Guest Post by Nadia Jones
As society and business becomes more and more interested in the environmental well-being of our planet, geologists and hydrologists will become even more important and prevalent in the job market. These two specialized careers have quickly become some of the fast growing positions in the environmental, business, and governmental sectors of employment. These two areas of science explore the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth both today and in years past. With a growing concern about our depleting natural resources, many geologists and hydrologists are employed to search for natural resources such as groundwater, minerals, metals, and petroleum. Others work alongside other scientists to help preserve and improve the environment and our use of it.
Education and Training
Obtaining a job as a hydrologist or geologist requires highly specialized training and education. While there are some entry level positions for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree in geosciences or hydrology, the majority of work is found for people with a master’s degree or higher. In general, any serious geological field position with the government or a private contractor will require a master’s degree in some specialty area of the geosciences depending on the field of work. A Ph.D. is generally only required for a highly-advanced research position or a college teaching position. Among most universities throughout the country, hydrology is not a major of its own. Students interested in pursuing a hydrology degree will most often have to major in geoscience, environmental science, or engineering with a concentration in hydrology or water studies. In addition to obtaining a specialized degree, individuals seeking several positions in the area of geology and hydrology will have to obtain a license or certificate. These documents are distributed by the State and are only required for specific positions within the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 percent of geoscientists were employed in architectural and engineering positions and 19 percent worked for oil and gas companies. Another 9 percent of geoscientists were employed by the State as geological surveyors or as part of the environmental conservation department. The Federal Government employs 8 percent of the geoscientists as geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers. The U.S. Department of the Interior for the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Defense are two areas of the government where talented and well education geoscientists are highly sought after.
On the Job Market
Between 2008 and 2018, geoscientist and hydrologist employment is expected to grow by 18 percent. This is much faster than the average employment growth rate in the economy today. It is anticipated that more and more job opportunities will arise for individuals educated and passionate about environmental issues involved with geology and hydrology. While the job prospect for individuals only carrying a bachelor’s degree are less, master’s degree holders in geosciences should have excellent opportunities in many different areas of the job market. Intelligent candidates can find jobs in oil and gas extraction, the Federal Executive Branch, architecture, engineering, management, scientific consulting, and in the State government. Individuals successful in landing a job in an area related to the field of geology or hydrology can expect high earnings on average. The median annual wages for geoscientists according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $79,160 in 2008. However, some of the highest paid geologist positions are in oil and gas averaging at $127,560 a year.
The geosciences are no simple area of study to enter. The education and training required to become truly successful within any field of geosciences is highly grueling. But, with the right training and the proper education, professional prospects in the geosciences sector are high. There is an urgent need to better understand our Earth and its natural resources and properties.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.