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Research Geologist Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research geologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $53.01 an hour? That's $110,253 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 Research Geologist Do

There are certain skills that many research geologists 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, outdoor skills and physical stamina.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a research geologist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 45.1% of research geologists included gis, while 18.9% of resumes included geological survey, and 14.5% of resumes included geologic maps. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the research geologist job title. But what industry to start with? Most research geologists actually find jobs in the energy and non profits industries.

How To Become a Research Geologist

If you're interested in becoming a research geologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.4% of research geologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 23.2% of research geologists have master's degrees. Even though most research geologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a research geologist. In fact, many research geologist jobs require experience in a role such as geologist. Meanwhile, many research geologists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or research assistant.

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Average Salary
$110,253
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
23,605
Job Openings

Research Geologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Research Geologist

Geologist
14.1 %

Top Careers After Research Geologist

Geologist
14.6 %

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for a Research Geologist

Research Geologists in America make an average salary of $110,253 per year or $53 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $147,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $82,000 per year.
Average Salary
$110,253

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Iliamna, AK
Salary Range115k - 163k$137k$137,457
Houston, TX
Salary Range90k - 162k$121k$121,327
Midland, TX
Salary Range90k - 161k$121k$120,923
Bloomington, IN
Salary Range80k - 144k$108k$108,103
San Ramon, CA
Salary Range77k - 133k$102k$101,955
Lakewood, CO
Salary Range75k - 130k$99k$99,411
$57k
$163k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Research Geologist (Sedimentologist) GS/13 (Mp-Eg)
Research Geologist (Sedimentologist) GS/13 (Mp-Eg)
Geological Survey
Geological Survey
03/05/2020
03/05/2020
$84,11803/05/2020
$84,118
Research Geologist (Sedimentologist) GS/13 (Deu-Perm-Eg)
Research Geologist (Sedimentologist) GS/13 (Deu-Perm-Eg)
Geological Survey
Geological Survey
03/05/2020
03/05/2020
$84,11803/05/2020
$84,118
Research Geologist
Research Geologist
U.S. Department of The Interior
U.S. Department of The Interior
10/31/2019
10/31/2019
$74,59610/31/2019
$74,596
Research Geologist
Research Geologist
Geological Survey
Geological Survey
10/28/2019
10/28/2019
$88,70410/28/2019
$88,704
Research Geologist
Research Geologist
Department of The Interior
Department of The Interior
10/04/2019
10/04/2019
$74,59610/04/2019
$74,596
See More Recent Salaries

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Research Geologist Demographics

Gender

male

71.6 %

female

25.4 %

unknown

3.0 %

Ethnicity

White

83.9 %

Asian

7.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7 %

French

33.3 %
See More Demographics

Research Geologist Education

Majors

Geology
69.1 %
Biology
5.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

59.4 %

Masters

23.2 %

Doctorate

8.7 %

Top Colleges for Research Geologists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

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

2. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

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 • Public

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

5. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

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

6. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

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

7. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Public

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

8. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Public

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

9. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA • Public

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

10. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,260
Enrollment
25,799
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Research Geologist

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, 45.1% of research geologists listed gis on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and outdoor skills are important as well.

Best States For a Research Geologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research geologist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, and Maine. Research geologists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $136,216. Whereas in Louisiana and Texas, they would average $123,635 and $119,219, respectively. While research geologists would only make an average of $112,692 in Maine, 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. Maine

Total Research Geologist Jobs:
108
Highest 10% Earn:
$178,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
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 Research Geologist Jobs:
1,367
Highest 10% Earn:
$196,000
Location Quotient:
0.94
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. Rhode Island

Total Research Geologist Jobs:
132
Highest 10% Earn:
$163,000
Location Quotient:
1.51
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
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Top Research Geologist Employers

1. Exxon Mobil
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$119,816
Research Geologists Hired: 
31+
2. Chevron
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$121,065
Research Geologists Hired: 
7+
3. Indiana University Northwest
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$80,940
Research Geologists Hired: 
2+
4. ARCO, A Community Resource
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$80,194
Research Geologists Hired: 
2+
5. United States Department of Energy
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$67,544
Research Geologists Hired: 
1+
6. Texas A&M Transportation Institute
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$86,908
Research Geologists Hired: 
1+
Updated October 2, 2020