Job Description:

Geoscientists study rocks so they can learn more about the earth's structure and its natural energy resources.

Job Category:
Energy & Utilities

What you will do:

You’ll use a range of investigation methods, including drilling, seismic surveying, satellite and aerial imagery, and electromagnetic measurement.

Geoscience is a broad subject. You could specialise in an area like geophysics, environmental geology, natural hazards, energy resources, or mining and extraction.

You’ll use your knowledge and expertise in a number of ways, like:

  • assessing the ground for building suitability on engineering projects like dam or tunnel building
  • advising on suitable sites for landfill or storage of nuclear waste
  • searching for energy resources and minerals, like gas and oil
  • designing projects to search for new water supplies
  • studying volcanic and seismic activity to develop early warning systems for communities living close to earthquake zones


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of physics
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Geoscientist, you’ll need a strong educational background in science and mathematics. While there are no specific subjects required to become a Geoscientist, the following subjects and skills can provide a solid foundation for pursuing a career in this field:

  1. Science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics): knowledge in all three sciences can be beneficial as geoscience incorporates elements of each. Biology helps with understanding ecosystems and environmental science, chemistry is useful for understanding geological processes and mineral composition, and physics can be relevant in understanding geophysical processes.
  2. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are important for data analysis, calculations, and geospatial modelling.
  3. Geography: Geography can provide a good foundation for understanding Earth’s physical processes, landforms, and environmental systems, which are relevant to geoscience.
  4. Environmental Science: This subject can help you understand how geological processes interact with the environment and ecosystems.
  5. English: Effective communication skills, including reading and writing, are important for documenting research findings and writing scientific reports.

Post School

You’ll need a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • Earth science
  • environmental geology
  • geology
  • geophysics
  • geoscience

Some employers may expect you to have, or be working towards, a postgraduate qualification like an MSc, MGeol, MSci or PhD.

In the UK, The Geological Society has more information on becoming a geoscientist.

Working Hours and Environment:

Some jobs involve working 9am to 5pm in an office or laboratory, but you may work longer hours in areas like drilling or testing.

If you’re based on an oil rig, you’ll spend several weeks on an offshore platform.

You could work anywhere in the UK or overseas.

The work can be physically demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress towards a consultant position, or move into teaching or management.