On this page you will find information about careers pursued by Earth Sciences majors, skills Earth Sciences majors develop and career-related Web sites relevant to the major. Visit the department page to learn more about the Earth Sciences program.
It is important to remember that your major does not determine what your career will be. With a liberal arts education, YOU, not your major, will determine your career path.
The jobs that are traditionally available for those who graduate with a degree in Earth Sciences fall into the following major categories:
- energy industry ((Petroleum, coal, geothermal)
- environmental industry (consulting, remediation, preservation, restoration)
- construction industry (geotechnical consulting, civil engineering geology)
- mining (ore metals, aggregate, mineral resources)
- education (high school earth science, college/universities, museums)
- government (state and federal geological surveys, policy consulting)
Example job titles of Dickinson alumni who majored in Earth Sciences include:
- Assistant Staff Geologist
- Environmental Engineer
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
- Tour Guide
Related tracks to careers:
Geoscience Track – Typically the Geoscience track is for those going to graduate school or right into a geotechnical career in the construction industry.
Environmental Geoscience Track – The Environmental Geoscience track is often for those going right into the environmental consulting industry.
- Field Work: Some Earth Science majors spend a substantial amount of time outdoors, sometimes in extreme weather conditions, in order to make precise observations and measurements.
- Lab and computer work: Some Earth Science majors spend a substantial amount of time in the lab analyzing samples or building computer models of the real world.
- Objectivity: Earth Science majors must test their hypotheses so that the results are accurate rather than reflections of their own ideas.
What is the Appropriate Degree in Earth Sciences for My Career?
The Ph.D. degree is considered an academic degree and is more geared for college teaching. A few people in the upper levels of industry have them, but most have a B.S. or M.S. degree. The more advanced degree you have, generally, the farther you will get promoted as with any career, but that becomes less important with more professional experience. The entry level degree for the environmental and geotechnical industries is typically a B.S. degree. Some larger firms want a M.S. degree. Some of our graduates who go directly into the environmental and geotechnical industries after receiving their B.S. degree, later go back (sometimes paid by their employer) for the M.S. to further their professional advancement. The entry level degree for the energy industry is typically a M.S. degree. Some of our alums work for the larger energy companies with Ph.D. degrees and work in more the research end of the business, less in exploration and production.
Career-Related Web Sites
- GIS Jobs Clearinghouse - Post your resume free of charge and update it if needed. Also, spend some time browsing the site for currently advertised positions.
- Geological Society of America
- Geo Web Interactive - View new job postings, post your resume, and use the database to search for jobs by job title or geographic location. Also, take time to read some of the success stories.
- Jobs in Geology, Earth Sciences, Oil & Gas
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Provides information on the nature of work, working conditions, employment, training, other qualifications, advancement, job outlook, earnings, and related occupations for Geologists.
- Oil and Gas Jobs
- Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
For additional career resources and links, please visit the Job Search Web Link page.