In 2007, Byron King was chatting with Mr. Wang, a marine geologist from China, and what he learned knocked his socks off:
“[T]here are about 40,000 or 50,000 students studying geology in China today at the university level. Maybe more, but I do not want to give you a number that is too high.”
That’s about 25 times the students studying in the US (and about half the US graduates are foreign nationals).
For every geologist in the US, we have about 50-100 lawyers, King estimates.
What about the population difference? China has 4 times our population, but 50 times the number of geologists.
First year salaries:
Lawyers: $38,118 – $91,256
And geologists get longer vacation times and better bonuses, too.
Sixty-three percent of geologist have B.A degrees.
Match that to a doctoral degree you’d need for law.
The US Bureau of labor statistics predicts a 21% increase in need for geologists, vs 10% for lawyers by 2020. We have a lot of retiring petroleum geologists with an average number of years in the biz averaging 19. And their pay went up 13% last year. Faster salary increases were seen for women.
It’s also a great profession for single women looking for men. It’s a field that’s 90% men.
And hate your boss? According to Oil on My Shoes,
“Good geologists need virtually no supervision, once they are told what the objectives of the company are.”
And the same site reports 0ne poll that found that geologists ranked #2 in job satisfaction out of all professions.
“After meeting hundreds of geologists over the years, I can say that people who fall into geology naturally (as most do) are extremely satisfied with their profession.”
B.S. in Geology OR make up the following course load: Physical Geology (4 hours), Historical Geology (4 hours), Mineralogy (4 hours), Optical Mineralogy (4 hours), Petrology (3 hours), Stratigraphy/Sedimentation (3 hours), Structural Geology (3 hours), Geology Field Camp (6-8 hours), General Chemistry (8 hours), Physics (8 hours), Computer Science or Statistics (3 hours), Calculus (6 hours), and a possible foreign language requirement.
In the future scramble for understanding our world, and locating the last remaining resources available to exploit, or impacting how companies approach this exploration, we’ll need those who understand geology.
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