedy friday ibanga , a fourth year student in geology and mining department in Enugu state university of science and technology iam looking for what i will do after my graduation this coming september

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