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How to become a Geologist?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 19 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Becoming a Geologist requires at least a Master’s degree, as well as work experience and licensing. Some Geologists have Ph.D.’s. However, this is only required for advanced research-heavy work. You should therefore be prepared for a long schooling period for this career. 
  • Earn a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) in Geology or Earth Science.
Many schools offer programs in geology, so it is a good idea to research programs and faculty that you would be interested in. Some programs also require that you do some fieldwork and learn firsthand what Geologists do daily. During your undergraduate program, you may take courses in oceanography, sustainability, paleobiology, and hydrology. You will also be expected to take foundational courses in physics, calculus, and chemistry. 
  • Earn a Master’s degree. 
Most Geologists working today have a Master’s degree. During your Master’s program, you will work under the supervision of a faculty member doing work that you find interesting. You will take advanced courses in geosciences, and you will probably produce a final thesis or project. 
  • Find employment. 
Most Geologists work in states where there are mining or oil and gas extraction industries. Geologists can also find a job with architectural or engineering firms, working as consultants. 
  • Get licensed. 
In the United States, 31 states require licensing to work as a Geologist. Licenses are administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology. 

Important things to know before becoming a Geologist
  • Your work may take you to remote locations all over the world. 
Fieldwork often requires you to spend long hours outside, rain or shine. Skills in camping and hiking, while not mandatory, can undoubtedly help improve your fieldwork experience. 
  • Physical stamina is important.
While in the field, you may have to hike, stand, or do other physical labor. You do not need to be an Olympic athlete, but some physical stamina will help you succeed in the field. 
  • Like many fields, networking is essential. 
Attend conferences, join geology groups on LinkedIn, and introduce yourself to people in the industry. You never know when contact with someone you're on good professional terms with might come in handy. 
  • If you have a background in geology, you can leverage that experience to other fields.
Suppose you are also interested in law, business, or teaching. A background in geology is a huge asset in these other careers since so much capital is invested in mining and resource exploration.