Career Success

Geoscientists are involved in some of society's most challenging problems and exciting phenomena, such as:

  • Searching for energy resources like petroleum, coal, natural gas and geothermal energy
  • Studying the movement and quality of ground water resources
  • Understanding global climate patterns
  • Developing natural resources in ways that safeguard the environment
  • The discovery, mining and reclamation of mineral deposits;
  • Studying earthquake faults and volcanoes to predict their behavior and prevent damage
  • Excavating and evaluating dinosaur and other fossil sites
  • Designing and monitoring dams, highways, and landfill sites
  • Looking for meteorites in Antarctica

The jobs of geoscientists may have them working on problems in their hometown or across the world. They may be doing basic field work in the wilderness one day and utilizing the most sophisticated analytical and computer equipment the next. Meaningful careers are open to those with bachelor’s degrees, with expanded opportunities for those who go on to receive graduate degrees.

Potential Job Titles
  • Atmospheric scientists
  • Environmental geologists
  • Geochemists
  • Geologists
  • Geographers
  • Geophysicists
  • Hydrogeologists
  • Meteorologists
  • Oceanographers
  • Paleontologists
  • Petroleum geologists
  • Planetary geologists
  • Seismologists
  • Structural geologists
Potential Employers
  • Engineering firms
  • Geological and environmental consulting firms
  • Mining companies
  • Museums
  • Petroleum companies
  • State and federal agencies
  • Secondary schools
  • Universities and colleges

Alumni Spotlight

Amy (2009)

Amy Nachbor alumna
Amy Nachbor

Graduation Year: 2009
Major/Minor: Geology
Position Title: Teaching Assistant/PhD Student
Employer: University of South Florida

After I graduated from the UWRF geology program in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Geology, I attended UW-Milwaukee as a Masters student. Upon completion of my MS degree I was offered an adjunct lecturer position at UWRF. I taught introductory level geology courses at UWRF for two (fantastic) years before moving to Tampa, Florida to work on my PhD.

At the University of South Florida I teach an undergraduate structural geology lab during the semester, but my favorite time of year is field season with my research on fault systems in Death Valley National Park and the hazards associated with recently active faults. I go out every spring to measure fault offsets, collect sediment and rock samples for cosmogenic dating, and map displaced rock units. Once I have samples to work on, I head back to the lab to do the geochemical analysis at the University of Cincinnati. One of the best parts of my job is all the opportunities to travel!

As an undergraduate I took advantage of the many field experiences offered by the geology program and faculty, and I strongly encourage all geology majors to get out and see as many rocks as you can! I never realized how unique these field opportunities were until I left UWRF and met with other geology graduate students who had never left the state they were studying in. Take advantage of the knowledge and enthusiasm your professors have for the topics they teach, both in the classroom and in the field. Join the Geology Club and get involved with your fellow students; they will be your coworkers later on in life and the geosciences is a tight-knit community. All of these experiences make you a better geologist and more competitive when looking for work or a graduate program.

To find out more about career in the field of geology, visit the following:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, geoscientists make an average yearly income of $89,700. The estimated growth for geology-related job openings from 2014 to 2024 is 10 percent, which is faster than the average growth for all jobs in the U.S.

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