to the U.S. Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment
of geoscientists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022,
faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy,
environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management
is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future.
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are examples of new
technologies that are expected to increase demand for geoscientists.
These technologies allow for the extraction of previously inaccessible
oil and gas resources, and geoscientists will be needed to study effects
they have on the surrounding areas. As oil prices remain high or
increase into the future, even more technologies will likely be
introduced that expand the ability to reach untapped oil reserves or
introduce alternative ways to provide energy for the expanding
will be needed in planning for the construction of wind farms,
geothermal power plants, and solar power plants. Alternative energies
such as wind energy, geothermal energy, and solar power can use large
areas of land and impact wildlife and other natural processes. In
addition, only certain areas are suitable for harvesting these energies.
For example, geothermal energy plants must be located near sufficient
hot groundwater, and one task for geoscientists would be studying maps
and charts to decide if the site is suitable.
An expanding population and the corresponding increased use of space and
resources may create a continued need for geoscientists.
Job opportunities should be excellent for geoscientists, but
particularly those who earn a masterís degree. In addition to job
growth, a number of job openings are expected as geoscientists leave the
workforce due to retirement and other reasons.
Geoscientists with a doctoral degree will likely face competition for
positions in academia and research.
opportunities are expected in state and federal governments than in the
past. Budget constraints are likely to limit hiring by state governments
and federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey. In addition,
more of the work traditionally done by government agencies is expected
to be contracted out to consulting firms in the future. Most
opportunities for geoscientists are expected to be related to resource
extraction; in particular, gas and oil exploration and extraction
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics.