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What Is a Field Geologist and How to Become One

What Does a Field Geologist Do?

A field geologist studies the composition of the earth’s crust and works to understand the history and structure of the planet. Also known as geoscientists, field geologists study earth processes such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions and survey land to understand the changes over time. Job duties typically include mapping rock formations, collecting samples and fossils, measuring the earth, interpreting data, and writing reports. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in geoscience, or a related field with courses in geology, as well as some field and laboratory experience. Strong communication, writing, interpersonal, and outdoor skills and physical stamina are essential because field geologists mostly work outdoors as part of a team.

How to Become a Field Geologist

The qualifications you need to become a field geologist include a bachelor’s degree in geology or geoscience and field training, during which you learn the proper ways to collect a rock or soil sample, evaluate data, and write detailed reports. Many students take an internship to gain experience and skills and eventually specialize in fields like geochemistry, oceanography, or sedimentology. In these fields, your duties and responsibilities range from assessing the potential of renewable energy sources to cataloging and analyzing the minerals that make up the Earth’s crust. An advanced degree can help you acquire the skills you need for these specialties.