Geoscience Careers Outlook
The employment outlook for those in earth science positions is generally expected to be good. Although employment is projected to grow more slowly than the average through 2014, a large number of expected retirements and the relatively low number of qualified earth science graduates should translate into good employment prospects for those entering the field. Opportunities also vary by specialty. Most geologists and geophysicists are employed in the oil and gas industry. Although this industry can be somewhat volatile, the ever-increasing demand for energy resources and the development of new technologies has brought some stability to this field in recent years. The prospects for employment should be favorable in the areas of environmental protection and reclamation. Earth scientists will be needed to help clean up contaminated sites in the United States and help private companies and government agencies comply with environmental regulations.
Positions with agencies dependent on government funding, however, will be closely tied to the status of federal and state budgets. In times of cutbacks, there will be little if any job growth with such agencies.
Most oceanographers’ work is research-based and there will be stiff competition for funding, especially funding from government agencies. Opportunities are better for those with advanced education and for those who have expertise in other sciences or engineering.
Overall employment of geographers is expected to grow about as fast as the average through 2014 due, in part, to the limited need for geographers outside of government and academic institutions. All social scientists, in fact, are projected to experience employment growth that is slower than the average. Geographers who have a background in economics or urban planning have the brightest employment outlook.
Employment for meteorologists is expected to be about as fast as the average. The National Weather Service has no plans to increase the number of weather stations or the number of meteorologists in existing stations for many years, and employment of meteorologists in other federal agencies is expected to remain stable. If the health of the economy improves, however, the outlook in private industry should be better than in the federal sector. Weather-sensitive industries like farming, commodity investments, radio and television, utilities, transportation, and construction firms need more specific weather information than can be provided by the National Weather Service. They will require meteorologists to interpret the results of seasonal and other long-range forecasting research.
Careers in Geoscience:
- Civil Engineers
- Environmental Engineers
- Fish and Game Wardens
- Geographic Information Systems Specialists
- Geologic Technicians
- Groundwater Professionals
- Hazardous Waste Management Technicians
- Horticultural Technicians
- Land Acquisition Professionals
- Land Trust or Preserve Managers
- Marine Biologists
- Range Managers
- Soil Conservationists and Technicians
- Soil Scientists
- Surveying and Mapping Technicians