10 Highest Paying Geology Jobs

10 Highest Paying Geology Jobs

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We used the latest data and insights to identify the Highest Paying Geology Jobs, so you can learn and earn more.

Geologists earn decent salaries depending on their expertise and employer.

Some of the highest-paid jobs are in the environmental protection and petroleum industry.

We use data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale, and multimedia resources to generate insights in this article.

These high-paying geologist jobs represent some of the best careers for geology majors available today.

Let’s get started!

#10. Environmental Scientists

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $41,000 per year
  • High Range: $78,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $53,452 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Environmental scientists are responsible for studying the environmental impact of human activity and suggesting sustainable solutions to problems. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To become an environmental scientist, you need a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, geology, or engineering. There are many specializations within environmental science, so it’s best to have a specific interest before starting your education.

You will need good analytical and problem-solving skills. You should also be very organized since you will be dealing with large amounts of data.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

These geologists work in universities, research institutions, and government agencies. You may find yourself working outdoors, in offices, or in research facilities. 

What’s the best way to get this job?

There are many ways to get into this field. You can begin by gaining knowledge and experience through internship programs.

Then apply through job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs. Previous work experience comes in handy when job hunting.

What’s it like to be an environmental scientist?

#9. Seismologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Comparably
  • Low Range: $10,830 per year
  • High Range: $288,999 per year
  • Median Pay: $56,356 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Seismologists are scientists who study earthquakes. They also research the Earth’s structure and composition. These geologists may use seismic methods to research seismic waves. 

What degrees are usually required?

This is a very competitive field with a lot of specialization—so be prepared to go above and beyond. Most seismologists have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in geophysics or geology.

Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are important for seismologists as they collect and analyze data to come up with solid conclusions.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Seismologists typically work in research labs in universities or government agencies.  A seismologist may also find work in nonprofit organizations interested in understanding how earthquakes might affect their operations or products. 

What’s the best way to get this job?

You can get into this field by pursuing an advanced degree in the sciences. Then complete an internship with a company working in seismology, data analysis, earthquake prediction, and prevention.

What’s it like to be a seismologist?

#8. Mineral Surveyors

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Comparably
  • Low Range: $32,850 per year
  • High Range: $95,800 per year
  • Median Pay: $58,020 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Mining surveyors are responsible for evaluating the mineral content of a site and determining its value for mining. They also help map areas containing minerals and prepare reports on their findings.

What degrees and skills are required?

Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in surveying or geoscience. Employers opt for advanced degrees for higher positions.

You need good communication skills since you will be presenting your findings to other professionals and non-specialists. You must also have a license to work as a mining surveyor. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

As a mineral surveyor, you may find work in consulting firms, mining industries, or government departments.

What’s the best way to get this job?

One way to get this job is to get an internship or entry-level position with a company or firm that conducts mineral surveys. If you are currently a student pursuing your degree in geology, it may be useful to inquire about opportunities for internships with such companies or firms during your college career.

What’s it like to be a mineral surveyor?

#7. Hydrogeologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $49,000 per year
  • High Range: $84,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $61,755 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Hydrogeologists are geoscientists who study the movement of water through the earth’s surface and sub-surface. They might focus on the effects of groundwater on soil or other aspects of the water cycle. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

While you only need a bachelor’s degree to be a hydrogeologist, a graduate degree and experience will help you bag higher-paying positions.

Besides education, you must also be able to use the latest tools and insights to find underground water sources.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

These geologists work for private companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. You may also work in laboratories, offices, rivers, mines, or forests.

What’s the best way to get this job?

You can get this high-paying position by doing internships or volunteer work with government agencies. 

Once you’ve gained experience in the field, you may start applying to look for job opportunities.

What’s it like to be a hydrogeologist?

#6. Geotechnical engineer

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $53,000 per year
  • High Range: $94,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $68,199 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Geotechnical engineers ensure that the land on which buildings are built is safe and stable. They survey the area to ensure that it will be able to support a building. 

These engineers then design the foundation of the building based on their findings. Geotechnical engineers may work with soil and rock to understand their mechanical properties and provide recommendations based on their findings.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

A bachelor’s degree in civil or geotechnical engineering is common, as is some experience working as an engineer. Good communication skills, technical knowledge of materials, and strong mathematical skills are essential for this job. You may also need an industry-specific license to work as a geotechnical engineer.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

They may find work in consulting firms, state departments, and geotechnical engineering firms. Geotechnical engineers work on construction sites or in an office environment.

What’s the best way to get this job?

You can start your career as an intern or co-op student while you’re still in school. This will help you gain valuable experience for your first job.

 What’s it like to be a geotechnical engineer?

