Careers For Earth Scientists

Earth sciences are central to today’s society.  Increased global population and accelerating industrialization are stressing the Earth system in complex ways. There is strong public interest in finding solutions to these environmental problems.  Although rapid technological advances are improving our ability to make observations of Earth processes, it will require a rigorously trained generation of geoscientists to use these new technologies and interpret their informational products in order to discover lasting environmental solutions.  Increasing concern for environmental quality on land and in the oceans, the search for energy and mineral resources, the need to develop and protect water resources, and the widespread interest in global change all call for graduates with a sound education in Earth sciences.

Typical employment opportunities for our graduates come in the fields of environmental consulting, the mining and petroleum industries, secondary school teaching, government research (e.g. USGS, NOAA, NASA), and university research.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles information about employment opportunities in all fields and produces an annual report.  For geologists and hydrologist, job growth is expected to grow faster than average (see

Other career information on the geosciences, including specific examples of geoscience careers, can be found at the following resources:

Geosciences Careers - Nature Article (PDF)

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data on geoscientists and hydrologists

American Geosciences Institute Geosciences Workforce Page

Sloan Career Cornerstone Center Geosciences Page

Nature Article on Geosciences Career Opportunities