Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in geology?

Students earning a degree in geology will graduate with a general knowledge of geology as part of a liberal arts education and will have a strong academic foundation to stand upon should they wish to pursue graduate education.

With its liberal arts foundation, graduates of the geology program have opportunities to pursue careers in many different functional areas, with most students pursuing careers in energy (coal, oil, gas, and other energy sources), environmental geology, geologic mapping, hazards, minerals, planetary sciences, and education.

Careers in environmental science

Learn more about a career in environmental science.

How do geologists impact the world?

Transferable skills

A geology degree offers skills in:

  • Critical thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Laboratory experience
  • Awareness of global environmental issues and common anthropogenic effects

Some careers in geology

Career Median salary Market growth
Geoscientists $89,700/year Faster than average (9 to 13%)
Petroleum Engineers $122,990/year  Faster than average (9 to 13%)
Hydrologists $79,550/year Average (5 to 8%) 
Mining and Geological Engineers $94,040/year Average (5 to 8%)
Geospatial Information Scientists $85,240/year Slower than average (2 to 4%) 

Source: O*NET Online, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

More about geoscientists

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

Notable people with a geology major

  • Colin Powell (former U.S. Secretary of State)
  • Herbert Hoover (31st President of the United States)
  • Harrison Schmitt (retired NASA Astronaut)
  • Cynthia Carroll (former CEO of Anglo American PLC, a British mining company)