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:
Example job titles of Dickinson alumni who majored in Earth Sciences include:
Related tracks to careers:
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. Most 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.
SHOULD I APPLY FOR PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION AS A GEOLOGIST?
More and more states, including Pennsylvania, require geologists to be licensed like doctors, lawyers, electricians, and plumbers before they can legally work as a professional geologist. Requirements vary by state (https://asbog.org/matrix/MatrixJuly2018.pdf). PA requires five years of professional experience before you can take the National Association of State Boards of Geology exams (https://asbog.org/). Once you are a certified professional geologist, there are certain forms you are legally allowed to sign off on. Having the certification typically increases your salary as you employer can charge more for your services. Both Structural Geology and Field Geology are required in PA to sit for the exams. Take this into consideration when choosing your courses.
CAREER-RELATED WEB SITES
For additional career resources and links, please visit the Job Search Web Link page.