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How to become a Geologist

avg. starting salary

Looking for a career that rocks (and other terrible jokes)? You should become a Geologist… Geologists look at the materials that make-up the earth, such as rocks and minerals, and how they’ve changed over time. Their job could involve anything from investigating earth processes, such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and other vaguely-terrifying natural phenomenon, through to helping identify and extract a range of different mineral sources. Geologists may also specialise in many different areas, meaning their role could differ greatly depending on their organisation and area of expertise. Typical tasks for a Geologist could include anything from:
  • Studying fossils and rock formations
  • Collecting samples
  • Finding, identifying and digging for important natural materials (e.g. oil and coal)
  • Assessing ground for construction, and making recommendations
  • Studying natural phenomenons, such as flooding and volcanic eruptions
  • Analysing data and compiling research papers and reports

First thing’s first, to become a Geologist you’re going to have to get your hands dirty. OK, so you might not always be working in the field. But even if you’re based in the office, you’ll still be working with a wide range of samples, or making recommendations based on survey results. If you’re not a particularly practical person, this might not be your true calling. You’ll also need a keen interest in science and biology in order to get started in the industry. And/or rocks. Other key skills for a Geologist include:
  • Observational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work with complex statistical data
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • A good knowledge of different rock formations (sniggering at the name moolooite doesn’t count)



Up to £35,000


Up to £50,000

Geoscience Consultant

Up to £80,000

"I’ve always been a bit of a science geek, and studied biology at uni for three years before I worked out what I really wanted to do. With a bit of extra training, I moved into geology, starting out with a number of work placements before finding my first permanent position. For the last two years I’ve been working all over the world, specifically researching the areas around volcanic formations, and working on modelling plans to help predict when an eruption might take place. It’s a lot of travelling, but I’ve learnt so much already, and I’m really starting to build a specialism. I’m even getting a little bit of a tan, which you definitely don’t get in the office – not to rub basalt into the wounds. Sorry, Geologist humour…"

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