Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers

Bookmark Print History Journal


    • Please sign in to view journal entries

Your Employment History in this Occupation

Please sign in to view Employment History

Please fill out the fields below to e-mail someone a link to this page

Please sign in to bookmark occupations

About the Job

Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.

It is also Called

  • Volcanologist
  • Stratigrapher
  • Soils Engineer
  • Seismologist
  • Sedimentationist
  • Research Geologist
  • Prospector
  • Project Geophysicist
  • Project Geologist
  • Petrophysicist
View All

What They Do

  • Study historical climate change indicators found in locations such as ice sheets or rock formations to develop models related to current climate changes.
  • Review environmental cleanup work plans to determine the effectiveness of the remedial activities for mitigating soil or groundwater contamination.
  • Research ways to reduce the ecological footprint of increasingly prevalent megacities.
  • Research geomechanical or geochemical processes to be used in carbon sequestration projects.
  • Provide advice on the safe siting of new nuclear reactor projects or methods of nuclear waste management.
  • Locate potential sources of geothermal energy.
  • Identify possible sites for carbon sequestration projects.
  • Identify new sources for Platinum Group Elements necessary for industrial uses, such as automotive fuel cells or pollution abatement systems.
  • Develop ways to capture or use gases that are currently burned off as waste during oil production processes.
  • Develop strategies for more environmentally friendly resource extraction and reclamation.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Achievement and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $81,290 with most people making between $42,790 and $128,870


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,330 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,430 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 40 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education