Career Attributes

  • $94,517
  • 32,000
  • 3.3
  • 14.1%
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The minimal education required for entering the field of geology is a four-year bachelor's degree in geology, combined with courses related to a specific specialization. In high school, one should prepare for the scientific and mathematical rigour of the geology course load by focusing on sciences, mathematics, writing, computers, geography, and public communication. These skills, along with personal dedication, are essential for success as a geologist.

After undergraduate school, many geologists continue on in education to pursue master's degrees and doctorate degrees in various areas of specialization. These include paleontology, mineralogy, volcanology, or hydrology.

What are Geologists like?


Based on our pool of users, Geologists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Geologists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 409 CareerExplorer users

Are Geologists happy?


Geologists rank as moderately happy among careers. Overall they rank in the 57th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Geologist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Geologists

The most common degree held by Geologists is Geology. 82% of Geologists had a degree in Geology before becoming Geologists. That is over 232 times the average across all careers. Geosciences graduates are the second most common among Geologists, representing 10% of Geologists in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 150.0 times the average.

Geologist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Geologist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Geologists % of population Multiple
Geology 81.7% 0.4% 232.1×
Geosciences 9.9% 0.1% 150.0×
Environmental Science 7.6% 1.1% 7.0×
Mathematics 2.3% 1.9% 1.2×
Geological Engineering 2.3% 0.0% 73.9×
Oceanography 2.3% 0.0% 62.1×
Physics 2.3% 1.0% 2.2×
Geography 2.3% 0.6% 3.7×

Geologist Education Levels

54% of Geologists have a bachelor's degree. 29% of Geologists have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 54%
Master's degree 29%
Doctorate degree 17%

How to Become a Geologist

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Further Reading

  • Geology Schools - Colleges With Geology Courses

    These schools have geology programs, grant geology degrees, or offer geology courses.

  • How To Become A Geologist

    A geologist researches the earth's surface and materials. Working as a geologist you could find yourself studying the history of the earth, monitoring earthquake activity, contributing to conservation projects, or writing academic papers, just to name a few.

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Recommended Books

  • Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth

    To many of us, the Earth’s crust is a relic of ancient, unknowable history. But to a geologist, stones are richly illustrated narratives, telling gothic tales of cataclysm and reincarnation. Both scientist and storyteller, Bjornerud uses anecdotes and metaphors to remind us that our home is a living thing with lessons to teach. Containing a glossary and detailed timescale, as well as vivid descriptions and historic accounts, Reading the Rocks is literally a history of the world, for all friends of the Earth.

  • The Illustrated Guide to Rocks & Minerals

    This is the ultimate photographic guide to the world of rocks and minerals, and how to build a collection, featuring over 800 stunning photographs and artworks. This is the ultimate visual encyclopedia of rocks and minerals, with a directory of over 300 specimens. It instructs the amateur geologist on how to identify and extract samples safely, clean and store specimens, and build and present their own unique collection.

  • Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology

    Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology, 11/e maintains its highly visual, non-technical survey and up-to-date coverage of foundational physical geology principles. The authors’ emphasis on currency and relevance includes the latest thinking in the field, particularly in the dynamic area of plate tectonics.

  • Why Geology Matters: Decoding the Past, Anticipating the Future

    Volcanic dust, climate change, tsunamis, earthquakes—geoscience explores phenomena that profoundly affect our lives. But more than that, as Doug Macdougall makes clear, the science also provides important clues to the future of the planet. In an entertaining and accessibly written narrative, Macdougall gives an overview of Earth’s astonishing history based on information extracted from rocks, ice cores, and other natural archives.

  • The Practical Geologist: The Introductory Guide to the Basics of Geology and to Collecting and Identifying Rocks

    From exploring the basic principles of geology to starting a rock and mineral collection, The Practical Geologist is the perfect introduction to the world of earth science.

  • Exploring Geology

    Nearly all information in the book is built around 2,600 photographs and stunning illustrations, rather than being in long blocks of text that are not articulated with figures. These annotated illustrations help students visualize geologic processes and concepts, and are suited to the way most instructors already teach.

Career Attributes

  • $94,517
  • 32,000
  • 3.3
  • 14.1%
More Attributes