Professional Geology

Professional Geology (B.S.)


Say "geologist" and most people think of petroleum — oil and gas. But that is only a small sliver of potential careers in geology, and more broadly, in the geosciences.

 

What geologists do

Geologists are heavily involved in engineering, especially large-scale construction (engineering geology, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering). An entire branch of geology is dedicated to finding and managing water — hydrogeology and hydrology. Many geologists are involved in helping communities avoid hazards by mapping earthquake zones, flood plains, or areas susceptible to volcanism.

Other branches look for and assess resources — sand, gravel, iron, nickel, precious metals, rare earth minerals, and yes, oil and gas. And finally, many geologists work on a variety of projects as consultants.

They may be asked to help forensic scientists find unmarked graves, the military locate unexploded ordinance, engineers locate leaks in a landfill, or developers map unmarked caves, voids, or old pit mines. It is a highly flexible career; depending on your interests, you can get a job working mostly in an office, in a laboratory, outside, or some combination of all three.

It's a profession with a license

In Pennsylvania (as in most other states), geologists must be licensed to become a Professional Geologist (PG). We'll get you ready for Part 1 - the Fundamentals of Geology (FG) exam. You can take it as a senior, and we've had great success with our students passing on the first attempt. If you pass, you'll immediately be competitive for a job (or a salary bump if you already have a job).

Then you work for a firm under a licensed PG for 5-years - a kind of apprenticeship - before you take Part 2, the Practice of Geology (PG) exam. Once you pass this, you are a licensed Professional Geologist and you can sign official documents in that capacity. Your salary will also go up!

Program Course Checklist

 

Why Bloomsburg?

Two Reasons

  • We are personal — All of your classes, labs, and field experiences will be taught by professors - not graduate students. We are accessible. We know all of our majors and we want to help you maximize your potential. If you are willing to put in the hard work, we will help you achieve great things.
  • Cost — If you attend a larger state school (Penn State, Temple, Pitt) or private with a graduate program in environmental science, you will pay tens of thousands of dollars more for your undergraduate degree. Compare the costs for in-state residents in 2018: a year at Bloomsburg costs $23,406; Penn State (main campus) costs $35,758; Pitt costs $32,782, and Temple costs $33,048 (www.collegesimply.com).

In four years, you will have saved between $37,500 and $49,400 by attending BU — enough to cover an entire year of graduate school. Some master's programs (like our 3+2 program) are only a year long, so by choosing BU, you essentially get your B.S. and M.S. for the same price as a bachelor's degree only at other schools.

Out-of-state licensure and certification

Professional licensure laws and regulations vary from state to state and are subject to change without notice. Currently, our EGGS: Professional Geology track meets — and in many cases — exceeds the education requirements for all states that have geology licensure. If you are planning to pursue a professional license in a state other than PA, it is highly recommended you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance and verify requirements before beginning a program.

Graduate School or Engineering?

We will get you ready for your career. But suppose you want to go on, either for a Master's in Geology, or maybe a Master's in Engineering. We've laid out the course work you need to be competitive in those paths. We've had numerous graduates accepted into first-class master's and Ph.D. programs in geology and engineering.

How much can you make?

This question should be farther down on your list than "Will I like my job?" ... but we all have to eat. The good news is that geology pays well. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) show that Geoscientists (covers all of the above) had a 2016 median pay of $89,708 per year. They project that the job outlook for 2016-26 to be excellent — 14 percent growth (faster than average).

 

Geology course takes hands-on learning to new level

Their textbook was Lake Michigan. And for the group of Bloomsburg University students who spent two weeks of their summer in the field exploring different geoscience and environmental aspects of the Michigan Basin, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

“My biggest take away is the picture this trip painted for me,” said Mitchell Lenker, a geology major, professional track. “I have learned so much in the classroom. This however only goes so far for someone's understanding of the topics at hand. This trip, along with the three professors that accompanied us, helped tie the topics in the classroom into real world applications.”