Geologist Resume Examples + Tips from Industry Experts

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Table of Contents

Put simply, geology is the study of the earth.  Geologists study the formation of the earth, volcanoes, rocks, it is the study of the earth’s structural past.  

Geologists tend to spend a lot of time outdoors as well as traveling in labs.  It is a career rooted in a variety of science and mathematical disciplines, and may also call to those who seek adventure.

A degree in geology can lead to a wide range of careers.  According to Study.com geologists may choose to specialize in mineralogy, volcanology, hydrology or oceanography.

Meanwhile other sources mentioned environmental sciences, work for private companies or governments, Engineering, natural resources and agricultural as potential career paths.

Resume objective for geologist

Due to the fact that geology covers such a broad spectrum, it is recommended that you highlight specific skills that are used across the board and/or list specifics relevant to the current opening.  

We read through a dozen plus resumes and frequently mentioned in the objective was the individual’s ability to manage projects and work as part of a team.  

Whether new to the field or experienced, you may wish to include an example of successful project management and or team collaboration.  

Scientists rarely work alone and often have cross disciplinary relationships with other fields of science and industry, so the ability to function well within a team is an important piece for a successful geologist. 

Sample Objective

Skilled and knowledgeable geologist with 10+ years experience and the ability to apply geology paleontology, biology, and environmental sciences.  Proven experience on large scientific teams and the ability to work in outdoor and laboratory environments.  Proficient in GeoSofa, Oasis Montaj, Surfer, and Petra software.

Resume skills for geologist

The skill list for a geologist is long and plentiful, and that’s a great thing because it provides an expansive arena in which you can showcase your top abilities. 

Resume after resume that we looked through had a common theme.  The words, collection, calibrating, data and conducting were frequently seen.  Geologists, like other scientists, need to know how to work with data.

EnvironmentalScience.org does an excellent job of hitting on various skills one would need at various levels of the job.  

We saw skills such as the ability to create maps, use geographical databases, and to collect and analyze data supported by other sites as well. 

Sample Skills

Knowledge of managing budgets | Excellent verbal and written skills | Ability to work outdoors in a variety of conditions | Knowledge of land and environmental assessments | Ability to survey sites and create logs

Geologist work experience

Based on our research we discovered geologists can work just about anywhere in the world, sometimes at several different locations within one year, and work for a variety of industries, governments and private sector businesses. 

Your work experience is going to depend on your interests and specific areas of geology you studied in school. 

However, as  World University Rankings point out, there are many instances where work in one field in geology can be carried over to another. 

Many geologists start with an internship and/or choose to perform independent research or studies.

While this may not be work experience in an official capacity it can showcase your skills, knowledge and dedication to a particular area of geology.

After reviewing over fifteen geologist job openings, we discovered that many geologists jobs are short term.  So if you have several short term jobs listed on your resume, this is a field where that should not affect your hireability.

Sample Work Experience

Department of the Interior

Oceanographer, 2016-2020

Led field work for collection of hydrodynamic, bathymetric, and sedimentologic field data. Authored data releases and peer-reviewed publications and prepared illustrations, and maps for publication in reports. 

  • Published in GeoScienceWorld, GSA Today, and Geological Magazine 
  • Prepared, deployed and retrieved instruments 
  • Ability to operate small boats
  • Able to lift 50lbs and work in a variety of weather conditions
  • Ability to write code to compare data 

Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, Inc.

Geologist, 2014-2016

Worked as part of a team focused on coastal protection/nourishment and marine construction.  Recorded and analyzed data using a variety of equipment, and properly handled materials for transfer to the lab for further research. 

  • Knowledge of side scan sonars, magnetometers, tide gauges, wave gauges, and  sediment sampling tools 
  • Ability to work on a team
  • Strong organizational and written skills
  • Able to travel and work in a variety of environments

Kimley-Horn Associates

Environmental Scientist Intern, 2011-2014

Performed tasks assisting with environmental planning, land development and wetlands preservation and identification.  Work in a support function during field work including GIS mapping, Data Analysis, and report writing. 

  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Ability to follow directions and work independently
  • Knowledge of ecology, geology, and botany
  • Experience with client interactions and project financials

Geologist education

After scouring several sites for information we unearthed (geology pun) that there are more than 600 undergrad geology programs in the U.S.  Degree Query has a list of what is considered the top ten.

Many geologists begin their career with an undergraduate degree, but if you are seeking an advanced degree there are hundreds of master and PhD programs available as well.  

For some jobs, an undergrad with applicable experience will be considered equal to a master’s degree, so with every job post be sure to scan the requirements section closely.  

Sample Education

Penn State

Bachelor of Science Geobiology, 2008-2013

  • Climate and Environmental Change Certification
  • Geospatial Big Data Analytics Certification

Courses 

Courses within a geology degree will vary based on your particular area of study.  For example, the Geobiology major mentioned above has a large concentration of biology courses mixed with geology courses.

A concentration in oceanography or volcanology will have courses focused in those areas.  If your courses or concentrations are specific to the career you are applying for, then by all means mention them.  

