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Why Geology?

Geology is quite simply one of the most valuable degrees offered at the University of the Pacific.

Earth is calling...Will you answer?
Would you consider a career that pays you to help shape our planet's future, pays an average salary of nearly $100,000 a year, and often lets you work outdoors in jeans and a t-shirt? And here's more good news: the total number of jobs available for geoscientists is expected to increase by 35% between 2008 and 2018!

  • Geoscientists discover and develop natural resources such as oil, natural gas, minerals, metals, and groundwater.
  • Geoscientists advise decision makers on the future of energy and energy policy.
  • Geoscientists are central to solving the looming water crisis predicted with population growth.
  • They work with other scientists to help preserve and clean up our environment.
  • They save lives by figuring out ways to protect people from natural disasters like floods, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

"Earth is Calling" -- An insightful video by the folks at UTexas Austin on why studying Geology just might be one of the best choices you make in college.

Guaranteed employment & explosive job growth
There is virtually no unemployment amongst geologists (Matheson, 2011). Indeed, according to the American Geological Institute, there has been effectively zero unemployment amongst geologists with MS degrees since 1984! This means that if you want a job, you can have your choice of position and a competitive salary. Furthermore, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 20% growth in Geology careers in coming years. Only individuals with degrees in Geology are qualified to become licensed as a Professional Geologist in the State of California.

  • Forbes Magazine (2012) lists Geology & Geology-related tracks as 3 of the 15 most valuable college degrees... pre-dental, pre-pharm, & pre-law tracks not even listed!!! [Link to article]
  • Science Magazine (2013) calls Geology one of three "Can't-Miss Science Careers" [Link to article]
  • Virtually zero unemployment amongst geologists [Link to article]
  • Economic slowdown has had little effect on geology salaries [Link to article]
  • Not enough geologists to meet demand [Link to article]
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 35% growth in Geology careers in coming years [Link to article]

What does the geology workforce look like?
The American Geosciences Institute maintains an extensive website packed full of resources for students, professionals, and the public. Of particular interest is the extensive dataset on the geosciences workforce. Many of the most insightful aspects of these data (e.g., salaries, employment trends, college enrollments, participation of women & minorities, age demographics, etc.) are very effectively presented in a series of one-page fliers, called Geoscience Currents. Geoscience careers offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. Some examples of representative average starting and median salaries include:

  • Geologist (starting $52,419 / median $104,005)
  • Hydrologists (starting $63,690 / median $75,000)
  • Earth Science Postsecondary Teacher (starting $57,576 / median $75,125)
  • Natural Science Management ($77,465 / median $104,105)
  • Mining Geologists (starting $59,475 / median $136,850)
  • Petroleum Geologists (starting $94,284 / median exceeds $123,540) 

Fantastic post-graduate options
Our rigorous program prepares students for success - a Geology degree from Pacific will make you very competitive for jobs & graduate school. Geology graduates are immediately employable & are extremely competitive candidates for a variety of graduate programs (including law, medical, MBA, and policy programs). However, if you choose to pursue a graduate degree in Geology, most programs are supported by research & teaching assistantships and essentially free to students! Further your career & earning potential without incurring student debt!