Ask-a-Geologist Question & Answer #3: Is it hard to be a geologist?

Once again we have another fabulous question from one of our website readers. Today’s question is about what it is like to be a geologist.


This question is from Bob, and he writes:  Is it hard to be a geologist?

Hi Bob, I think the answer to this question depends on you and your likes and dislikes. I don’t 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. I have been a professional 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 at the University of South Carolina in that area studying groundwater modeling. After I graduated, I worked briefly as a petroleum geologist and I mapped and looked for oil underground. Then, I worked for a long time as an environmental consultant for a long time studying soil and groundwater contamination and how to clean it up. But, my work is only a small portion of what geologists do today.

Other geology careers involve petroleum geology. You can also work as a paleontologist, be a professor, a regulator or a 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 in our dig into geology section on our website.  if you are a geologist have a great job that I did or did not list in this answer, I would love to hear from you in the comments below so we can pass along more information to our friends about the fabulous careers available.

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