Career as a Geologist
Nowadays, a career in Geology is gaining a lot of popularity. It is emerging as a career that opens the doors to a plethora of opportunities for people aspiring to become Geologists. It is the branch of science that deals with the study of the earth, its environment, history, minerals etc. A scientist who studies the earth's crust to obtain an accurate picture of its structure, history, and composition is termed as a Geologist. A Geologist studies the composition of the earth, assesses the natural disasters and its effects on the environment, explores areas rich in under-water resources, oil, natural gas and minerals and determines the quality of soil by conducting geochemical and geophysical tests.
The main function of Geologists is to understand the history of our planet and how its materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over the period of time. They perform their job by making geologic maps and charts, analyzing aerial photographs, rock samples and other data sources to locate deposits of natural resources, preparing written scientific reports, and conducting laboratory tests on samples collected in the field. Overall, Geologists play a vital role in exploring the mineral wealth and natural resources.
Eligibility to become Geologist
Being a Geologist can be an interesting and rewarding career option. To become a Geologist, one must have good communicational skills, critical-thinking skills, outdoor skills, problem-solving skills and physical stamina. Apart from this, for becoming a Geologist, one also needs to fulfill minimum academic requirements that are mentioned below:
Subject Combination – Science Stream (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)
Exam – UPSC Geologist Exam, GATE, IIT JAM Geology, Cochin University of Science and Technology - Common Admission Test, Osmania University Postgraduate Common Entrance Test, Andhra University Region Post Graduate Common Entrance Test State level PG Entrance Examination, Banaras Hindu University Postgraduate course entrance exam (MMUS).
- To become a Geologist, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree in geology, earth sciences or a related scientific field.
- After doing graduation, a candidate can pursue master’s in the field. However, if a candidate wishes to get admission in government colleges, then, one has to appear for the national level exams like GATE. Some of the universities also conduct their own entrance test for admitting candidates.
- For higher education, candidates must have a doctoral degree (Ph.D. in Geology).
Note: For specialized positions, such as consulting for companies in the oil industry or professorships in the Geosciences, a master's or doctoral degree is required.
Types of Job Roles Geologist
There are some of the most sought-after jobs profiles in the field of Geology. Geologists can work for private industries, federal government, museums, colleges and universities. To make a career as a Geologist, aspirants can target the following Geologist job profiles:
Geological Technologists: Their job is to conduct or direct geological or geophysical surveys and prospecting field trips, assist engineers and geologists in the evaluation and analysis of petroleum and mineral reservoirs. They also prepare/supervise the preparation of rock, mineral or metal samples and perform physical and chemical laboratory tests.
Engineering Geologist: Their job is to identify and deal with geological factors affecting engineering works. They consult geological maps and aerial photographs to advise on site selection and oversee the progress of specific contracts. They also assess the integrity of soil, rock, groundwater and other natural conditions prior to major construction projects.
Geological Technicians: The job of a Geological Technician is to participate in geological or geophysical surveys, prospecting field trips and environmental audits and operate and maintain geophysical survey and well-logging instruments and equipment.
Geochemist: They analyse the age, nature and components of rock, minerals, soil and other environmental samples, map specific geochemical areas for research and analysis and provide support and recommendations to mainstream geologists.
Geophysicist/Field Seismologist: They are responsible for controlling the quality of the seismic data collected and interpreting it in order to create maps of the build-up of hydrocarbons. They design, test, modify and repair seismic equipment and compile charts and reports.
Geoscientist: They are involved in interpreting geophysical, geochemical and geological data to develop models of the subsurface of the earth. They collect information in the field, from seismic and well data from other sources and monitor the acquisition of data to ensure consistent quality. Moreover, they implement new technologies in geological modelling and seismic processing.
Hydrogeologist: Hydrogeologists interpret technical data and information from maps and historical documents, to build a conceptual model of groundwater flow and quality. They undertake field work and site visits for investigative and monitoring purposes and apply their knowledge of fundamental geology to develop an understanding of how rock types and structure in an area impact on groundwater occurrence and movement.
Employment Opportunities for a Geologist
The employment opportunities for Geologists are very good. After getting the degree from reputed institutes/universities, one can work in private companies or consulting firms in domestic as well as international arena. A geologist can also get opportunities to work in the industries related to mining, oil and gas, minerals and water resources. Some of the top sectors that require Geologists are mentioned below:
- Petroleum and mining companies
- Contracting firms
- Technical sales department
- Consulting geology and engineering firms
- Governments, educational institutions
- Environment protection firms
- Construction and utility companies
- Environmental consulting firms
- Engineering firms
Top Recruiting Companies for a Geologist
There are numerous top recruiting companies where a Geologist can find employment opportunities. Some of the top recruiting companies for Geologists are mentioned below:
- Coal India Ltd
- Geological Survey of India (GSI)
- Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM)
- Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)
- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
- Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC)
- Bharat Gold Mines Ltd
- Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd
- Hindustan Zinc Ltd
- Hindustan Copper Ltd
- National Mineral Development Corporation
- Kudremukh Iron Ore company
- Steel Authority of India Ltd
Pay Scale/Salary of Geologist
The salary of a Geologist depends on various factors such as proficiency, level of experience, industry, geographic location and education and training. Following are some relative salary figures for different job profiles of a Geologist:
Starting Salary per annum (in INR)
Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)
Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)
Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.
Books & Study Material to Become Geologist
There are various universities & institutions that offer a degree in Geology at undergraduate, postgraduate & doctorate level. To pursue Geology as a career, one should have the right set of books in order to achieve good results in various entrance exams conducted for Geology.
Below are some of the best books and study material for studying Geology:
- Geology: An Introduction - Kronaris and Krambine
- Geomorphology - Woolridge or Tharnbury
- Text Book of Geology - P.K. Mukherjee
- Text Book of Physical Geology – Mahapatra
- A Dictionary of Geology – Morrison
- Principles of Petrology - G.W. Turrel
- Underground Hydrology - David Keith Toad
Pros of becoming a Geologist
- There are many jobs that one can branch off into such as construction, energy, environmental protection, disaster detection and many other areas affected by the physical world.
- Geology is an ideal career for those who do not wish to be office-bound since much of the geologist’s work is done in the field.
- Geologists get to be updated with advances in sophisticated equipment and software.
Cons of becoming a Geologist
- Geologists may have to work in physically challenging, even risky locations as this job involves fieldwork and travel.
- One may have to work in unconventional hours and overtime, particularly during fieldwork.