Initial Publication Date: June 8, 2017

Geoscience Degrees and Careers

"Succeeding... is all about making yourself indispensable. Find the tasks that need to be done but that no one else is willing to do, and volunteer to get them done. If you take ownership of them and do them well, within 6 months we won't remember how we got along without you."
- Bill Brinker, HDR Engineering

There are a wide array of careers available to people with degrees in geoscience but they require different levels of preparation. The information below can help students determine the degree they need to achieve to reach the kind of job they want. The association of particular degrees and jobs are drawn from the experience of project leadership and participants. Bear in mind that different employers have different necessary qualifications and that labor force variations can lead to someone with a more advanced degree getting a job normally filled by someone with a less advanced degree. Be sure to check out the collection of Career Profiles for individual career examples.

Jump Down To: AS/AAS | BA/BS | MA/MS | PhD



  • City & state environmental and natural resource regulators
  • Public school earth science teachers
  • Government GIS technicians & analysts
  • Broadcast meteorologists
  • Soil testing lab technicians
  • Consultants (with previous government/private sector experience)
  • Park ranger or naturalist
  • Well-site or mine geologist
  • Pollution cleanup specialist
  • Geospatial technician or technologist


  • City & state environmental and natural resource regulators & scientists
  • Government & private sector geospatial analysts
  • State geological survey geoscientists,
  • Engineering & environmental consulting firm scientists
  • Private school science teachers/administrators
  • Community college professors


  • College & university professors
  • University researchers
  • Environmental & energy consultants
  • State government technical specialists
  • U.S. & state geological survey researchers
  • Engineering and environmental consulting firm scientists
  • Textbook editors & science writers