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What is a Geoscientist

A geoscientist specializes in the field of geosciences, conducting research and analysis to learn more about the Earth and its components. Their studies help push the field of geoscience further, as well as serve as references for various programs and projects. Furthermore, their work allows them to contribute to geoscience data that can aid future generations of geoscientists.

To illustrate what a typical workweek of a geoscientist is like, let's take a look at their duties. Usually, a geoscientist is responsible for collecting locality data, gathering samples from sites of study, examining geological structures, conducting experiments and studies, and culminating their findings in a comprehensive report. After which, they share their results with other professionals, the academe, and the general public.

Of course, you would need a background in geology to become a geoscientist. But more than that, you would also need a good grasp of laboratory experimentation, fieldwork processes, and safe practices in handling natural material, among other crucial aspects of the job.

Due to the high level of education and expertise that this job requires, a geoscientist can earn around $99,000 per year, and that's just the average.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Geoscientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $44.56 an hour? That's $92,677 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 1,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Geoscientist Do

There are certain skills that many Geoscientists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Communication skills, Physical stamina and Problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Geoscientist does

How To Become a Geoscientist

If you're interested in becoming a Geoscientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.4% of Geoscientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 26.5% of Geoscientists have master's degrees. Even though most Geoscientists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Geoscientist. When we researched the most common majors for a Geoscientist, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Geoscientist resumes include Doctoral Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Geoscientist. In fact, many Geoscientist jobs require experience in a role such as Geologist. Meanwhile, many Geoscientists also have previous career experience in roles such as Geophysicist or Research Assistant.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Denbury Resources Jobs (4)
  2. Exxon Mobil Jobs (61)
  3. Chevron Jobs (24)
  4. ConocoPhillips Jobs (7)
  5. Pioneer Natural Resources Jobs (5)
Average Salary
$92,677
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
355
Job Openings
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Geoscientist Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Geoscientist

Geoscientists in America make an average salary of $92,677 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $151,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $56,000 per year.
Average Salary
$92,677
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How much should you be earning as an Geoscientist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Geoscientist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Geoscientist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Geoscientist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Geoscientist Demographics

Geoscientist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
76%
Female
Female
24%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Geoscientists, 24.0% of them are women, while 76.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Geoscientists is White, which makes up 82.5% of all Geoscientists.

  • The most common foreign language among Geoscientists is Spanish at 30.8%.

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Geoscientist Education

Geoscientist Majors

74.0 %

Geoscientist Degrees

Bachelors

65.4 %

Masters

26.5 %

Doctorate

5.9 %

Top Colleges for Geoscientists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

6. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

7. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

8. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

9. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,887
Enrollment
23,202

10. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,260
Enrollment
25,799
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Top Skills For a Geoscientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.1% of Geoscientists listed Seismic Data Processing on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Physical stamina are important as well.

  • Seismic Data Processing, 13.1%
  • Data Collection, 8.2%
  • Reservoir Characterization, 7.2%
  • Petrel, 7.0%
  • GIS, 6.6%
  • Other Skills, 57.9%

Best States For a Geoscientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Geoscientist. The best states for people in this position are Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Geoscientists make the most in Texas with an average salary of $133,954. Whereas in Alaska and Oklahoma, they would average $115,574 and $108,672, respectively. While Geoscientists would only make an average of $100,759 in Louisiana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Geoscientist Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
6.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Texas

Total Geoscientist Jobs:
13
Highest 10% Earn:
$205,000
Location Quotient:
1.7
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Louisiana

Total Geoscientist Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
1.66
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Geoscientists

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Top Geoscientist Employers

Most Common Employers For Geoscientist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Geoscientist SalaryAverage Salary
1$149,200
2$134,735
3
3.Geokinetics
$131,416
4$129,973
5$128,269
6$115,037

What are the best companies to work for a Geoscientist?

Kurt Marfurt Ph.D.

Research Professor of Geophysics, The University of Oklahoma

Let me address that by sector. The service companies are highest on the food chain and; thus, undergoing the strongest retrenchment. I do not expect this to change in the next 2-3 years. The software technology companies are slightly better off. Here, a new hire can learn new state-of-the-art skills such as machine learning and computer programming, and learn how to work with clients, write, and market. If things don't turn around, they can use these new skills and work for a different technology company ranging from big Pharma to Google.

The big oil companies are, in general, more stable than the smaller ones, but they are also retrenching. A disadvantage in a big company is that you may be a small wheel in a very specialized area. As the big wheels in the company turn slowly, you whirl around and maybe lose a few teeth to the more giant gears. Furthermore, if the job you are working on is no longer relevant to the future market, you may not have had the opportunity to diversify your skills and land a different internal job.

The smaller independent oil companies are less stable but provide for a great deal more professional growth. As the focus changes, a geoscientist will need to learn and master drilling, petroleum engineering, land acquisition, negotiation with partners, finances, etc. If you are good (and you need to keep up to date and master new skills), your company may be bought out or go bankrupt, but you will be well-poised to join the next smaller independent oil company.

An advantage of the service, technology, and small independents is that people outside the company get to know who you are at what you can do. If you are in a big oil company, you might be highly valued, but your competitors have never heard of you.

The corporate culture varies wildly from company to company. New grads should size each company's culture and see if it's a good fit for them. Some have internal structures like a fire ant mound with everyone trying to climb to the top of the ball of fire ants, even if it is floating downstream after a flood. Others are much more collaborative. Others are externally focused. This latter culture - whether the focus is on partnering/marketing/sales or technology support - is where you will best build your professional network.
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