After you get your bachelor’s degree in geology you can work jobs in a variety of industries.
As a geologist you’ll study natural and human-caused processes that occur in the earth. You may also examine natural resources like iron and coal and show business and government leaders where to best drill and/or mine for resources like oil, water and uranium. You need at least a bachelor’s degree before you get hired and start earning a beginning salary as a geologist. Annual wages you can earn exceed the national average wage of $40,711 as reported by the Social Security Administration. If you earn graduate degrees, you can increase the amount of money you receive in your beginning salary.
Beginning Salaries for Geologists
Salaries for geologists rose by approximately 8 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to AAPG Explorer. Increase in petroleum and crude oil prices may have driven a large portion of the wage increases. Geologists who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university can start out earning $74,000. By getting a master’s degree they can earn a beginning salary of $96,000. If geologists return to school and get a doctorate degree and they can start out earning as much as $107,500 a year.
Median Wages New Geologists Earn
An annual salary of $60,000 for a geologist with two or less years of experience was considered low by the AAPG. With three to five years of experience, geologists earned an average salary of $102,300. The average annual salary beginning geologists earned was $93,000. However, the highest wage earners who had between zero to two years of experience took home approximately $110,800 a year.
Salaries by Industry
Some industries like the oil industry paid geologists more than other industries. For example, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, as of May 2008, geologists working in oil and gas extraction earned a median annual wage of $127,560. By working in the federal executive branch, geologists took home about $90,220 a year. The architectural, engineering and related services and management, scientific and technical consulting services industries paid geologists about $66,770 and $62,070 a year respectively. State government organizations paid geologists working for them approximately $57,700 a year.
Jobs for geologists are expected to grow by approximately 18 percent from 2008 through 2018 according to BLS. This represents a faster than average job growth compared to other occupations. Ongoing need for oil and petroleum as well as the focus on restoring and preserving the earth may drive some of the growth. Geologists who get graduate degrees may have improved opportunities to get hired.