Studies & Degrees in Applied Geology
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The degree in Applied Geology involves the study of the composition, structure and evolution of the earth including its natural resources. Different areas studied by geologists would encompass mining and quarrying, energy exploration, environmental geology, supply of water, geological mapping and surveying, civil engineering, volcanology, seismology, paleontology, and research.
If you are interested to become a geologist, you must have interest in science and environment, and possess keen scientific ability. You must have the passion to learn to use instruments and technical equipment. You should be analytical and have the potential to interpret statistical and graphical data. You must also be good in problem solving and always apply a methodical approach in coming up with decisions. You have to pay attention to details and must be in constant pursuit for accuracy. Lastly, you should be observant and your eyesight must be good.
To work as a geologist, you must undergo a minimum of three years full time course study in Applied Geology in a university or center that is accredited by the Geological Society. Some universities offer a one-year-full-time postgraduate courses to provide better training for employement, and this may include subspecialties such as mining geology, petroleum geology, and hydrogeology. PhD degrees may also be further pursued for another year to three years if you are interested to take research jobs in universities and other industries.
The opportunities for graduates of Applied Geology are vast as there are multitudes of companies requiring the services of a geologist. Notable types of companies that hire geologists are oil and gas firms, water suppliers, mining and quarrying companies, consultancies and service corporations that advise environmental issues and assist exploration and production facilities, environmental protection institutions and research centers, civil engineering and construction firms, geological survey organizations, and universities.
Finding a job after graduation may be competitive as applicants are usually greater in number than job openings. But once you get in, training is usually provided by the companies and the job is extremely rewarding. Average salaries of geologists would range from $28,000 to $80,000 per annum. The job is challenging as it may entail a lot of traveling if you are conducting land and sea explorations, but some also stay indoor doing laboratory and office works. The conditions of the outdoor working environment may vary depending on the location of the geological surveys and other job related activities.
Specific job roles of geologists may include producing geological maps and sites for surveillance, conducting seismic surveys and interpretation of results, managing drilling operations and collecting samples for analysis, and giving advice on possible sources of materials like gravel, metals, limestone, and the likes. They also study the behavior and quality of underground water and can make designs for water supply programs. Geologists conduct assessment of ground conditions and give advise on the effect of the construction of buildings, dams, tunnels and other structures on the target site. They also study and map out the rock distribution of the surface of the earth to create geological databases. Some study fossils, while others specialize in examining volcanoes, earthquakes, and seismic activities. A lot of geologists also pursue careers in teaching and research, and others opt to become self-employed as consultants.
Applied Geology indeed is an interesting course and you can start your career in this field by checking out the university programs, or the online courses that may be suitable for you.