For the sample courses below we will focus on an oceanography concentration.

Sample Courses

  • Marine Geology & Geophysics
  • Oceanic Data Interpretation
  • Design of Oceanographic Field Experiments 

Certifications 

Many colleges and independent online programs will offer certifications applicable to a career in geology but there are some widely recognized certifications offered widely accepted certifications.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists offers three.  The Environmental Systems Research Institute offers one. And the American Institute of Professional Geologists offers a professional certification.

The National Association of State Board of Geology offers two examinations that lead towards licensure.  While licensure is not required in this field, it may provide a boost to your resume over others.  

Sample Certifications

  • ASBOG – Fundamentals in Geology
  • Certified Professional Geologist (CPG)

Complete geologist resume sample

Since we have covered the basics of what should be included on a geologist resume, we are now going to take a look at an actual job posting.

This posting is for your run-of-the-mill geologist job.  It is very straightforward with no bells and whistles. 

Below the sample job posting you will see a complete sample resume!

As mentioned above, this is a fairly standard geologist resume.  The one thing that does stand out is the OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Certification.  This certification is for people who will be dealing with hazardous materials & things.   

Geologist

Objective

Geologist with 8+ years of experience with soil, water and surface samplings seeks a position in the environmental geology field.  OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER certified.  Proven team-work skills end well versed in data analysis and preparation. 

Skills

Ability to log and read data | Knowledge of soil boring | Experience in field work and lab work | Knowledge of reading and creating geographical maps | Proficient in GeoSofa, GeoProbe, ArcGIS, Geostatistical Analyst and Petra software | Efficient in project management

Work Experience

Mission Essential 

Geologist, 2012-2016

Produced timely and analytical reports, assessments studies and briefings related to data collected in the field. Worked as part of a team to analyze soil composition, surface composition and subterranean characteristics.  

  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Ability to work in underground locations
  • Ability to work independent as needed
  • Uses log and knowledge to synthesize multiple sources of information

Tetra Tech 

Junior Geologist, 2008-2012

Worked on a team as part of a variety of projects including  soil, soil vapor, groundwater investigations, installation and maintenance of remediation systems, and field sampling.  Worked in a variety of terrains and setting and performed investigations for both government and private companies.

  • Knowledge of Sediment control assessments and monitoring
  • Ability to create written and data based reports
  • Part of a team published in Geological Society of America
  • Ability to travel for work

Omat Technologies

Geologist Intern, 2007-2009

Assisted geologists in the recording and sampling of soil, water and drilling samples.  Wrote detailed reports and created graphs based on data.  Worked under the direct supervision of various project managers and displayed the ability to function as part of a team and independently.

  • Operated drilling equipment to collect samples
  • Proficient with GeoProbe and ArcGis
  • Presented findings to other teams both verbally and written
  • Organized files and samples effectively 

Certifications 

  • ArcGIS Desktop Professional
  • Certified Professional Geologist (CPG)
  • OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER certified

Education

University of Maryland

Master of Science Geology  2006-2009

  • Concentration Solid Earth Science
  • Geology Department Merit Fellowship
  • Department of Geology, Best Graduate Student Talk, Master’s Student

George Washington University

Bachelor of Science Geology, ,2002-2006

  • Minor in Sustainable Ecosystems

Courses 

  • Global Climate Change
  • Geology of Energy Resources
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Environmental Geology

Key Takeaways

Working as a geologist can open doors to travel, field work and plentiful outdoor experiences.

Geologists require strong math and cross disciplinary science skills and a love of learning.  

While licensure and certifications may not be needed for most jobs, it cannot hurt your chances by seeking out additional credentials, particularly if you have not gone past the bachelor degree level with your formal education. 

  • Work environments include outdoors, extreme weather, labs and offices 
  • Gaining experience as an intern while still in school is a great stepping stone 
  • Travel and odd hours may be expected at times

Tips from Experts

As geology is essentially a historical science, the working method of the geologist resembles that of the historian. This makes the personality of the geologist of essential importance in the way he analyzes the past. – Reinout Willem van Bemmelen, Geologist

The geologist takes up the history of the earth at the point where the archaeologist leaves it, and carries it further back into remote antiquity. – Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Teacher & Activist 

I went into geology because I like being outdoors and because everybody in geology seemed, well, they all seemed like free spirits or renegades or something. You know, climbing mountains and hiking deserts and stuff. – Kathy B. Steele, Author

Conclusion

The study of the earth and its physical history is a field that is growing.  As the human race seeks to know more about our planet and work towards sustainability, geologists will play an important role.

Geology provides the opportunity for individuals to spend a career studying volcanoes or the bottom of the ocean floor or to learn more about the ground right beneath your feet. 

It is a path to a fascinating career and an opportunity to discover new things. 

Methodology

In addition to our own expertise as professional resume consultants, for every resume guide we write, we curate dozens of recent job postings and resumes to make sure all our recommendations align with current trends for each specific industry and career path. Learn more about our methodology here. 

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