Geoscientist

Geologist

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Geoscientists study the Earth’s structure and formation, and analyse rocks to explore its natural mineral and energy resources.

Salary range: £22,000 to £75,000

How to become a geoscientist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

To work as a professional geoscientist you’ll need a degree in a relevant subject. Courses often combine theory with fieldwork and practical training. Degree subjects include:

  • geology
  • geoscience
  • geophysics
  • Earth science

It’s becoming more common for new entrants to hold or be working towards postgraduate qualifications like an MSc or PhD.

Integrated postgraduate master’s qualifications like a MGeol or MSci can be studied at university. These courses include more independent research and are designed to lead directly onto further study like a PhD.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

More information

Further information

You can discover more about careers in geoscience through The Geological Society.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of physics
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing the ground for building suitability on engineering projects like dam or tunnel building
  • advising on suitable sites for landfill or storage of nuclear waste
  • searching for energy resources and minerals, like gas and oil
  • designing projects to search for new water supplies
  • studying volcanic and seismic activity to develop early warning systems for communities living close to earthquake zones

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, on a rig or in an office.

Your working environment may be you’ll travel often, physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress towards a consultant position, or move into teaching or management.

You may also be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

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