What can I do with a Geology degree?

From College Major to Career

Petroleum Geology

The Wall Street Journal created this neat webpage where you can sort college degrees by popularity, median earnings and unemployment rate. We're gratified to see that according to the 2010 U.S. Census data, these fields have low unemployment and good earnings:

  • Geological and Geophysical Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Oceanography
  • Mining and Mineral Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Soil Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology and Earth Science

What is geology?

Geology is the science of exploration, discovery, and Earth stewardship. The geosciences address all issues relating to Earth Systems, including the solid Earth, oceans, and atmosphere.

Learn more about geology

What are geologists and what do they do?

Geologists study the Earth's physical composition, structure, history, and the natural processes. They provide information to society for use in solving problems and establishing policies for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety, and welfare.

Learn more about geologists

Oso, Washington

Aerial photos show the community of Oso, Wash., before and after the March 22, 2014 landslide.

Oso, WA, before the 2014 landslideOso, WA, after the 2014 landslide

Washington is one of the most responsible states at mapping its landslide risks, according to the USGS, and geologists have shown dangers around the Oso area for decades. A 2004 flood-management plan even talked of buying up all the homes in the area to "remove the risk to human life and structures." Instead, the county took action to stabilize the base of an unstable slope — a temporary fix overwhelmed by the huge landslide last month.

Learn more about Landslide Mapping

What is a day in the life of a geologist like?

Most geologists say that they enjoy the challenge and diversity of their work and that there is no "typical" day.

Learn more about A Day in the Life of a Geologist

Endowed Cooperative Department-Industry Internship Program

The Department of Geology plays an active role in placing its graduates. We provide them with a top-notch education, placement in internships, resume preparation, providing material on job interview techniques, securing job leads, and facilitating the contact between graduates and prospective employers.

Learn more about job opportunities for geologists

Employment outlook and earnings potential for geologists

Professional Organizations