Careers in geology

What is a geologist?

A geologist, or geoscientist, is concerned with the physical and chemical makeup and history of the Earth. Many of the natural resources upon which human society is built, are found by geologists. Geologists provide fundamental data and knowledge for policies that affect the environment, public safety, health and welfare of societies.

What do geologists do?

Geology, much like any science, is an area of study with many specializations. Some of these specialization include, but are not limited to:

  • Geophysicist: A geologist who studies the interior structure and dynamics of the Earth via the use of physics.
  • Geochemist: A geologist who investigates the chemical aspect of rocks, minerals, soils, and water.
  • Petroleum Geologist: A geologist who studies the origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of hydrocarbon fuels(oil and natural gas).
  • Hydrologist: A geoscientist who studies surface waters at each stage of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Hydrogeologist: A geologist who, like a hydrologist, studies water, but is mostly concerned with the distribution, flow, and quality of water below the earth's surface.
  • Engineering Geologist: A geologist who studies the factors relevant to construction of buildings, dams, bridges, and other structures.
  • Environmental Geologist: A geologist who works on solving and preventing problems that degrade our environment, such as pollution, waste disposal, urban development, and geologic hazards.
  • Sedimentologist: investigates the processes of transport, deposition and formation of sedimentary rock.

Over the last 15 years, the majority of Marshall University geology graduates have found employment in environmental and engineering /geotechnical companies. Recent increased demand and prices for oil and natural gas have to accelerated hiring of geology graduates by the petroleum industry, with starting salaries of $62,000 (B.S. Geology).

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