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Geosciences Overview - Preparation - Industries - Day in the Life -
Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast -
Professional Organizations -
Profiles of Geoscientists - Overview PowerPoint - Podcast

Geoscientists hold about 38,200 jobs in the United States. Many more individuals hold geoscience faculty positions in colleges and universities, but they are classified as college and university faculty.

About 23 percent of geoscientists were employed in architectural, engineering, and related services and 19 percent worked for oil and gas extraction companies. State agencies such as State geological surveys and State departments of conservation employed another 9 percent of geoscientists. Eight percent worked for the Federal Government, including geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers, mostly within the U.S. Department of the Interior for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and within the U.S. Department of Defense.

Geoscientists are employed throughout the United States. The largest concentration of geoscientists are in the South-Central region, where they work in the petroleum industry. Cities such as Houston, Dallas, and New Orleans are major centers of employment for industry geoscientists. Other areas of the country also see fairly large populations of geoscientists, namely Washington, D.C. with its large government and related contractor workforces, Denver and Boulder, Colorado with a number of government facilities, a number of independent oil companies, and a large number of consultants, and the Pacific Coast with a growing number of environmental geoscientists working on natural hazards.

The following is a partial list of employers of geoscientists. In addition, the American Geological Institute hosts a Guide to Geoscience Careers and Employers that addresses issues in choosing, maintaining, and advancing a career specifically in the geosciences, and provides useful geoscience-employer information.

Petroleum Industry

Environmental Consulting

Mining Industry U.S. Federal Government and State and Local Affiliates

Other Employers

  • Professional Associations
  • K-12 Schools
  • Colleges and Universities

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the American Geological Institute and the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 Atmospheric Science
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