What is a Geologist?

Geology is a study that encompasses all the materials that make up the earth, forces that act upon the earth, and of the biology of ancestral inhabitants based on the fossil record. Geologists work to understand the history of the planet we live on, to better predict the future and explain current occurrences.

Geologists study Earth processes such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanic eruptions to survey land and draw up safe building plans. When geologists investigate Earth materials, not only do they investigate metals and minerals, but they also look into oil, natural gas, water and methods to extract these. Overall, geology is concerned with the changes of Earth over time, such as climate change and land formation.

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What does a Geologist do?

A geologist works in the field and in the laboratory. Depending on your specialization in geology, you may study and map rock formations, collect rock samples and fossils, or measure the physical properties of the earth. This will help you interpret the active geological processes during the past several million years of earth's history. Geology plays a vital role behind the success of many other different disciplines, such as climatology, civil engineering, and evolutionary biology.

A general geologist deals with mineralogy, petrology, geological mapping, economic geology, and petroleum geology. Geological mapping deals with documenting geological formations on a map, such as rock patterns and distribution. Economic and petroleum geology deal with materials that are of import to economic or industrial purposes, such as coal, ores, and minerals. These branches off of general geology can offer you a steady occupation if you can find a position or sponsorship.

Geohydrologists study properties and distribution of natural underground water reservoirs, their capacity to store water, and the movement of water through the reservoirs. More importantly, as a geohydrologist, you will investigate the cycles of drawing out water from the reservoirs for human consumption, as well as the replenishment by precipitation. This is a highly esteemed specialization for geologists, so a high level of knowledge and experience is required.

An engineering geologist investigates the physical and chemical properties of rocks and soil. You can carry this information over to building bridges, dams, roads, and tunnels in structurally sound areas and at minimal cost. Some knowledge of civil engineering is also recommended for the civil planning aspect.

Investigating the inner workings of the earth dealing with continental plate shift, breakup, collision, and amalgamation is the job of a geophysicist. They focus upon the physical and fluid properties of materials making up the earth, striving toward a greater understanding of continental formation and processes that happen because of it (earthquakes, etc). As a geophysicist, you will also focus on finding deposits of minerals created by the earth's movement and compression of materials.

Making deductions about ancestral climates and environmental conditions through the fossil record is the job of a paleontologist, a type of geologist. We can understand so much more about the past earth thanks to these researchers who analyze deposited layers of rock and soil for clues about pre-historic times. As a paleontologist, you will also work with evolutionary biology, determining the factors that made species go extinct and those that brought about the origin of species as well.

No matter the division of geology you wish to pursue, you still provide highly useful information towards understanding the earth's movements and makeup, climate, ourselves, and the animals that inhabit the earth.

What does it take to be a Geologist?

The minimal education required for entering the field of geology is a four-year Bachelor's degree in Geology, combined with courses related to your specialization. In high school, you should prepare for the scientific and mathematical rigour of the geology course-load by focusing on those two disciplines, writing, computers, geography, and public communication. These skills, along with a persona dedication, are essential for success as a geologist.

After undergraduate school, many geologists continue on in education to pursue Master's Degrees and Doctorate Degrees in various areas of specialization. These include paleontology, mineralogy, volcanology, or hydrology. Employment opportunity for geologists is very high; getting good grades and a strong academic background will usually allow you to find a job very easily.

Since geology deals with much fieldwork, you should be able to adapt to weather changes and to varying terrains. Therefore, real passion is required to work successfully within the first few years of research. Effective communication of your findings is vital for advancing your position in the scientific community as well. This requires you to have a high level of perseverance and interest in your discipline.

What is the workplace of a Geologist like?

Geologists work mainly in the field outdoors, and they can also do research within laboratories, classrooms, and offices.

Most geologists and geo-technologists work for mining companies or oil and gas exploration companies. Geologists may also open their own consulting firm or work for another's, and find work in civil engineering firms, planning city construction. Additionally, government agencies in your country may need the aid of geologists to support Geoscience, education, Water Affairs, and Forestry.

You may also work with a variety of organizations over the span of their employment, such as non-profit organizations seeking the betterment of life for people in need, universities, and natural reserve companies.

How much does a Geologist earn?

Starting geologists usually have an initial income of $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Over the past 10 years, the average salary of a geologist with 0-2 years of experience has risen significantly from $50,000 to $85,000. The geologists earning a reported average of $83,000 had varying levels of expertise and education, spanning from a B.S. degree to a PhD.

The salaries of geologists may depend on the state of the economic need for natural resources. Therefore, in this time when those are of high importance, there is a mass general movement towards disciplines of science that focus on material and resource production. Also, the general salary of researchers in that class rises significantly.

Learn more about being a Geologist