What can I do with a degree in Earth Science?

The geosciences involve the observation, measurement and interpretation of Earth processes.  If you enjoy observing nature, collecting minerals and fossils, studying the environment, and applying the tools of math and science to the real world, the geosciences can provide you with a rewarding career that changes almost daily as new discoveries are made.

Educational Requirements for Undergraduate Earth Science Majors: How can I prepare? A strong high school foundation in natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, Earth sciences), mathematics (analytic geometry and calculus) and in communication skills (speaking and writing) is essential.

Careers in Earth Sciences

Recent Articles Summarizing Great Job Prospects!

AGI paper    Science

Jobs Geoscientists spend time in the field, laboratories, offices, and museums. Many work in the petroleum or natural gas exploration industry or in the mineral industry. Many geoscientists find work in hazardous waste remediation, hydropower generation and dam construction, ground water pollution control, and the geothermal energy industry. Geologists with advanced degrees or training tend to obtain more challenging and higher paying jobs.

Employers Employers In addition to mineral industry companies and the petroleum and natural gas industries, many geoscientists are professors, high school teachers, or work for the federal government. Specific government branches include the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of the Interior and the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy. Geoscientists are also employed by the Environmental Protection Agency, state and local governments, environmental consulting companies and legal firms.  A geoscience degree also can provide a good first step toward environmental law or patent law positions.


Median annual wages of geoscientists were $79,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,470 and $113,390; the lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,700, and the highest 10 percent more than $155,430.

In 2005, the Federal Government’s average salary for managerial, supervisory, and non-supervisory positions was $83,178 for geologists, $94,836 for geophysicists, and $87,007 for oceanographers.

For the most up to date information, see: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Graduate School

Now that I’ve finished my B.S., how do to apply to graduate school?


Former student Dave Bernstein’s ( MS 2001) company Geodynamics specializes in innovative mapping methods