Geologists study the earth’s surface.
Geologists study the Earth’s crust and work in private industry, government and academia. Geologists often earn more than $50,000 at the start of their careers, according to a 2010 survey by the Payscale website.
Self-employed geologists earn some of the highest salaries in the field of geology. According to a 2010 report by Payscale, these professionals report salaries between $35,375 and $92,873 a year. Geologists employed with the federal government earn salaries up to $65,339 annually.
After one year of experience as a geologist, earnings range from $40,209 to $53,796 a year. After five years, geologists earn up to $61,848 annually and after 10 years, earnings could go up to $72,456.
Geographic location has some bearing on a geologist’s salary. Those working in the state of Florida can expect to earn up to $50,238 each year. Working in Texas results in the highest incomes, with those professionals reporting annual earnings of up to $93,322, according to a Payscale 2010 report.