Geologists can work anywhere
One of the best things about studying the Earth is that there’s nowhere that you can’t work:
- Predict volcano hazards in Indonesia
- Map the seafloor from the middle of the Pacific Ocean
- Clean up a toxic spill in California
- Log drill cores on a rig in the North Sea
- Search for fossils in the deserts of Africa
- Interpret seismic data in a Houston high-rise
- Determine the stability of new subway tunnels under downtown London
- Improve soil conservation for farmers in India
- Consult on levee design along the Mississippi River
- Find rare earth metals in the Andes to power electronics
Someday soon, your skills could even be needed to lay the foundations for a colony on the Moon or Mars! Anywhere there is rock or soil to be found, there is a puzzle waiting for a geologist to solve.
Why study geology?
Geologists are needed everywhere that humans build structures, extract resources or make changes to the environment. Geology literally underlies our civilization and our modern way of life. The iron in your hammer, the copper wire in your computer and the oil-based plastic in your toothbrush all came from the ground you’re standing on right now.
Even the first tools humans ever made came from knowing the right kind of rock to use to get that sharp edge. Geology puts the changes we make to the Earth today in the context of history and helps us make decisions to improve our future. Let’s face it: Without geology, life would be very different.
What kind of jobs can I get with a geology degree?
The SFA Department of Earth Sciences and Geologic Resources offers two major course track options with their own unique job prospects:
- General Geology – The oil and gas industry is one of the largest employers in the state of Texas and the largest employer of geologists worldwide; the majority of our geology majors are interested in entering this field, and we are well-located near many large East Texas oil fields. General geologists have a wide array of career options in mining, government survey, engineering and academic research.
- Environmental Geology – There is also a substantial industry in cleaning up after industrial excesses and accidents. Environmental geologists can expect to find jobs in cleanup-related businesses, government survey and policymaking, agriculture, hazard mitigation and academic research, as well as the environmental divisions of large energy and engineering firms, many of which call Texas home.
Job availability and growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employment of geoscientists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future.”
The median annual wage for geoscientists was $89,780 in May 2016.