Geologists study the crust that envelops the earth to know its composition, structure and history. Their findings have many practical uses, especially today when every nation on earth is becoming aware of the environmental changes that affect the earth’s condition.
The data geologists gather from their investigations are used in constructing buildings, in exploring for mineral sources such as petroleum, coal, natural gas and metals, as well as in planning measures for the protection of the environment. Geologists are employed in museums, private industries, colleges and universities, and the federal government.
Nature of Work
There are different kinds of geologists. Some of them are mineralogist, paleontologists, and engineering geologists. Others specialize in being geomorphologists, oceanographers and geological photogeologist. Each of them study a particular part of the earth’s crust and the results are used in particular applications. In general, geologists employ other sciences to explain and identify the physical, chemical and organic processes that affect the development of the planet. Armed with knowledge and the results of their studies, they locate geothermal, underground water resources, mineral and petroleum deposits that people need to run industries. The geological data they find are used to solve engineering problems when constructing dams, large buildings and tunnels. In general, geologists are experts in the processes involved in the evolution of earth and how they affect each other. Geologists usually work in an office, preparing reports and summarizing the data gathered from the field work of other geologists. When working in the field, geologists set up equipment to take samples, measure and interpret data from samples gathered from the field, prepare reports and abstracts of all the information they have gathered.
Geologists must have a bachelor’s degree if they want to seek government and industry positions. Those who want to teach must have a bachelor’s degree as well as a teaching certificate, depending on the requirements of the state where they seek employment. For those who want to go into research work, government agencies and companies usually prefer candidates with an advanced degree in geology. For teaching positions in colleges and universities, a doctoral degree is required.