As well as learning about the Earth's composition and processes, during a geology degree you'll develop key team work, communication and analytical skills
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Engineering geologist
- Geotechnical engineer
- Wellsite geologist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Drilling engineer
- Environmental consultant
- Environmental engineer
- Minerals surveyor
- Sustainability consultant
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Fieldwork forms an essential part of your geology studies, since it provides necessary practical experience to complement what you learn in the classroom. You can find work experience opportunities in both the UK and overseas, with some courses offering a year out. Use this as an opportunity to broaden your skill set and establish a useful network of contacts.
Some graduates choose to enhance their qualifications and skills, by doing paid or voluntary work on short-term environmental projects, in the UK or abroad. Time spent undertaking work experience or shadowing can help you make decisions about your future career and you'll find it motivating when you apply your expertise to solve problems in a different context.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Many geology graduates enter professions directly related to their degree. Popular roles include exploration and production, water supply, environmental engineering and geological surveying. Other areas include environmental planning, hydrogeology and pollution control.
Employment is often found within:
- the oil, gas and petroleum sector
- the groundwater industry
- environmental consultancies
- civil engineering and construction companies.
Other employers include the British Geological Survey (BGS), the Environment Agency (EA), local authorities, museums and government organisations.
Overseas work in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada can be a common feature of careers in geology. Some experienced professionals may also become self-employed consultants.
Skills for your CV
You'll develop a specific knowledge of geology, related to your programme of study and module choices. The practical field work you carry out as part of your degree equips you with expertise in field and laboratory investigations.
Transferable skills from your course include:
- skills in observation, data collection, analysis and interpretation
- the ability to prepare, process and present data
- the ability to handle information in a range of different mediums, e.g. textual, numerical, oral, graphical
- written and verbal communication skills
- report writing skills
- problem-solving skills and lateral thinking
- self-motivation and resilience
- teamworking skills and the ability to work on your own initiative.
Further study is a popular option for geology graduates. Taking a relevant MSc course may be helpful, if you're interested in getting into a particular field of geology, such as mining engineering, engineering geology or the minerals industry.
For example, taking an MSc in petroleum geoscience is an option for those wanting to get into the petroleum industry. Other examples of postgraduate courses include:
- earth sciences
- nuclear decommissioning
- petroleum engineering
- petroleum geophysics
- waste management.
A small number of students continue onto PhDs. By studying at postgraduate level, you'll develop your specialist knowledge and research and communication skills.
Further study is also needed for a move into professions such as law, teaching, librarianship or journalism. For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.
What do geology graduates do?
Geology graduates in employment in the UK are working various jobs. The top four include geologists, meteorologists, environment professionals and civil engineers.
|Working and studying||5|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||18.5|
|Technicians and other professionals||17.3|
|Business, HR and financial||11.1|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.