Ask-A-Geologist Question: Is it Hard to Be a Geologist?

Field GeologistWe received another great question at Mini Me Geology through our Ask-A-Geologist feature. Today’s question is:

Is it hard to be a geologist?

I think the answer to this question depends on you and your likes and dislikes. I don’t necessarily believe that being a geologist is hard, but it does take time to learn about the science and to develop your skills. One of the best parts of geology is the number of different job types that you can have in the profession. I have been a profession geologist for over 20 years now. I got my Bachelor of Science from Furman University (Go Paladins!) and a Master of Science from the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!).  My education at Furman was more traditional geology where we learned about structural geology, paleontology, mineralogy, optical mineralogy, petrology, and hydrogeology among others. At the time I graduated, there was a lot of research going on in hydrogeology and I did my Master’s project in the area with an emphasis on groundwater modeling. Afterward, I worked as an environmental consultant for many years studying soil and groundwater samples and developing processes to clean up contaminated sites. But, my work is only a small portion of what geologists do today.

Other geology careers involve petroleum geology (Oh, I did that for a summer in graduate school – SUPER FUN!), paleontologist, professor, regulator and researcher. If you are looking for more information on how to become a geologist, the types of classes you need and possible job types, you can read an article I wrote about becoming a geologist.  If you are a geologist have have a great job that I did or did not list in the article, I would love to hear from you so we can pass along more information to our readers about the fabulous careers available.

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