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Geoscientists

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Analytical: 90
  • Creative: 72
  • Supported: 46
  • Social: 35
  • Purpose: 33

What Geoscientists Do

Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to learn about its past, present, and future.

Work Environment

Most geoscientists split their time between working in offices and laboratories, and working outdoors. Doing research and investigations outdoors is commonly called fieldwork and can require irregular working hours and extensive travel to remote locations.

How to Become a Geoscientist

Most geoscientist jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. In several states, geoscientists may need a license to offer their services to the public.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Environmental scientists and geoscientists

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of geoscientists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future.

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    Job Trends for Geoscientists

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    This occupation supported 38,200 jobs in 2012 and 36,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 4.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 15.7% in 2022 to 44,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 39,400, compared with an observed value of 36,400, 7.6% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.9% in 2024 to 40,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 45,400 jobs for 2024, 12.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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