Become a Geoscientist
By Eric Hammer
One of the more unusual jobs around is that of geoscientist.
In essence, a geoscientist is a scientist who studies the geology
of the earth. He or she looks at things like plate tectonics
and shifts in the earth's crust to determine various pieces of
information about the earth.
While some geoscientists work in a variety of purely scientific
pursuits, one of the biggest areas of employment for a geoscientist
is actually in the field of oil prospecting. In essence, when
an oil company is trying to find out whether or not a particular
area is likely to contain oil (or natural gas or any other fossil
fuel or mineral for that matter), they hire a geoscientist to
help them find clues to the nature of the particular area they
happen to be studying.
Your work will typically involve working with computer models
and using advanced equipment such as sonar detectors to try to
find out what is under the ground in any particular area. You
may also study earthquakes and why they happen, attempting to
predict when or if an earthquake will occur in any given location.
How Much Can You Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary
for a geoscientist in 2008 was approximately $79,000 per year
with the top geoscientists in the country making in the low six
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
There are a number of different related areas of geology where
a geoscientist may work and as such, this profession allows you
to choose from different options. As noted above, you may want
to consider working as an oil prospector. However, you could
just as easily focus on the science of hydrology, which is the
study of water and how it flows. This kind of work is becoming
increasingly important as some areas of the country are experiencing
severe drought conditions and need help with finding new sources
of drinking water.
Geoscientists tend to vary from those who work out in the
field, taking measurements, sometimes in harsh environments (this
is especially true for geoscientists who work in the field of
petroleum exploration since the easiest places to take oil out
of the ground have already been tapped) to those who work in
You'll need a strong science background in order to work as
a geoscientist and it helps to know some math as well since you'll
often be doing projections based on the information you are able
to glean from various examinations of the earth's crust.
Qualifications / Requirements
While some geoscientists do work in the field with nothing
more than a bachelor's degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
does recommend that most geoscientists pursue a master's degree
as well in the field of geology in order to improve their employment
Start by going to college and earning at least a bachelor's
degree in geology. Then, consider taking a master degree program
as well where you specialize in a particular area of geosciences.