Also called: Geologist, Geophysicist, Mine Geologist, Project Geologist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Geoscientists dwell in an unusual frame of reference… studying evidence of events that happened millions of years ago… to understand the present… and try to foresee future geological events. Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to understand how it was formed and what forces shaped its features. Splitting their time between the lab, the office and the field, geoscientists need a variety of skills. They need to be as comfortable and knowledgeable on a computer as they are on a hike… able to understand and critically analyze the samples and data they gather on a mountain peak… and just as capable of communicating their findings to an audience of nonscientists. Their tools may include a classic hammer and chisel to gather rock samples, along with sophisticated remote sensing equipment to gather a broader impression of an area. Specializations offer very different opportunities; some analyze the probability of earthquakes and volcano eruptions, and study layers of rock under building foundations to ensure a stable foundation. Others explore for—and help develop— oil and gas resources, and clean up and reclaim land. Some geoscientists study the chemistry and movement of ocean waters… and how they affect climate and weather. Most entry-level geoscientists have a bachelor’s degree in a related science. Fortunately, geoscientists don’t mind getting their hands dirty in a career that benefits human life on Earth.
What they do:Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.
On the job, you would:
- Analyze and interpret geological, geochemical, or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, or aerial photos.
- Plan or conduct geological, geochemical, or geophysical field studies or surveys, sample collection, or drilling and testing programs used to collect data for research or application.
- Prepare geological maps, cross-sectional diagrams, charts, or reports concerning mineral extraction, land use, or resource management, using results of fieldwork or laboratory research.
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Engineering and Technology
- product and service development
- computers and electronics
- reading work related information
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by speaking
- communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- group things in different ways
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
- EarthWorks Downhole Explorer
- RockWare Geochemist's Workbench GWB
Map creation software
- ESRI ArcView
- Geosoft Oasis montaj
- Atoll GeoCAD
- Trimble Terramodel
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.