#5. Geological Oceanographer

 How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $52,000 per year
  • High Range: $141,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $75,462 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Geological oceanographers study the bottom of the sea and how it changes over time. They use this information to help predict future environmental changes, such as rising sea levels or increased volcanic activity.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

These oceanographers have at least a bachelor’s degree in geology. Still, some of these geologists have master’s degrees. As a geological oceanographer, you should also have computer skills for analyzing data.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Often, geological oceanographers are employed by universities, government agencies, or private companies that want to know about specific parts of the ocean floor. 

You might also work for a company that wants to build an oil rig in a certain area. Still, some oceanographers may find work in agencies considering the areas that should be protected from mining activities.

What’s the best way to get this job?

One way to get into this field would be to get an undergraduate degree in a related field such as geology or earth science. Then apply for graduate school if you want to continue your education. You can also look into internships during college to gain hands-on experience before applying for full-time positions after graduation.

What’s it like to be an oceanographer?

#4. Sustainability Consultant

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $35,000 per year 
  • High Range: $182,000 per year
  • Median Range: $77,387 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs: Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Sustainability consultants help companies and organizations become more environmentally friendly. These professionals may be responsible for developing sustainability plans that help the company reduce its carbon footprint and reduce waste. A sustainability consultant often works with companies to make sure they are meeting their sustainability goals and ensuring that their suppliers are also doing the same.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Employers prefer candidates with a degree in environmental science or engineering for this job. 

Excellent oral communication skills are critical for a sustainability consultant because you’ll often meet with clients face-to-face to discuss specific projects or issues. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Sustainability consultants are employed by environmental consulting firms, government agencies, and businesses.

What’s the best way to get this job?

One way to get a job as a sustainability consultant is through networking. Apply for the available positions in the job market.

What’s it like to be a sustainability consultant?

#3. Hydrographic Surveyor

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $32,000 per year
  • High Range: $205,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $80,119 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Hydrographic surveyors measure and map water levels, currents, and other physical features of rivers and lakes. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Most employers prefer candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or geology. But employers may also offer additional training after hiring.

These are the skills you should possess to work in this field:

  • Proficiency with mapping software.
  • Knowledge of various surveying techniques.
  • An understanding of water resources management.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Flexibility.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Hydrographic surveyors work in various locations, including onboard ships, sea, or shorelines. They may work in an office setting where they perform research and analysis tasks.

These surveyors usually find work in hydrographic survey firms, dredging companies, and government firms. 

What’s the best way to get this job?

You can get this job through an apprenticeship or internship, which involves working under supervision before getting hired. Once you have an entry-level job, you can start working hard to move to top positions.

What’s it like to be a hydrographic surveyor?

#2. Engineering Geologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $61,000 per year
  • High Range: $126,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $85,523 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Engineering geologists analyze soil and rock samples to make sure buildings and structures will not be affected by environmental changes. 

These professionals help government agencies decide where it would be safe to build homes, businesses, schools, and public works projects. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To work as an engineering geologist, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in geology or a related field (such as engineering). In this field, employers consider experience to be more important than the degree itself.

Most states consider an engineering geology license a must-have before you can practice your profession. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

These geologists work for:

  • Government agencies.
  • Private consulting firms.
  • Construction firms.

As one of the high-paying geologist jobs, these professionals earn an average salary of $85,523 per year.

What’s the best way to get this job?

You can start by volunteering for your local government agency or even just a local community group that does outdoor construction projects. You might also consider applying for an internship at your state government’s local geological survey department. This will give you valuable experience and references that you can use to find jobs later on.

What’s it like to be an engineering geologist?

#1. Petroleum Geologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Salary.com
  • Low Range: $85,627 per year
  • High Range: $128,576 per year
  • Median Pay: $109,873 per year
Highest Paying Geology Jobs: Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Petroleum geologists are responsible for exploring oil and gas deposits. These professionals identify and map the location of new deposits. They also perform seismic analysis and conduct laboratory tests on oil and gas samples.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in geology or earth sciences. But some may prefer candidates with advanced degrees.

As a petroleum geologist, you should have excellent problem-solving skills. You must work well both independently and as part of a team. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Petroleum geologists typically work in oil and gas exploration companies. They may also work in consulting firms that provide geological services to other companies.

According to our research, this is the highest-paying career a geology degree holder may choose.

What’s the best way to get this job?

You may begin your career by taking classes in geology at the university level.

With your education and experience, you begin applying for an entry-level position in your desired field.

What’s it like to be a petroleum geologist?

Conclusion

Geologists are some of the people earning the highest salaries today. Whether you are interested in drilling wells, ensuring water quality, or mining, there is undoubtedly a place for everyone in geology.

Use this as a guide, and start thinking about which one might be the best fit for your plans going forward.

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Joannah W.
Joannah has been a science publisher with close to 20 years of experience. She wants to help students and researchers stay ahead of the trends and developments in the science community by making science more accessible to everyone.

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