Career Options Related to Earth Science
Earth science involves the study of Earth and its atmosphere, and incorporates many of the natural sciences. Therefore, many jobs exist that are related to Earth science. Below is a table that lists a few of the possible career choices for those interested in Earth science.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary||$85,410||9%|
|Surveying and Mapping Technicians||$42,450||-8%|
|Atmospheric Scientists (Including Space Scientists)||$92,460||9%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Jobs Related to Earth Science
Geoscientists conduct field studies and examine other physical aspects of Earth. They may collect and analyze aerial photographs, rock samples and more to learn about the planet's past and present. Their findings may help to predict future conditions in particular areas. Their findings are also used to create detailed maps and charts of different areas. Geoscientists generally need a bachelor's degree, and may need to acquire a license to work with the public.
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
Atmospheric, Earth, marine and space sciences teachers at the postsecondary level often conduct independent research projects in addition to teaching courses in their subject and area of expertise. All postsecondary teachers are responsible for creating lesson plans, assignments, tests and other assessments to evaluate their students. Some of these professionals may also advise students and/or oversee the work of graduate students. Most postsecondary teachers hold a Ph.D. to conduct research, but some smaller institutions, like community colleges, may allow teachers to only hold a master's degree.
Hydrologists focus their research efforts on bodies of water and water quality and availability issues, but also examine how water moves across Earth. They also study the water cycle and how water eventually evaporates back into the atmosphere and returns to the oceans. Hydrologists may also consult on water-related projects, like hydroelectric power plants, and research ways to minimize pollution or erosion into valuable water resources. These professionals need a bachelor's degree for entry-level jobs, but some may have a master's or higher.
Geographers study Earth through maps, field observations, satellite images and more. They examine how the land, features and even human geographic features vary across locations. They may work at a local and/or global scale. They collect and analyze geographic data to create maps, graphs and reports of their findings. Geographers rely heavily on geographic information systems (GIS) to collect their information. These scientists need a bachelor's degree, and may need a master's degree for advanced positions.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians
Although they may not directly use Earth science, surveying and mapping technicians must understand some of the basics about Earth's topography and geography as they survey land. Surveying land involves taking measurements and collecting other data to make detailed maps of particular areas. These technicians are trained to use a variety of surveying instruments and computer programs used to create maps. Most of these workers need a high school diploma, and possibly additional training in areas like geographic information systems (GIS).
Atmospheric scientists use different properties of the atmosphere to study and predict weather and climate patterns. They may look at the temperature, dew point, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and more to use computer models to help produce various weather forecasts. These forecasts may be used in times of severe weather to warn people about safety concerns, schedule transportation activities and more. They may also research long-term weather or climate patterns of different areas. Atmospheric scientists need at least a bachelor's degree, but usually need a master's or Ph.D. for research positions.