Where Should I Start in My Career?

By: Stig Kristoffersen

Where should I get a job?
One suggestion is this; Become a geologist which are paid Record High salaries!

High prices on commodities such as oil, gas and other mineral resources combined with high retirement rates and low enrollments assist in a boost of salaries for geologists.
Times are right for being a GeoScientist

We read in the news stories full of the petroleum and mineral resource companies offering geologists unprecedented salaries.
These demands are driven by high commodity prices that traditionally drive geoscientist's employment in these sectors. Oil is above $100 per barrel, gold is closing up to $1000 an ounce and the price of many other important fuels and metals are at or near all-time highs. These are the right times for geoscientists seeking work within the energy and minerals sector. The offerings are varied and there are many interesting and high salary opportunities out there now.

What is the payment for a Geoscientist these days?

Geology salaries vary by sector you talk about. Now that fuel and metal prices are rising, oil and mineral resource companies respond by hiring a full staff of geologists who can find the commodities that are bringing potential reserves to be exploited quickly. In order to achieve this, they turn to offers of unprecedented compensations. This is what we observe these days.

The AAPG salary survey illustrates the average starting salary of a petroleum geologist with zero to two years experience. It clearly indicates that oil companies make good starting offers to new geoscientists. This is a trend we have seen over the last 8 years at least. The new geoscientists are earning an average of about $83,000 today. We can see the same trend in the mineral resource sector. The new geoscientists earning these salaries are a mix of B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. geoscientists.
There is a trend that a larger number of geologists find work within the environmental and government sectors. These employers tend to pay 10 - 40% less because of a less demand-driven market within this sector. However, seen from a stability point of vies, employment in the environmental and government sectors is usually more stable than the prices of commodities. In the energy and mineral sectors a sharp drop in the price of a commodity usually trigger lay-offs in larger scale.

If I have not yet taken my educational choice - what are my chances in the future, and how long time will it take me?

To qualify for a geoscience's position you must earn a bachelor's degree at minimum and many earn a master's degree to compete more effectively in the job market. This education path takes four to six years to complete. So if you enter the education now you will not reach the job market for at least four more years. In addition you can find a different employment environment when the diploma is received down the line.

However we do not see a long line to become a geoscientist in the university enrollments. We do not see a larger amount of new graduates on their way to meet the demand for new geoscientists in the global market as we see it today.

We see a need for the expected number of degrees per year to be much higher than we observe in the next four years. However these are challenging programs, often requiring calculus, physics, chemistry and demanding geoscience courses.

So what are the chances that the High Rates of Pay for Geologists will Continue?

We can not predict the future with 100% accuracy. Commodity demand as well as prices will drive the demand for geologists within the petroleum and mineral resources sectors.
However resources become sparse and it becomes harder to find and growth in both population and affluence should put upward pressure on prices. However, temporary lows can occur as seen in 1986 and 1993 as a response to oil price declines. In both instances, prices recovered and were driven past levels. Similar trends occur in the mineral resource sector. The conclusion: based upon history: employment and salary levels are cyclical, but overall we see that the prices are rising to new highs.
Aging amongst the geoscientists is another perspective in the oil and gas as well as within the mineral industries.
A lot of geologists began oil industry careers during a previous time of high geoscientist's salaries in the 1970's. These geoscientists are now reaching retirement age and a larger number of them will leave oil companies over the next few years than amount replacing them. One of the major challenges for the oil and gas industry as well as the mineral industry, will be to be able to replace the accumulative knowledge and people.

Another perspective is the public spending within the government sector. Sine environmental geoscientists' jobs are driven by their spending and regulations. Therefore the legislatures rather than commodity prices will drive employment of geoscientists within this sector. Public spending and regulations has lead to a steady growth in employment in these areas. Public offices had become more environmentally vigilant as there is an attempt to protect and improve the environment around us.

What should I do then - being my university degree within Geoscience now?

We have always as adults given our children the novice advice, follow your heart and you will succeed in your choice of career, and do not follow the money. Well, it is easier said than done. Whether we like it or not, we do work because we need the money, and love to your work can only do so much for you.
However we know that economic conditions change over time and the demand for geoscientists will go through cycles, although the demand is very high at the moment. We will also expect times in the future when jobs are hard to find within these sectors mentioned in this article. We do however see one picture, the demand for good geoscientists never go out of fashion, so if you think you love geosciences, there is a good chance you will become a successful one as well, and will find a good job within these sectors.

Do not enter into a career as a geoscientist only for the money as you most likely will be disappointed in the future.

Top Searches on
Careers and Job Hunting
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Careers and Job Hunting