There are currently an estimated 32,000 geologists in the United States. The geologist job market is expected to grow by 14.1% between 2016 and 2026.
How employable are geologists?
CareerExplorer rates geologists with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 11,400 geologists. That number is based on 4,500 additional geologists, and the retirement of 6,900 existing geologists.
Are geologists in demand?
Despite the downturn in the mineral resources sector, the long-term job outlook for geologists is positive. In fact, the number of new geology graduates is not projected to meet expected needs. Demand in the field is cyclical and mirrors the price of geological commodities such as fuels, metals, and construction materials. While lower prices for some of these commodities have resulted in layoffs, those same low prices support demand. In addition, geologist jobs exist outside of the resource sector, as well. Governments concerned about pollution and climate change; educational organizations; and environmental consulting firms all present stable opportunities for new entrants, even though salaries in these occupational segments tend to be lower because they are not driven by commodity prices. Engineering geologist jobs in ‘green energy,’ to plan for and identify geologically acceptable locations for the construction of wind farms, geothermal power facilities, and solar power plants, are predicted to be in particular demand. Further opportunities are forecasted with the retirement of many baby boomer geologists who entered the oil and gas industry in the 1970s, during a period of high salaries. Specialists in geochemistry, knowledgeable in oil extraction methods from shale, could land lucrative jobs with oil companies. It is not uncommon for well-trained geologists to secure jobs or temporary contracts outside of their home nations, as many companies recruit internationally. Expertise in mineralogy can lead to jobs in the new technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Professional geologists are expected to hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in geoscience and have field, laboratory, and internship experience.
What’s the supply of geologists?
The geologist industry is concentrated in Texas, California, Colorado
Geologist job market by state
|State Name||Employed Geologists|
|District of Columbia||60|