Career opportunities

Who hires earth scientists?

Current global environmental, economic, and political trends are sparking an explosion in demand for well-trained earth scientist! Examples of potential employers include:

  • Federal, State & Local Government: Federal and State Geological Surveys, Environmental Protection Agency, National Air & Space Agency (NASA), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin (NOAA), National and State park systems, public works departments
  • Energy & natural resource industries: resource exploration companies, mining companies, oil & gas companies, electrical companies
  • Education: universities, colleges, and K-12 schools
  • Trade business: commodities, investment firms
  • Professional services: geotechnical and environmental consulting firms, environmental law firms
  • Non-profit organizations: international outreach organizations
  • Environmental: water quality control, waste management, contaminant remediation, resource monitoring

How much do earth scientists earn?

Earth science starting salaries are very competitive. BA/BS earth science graduates earn an average of $31,366 (compared to $31, 258 for biologists and $32,500 for chemists)

Recent MS recipients see the highest starting salaries. For example, new MS graduates entering the petroleum industry can expect starting salaries ranging between $80,000 and $110,000, which is significantly higher than graduates from all other science MS degree fields (e.g., biologists & chemists) who can expect an average starting salary of $46,873.