Geology Master's Degree: Salary & Jobs

Graduates with a master's degree in geology can work as geologists and several other related careers in science. Find out about some of the available careers and their median salaries.

A master's degree program in geology prepares graduates with the necessary skills and background to work several different jobs in the fields of geoscience, education and more. Learn more about some of these careers below, as well as their specific job duties and how a master's degree in geology can be applied.

Related Careers for a Master's in Geology

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Geoscientists $89,780 10%
Mining and Geological Engineers $93,720 6%
Hydrologists $80,480 7%
Geographers $74,260 -2% (Decline)
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary $85,410 9%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Descriptions


Geoscientists include job titles like geologists, geochemists, petroleum geologists and more, and usually need a master's or doctoral degree for advancement. Their job duties vary depending on their actual job title, but in general these scientists study the physical characteristics of our planet. This may require them to study aerial photos, collect rock samples, conduct surveys and more to create maps and charts of different geological features. They may use their work to locate natural resources and present their findings in scientific papers and reports.

Mining and Geological Engineers

Graduates interested in combining their knowledge of geology with their interest in engineering may consider a career as a mining and geological engineer. These engineers may need a master's degree for advancement. They work to design safe and efficient mines, which requires them to supervise the construction of mines to ensure that designs are followed and comply with environmental and safety standards. Once the mine is in operation, they will check for efficiency and address any issues with pollution and/or sustainability of the resources.


Hydrologists can begin their careers with a master's degree in an area like geoscience or earth science, as they study water moving through Earth's crust. Hydrologists measure the volume and flow of various bodies of water, collect water samples and monitor erosion, pollution and more to try to see how water influences the environment and vice versa. They often use their work to address issues with water quality and water availability in different areas and provide possible solutions to these problems. They may even use computer models to try to predict future circumstances surrounding water and present their findings in reports and presentations.


Geographers need a master's degree for advanced positions, and a career as a geographer could be a good fit for a geology graduate with experience and interest in geographic information systems (GIS). These scientists not only study the planet and its characteristics, but also the human geographic characteristics of various areas. They may gather data through surveys, photos, maps and more to analyze the distribution of various characteristics in order to update or create new maps and charts of geographic information. They typically use GIS to display this data and may help train others in how to use GIS.

Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

Although most postsecondary educators need a Ph.D., some smaller institutions or disciplines may only require a master's degree. Those with a background in geology may choose to pass on their knowledge and expertise by becoming an earth science teacher and teaching a variety of courses in their field. This requires them to develop the curriculum for their courses, create assessments and assignments and assist students in their classes as needed. Some institutions may require additional responsibilities, such as conducting independent research, supervising graduate students and/or serving on various committees within the department.

Graduates with a master's degree in geology can find available work in research, education and more. Most of these careers require a master's degree to begin with or to advance, and typically provide higher median salaries (greater than $70,000).

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