Contrary to what one might think, the geologist is not content to work only on the different layers of the earth. Useful in many areas of activity, the geologist is far from being a dusty and fossilized scientist.
The geologist is a scientist who specializes in terrestrial exploration. Whether on the surface or at depth, the geologist travels to the field to take samples and perform laboratory analyses.
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Depending on his or her specialty, he or she can determine seismic risk zones, how to fight against subsoil pollution, find new sources of energy, study a piece of land with a view to a new construction.
His expertise will lead him to study rock fragments, earth or gas at the top of a volcano, to observe the composition of a metal, to probe the oceans to locate new oil deposits… To do this, he uses advanced scientific tools such as microprobes, electronic microscopes, specialized software… He then analyzes the results and tries to interpret them by making hypotheses or by finding concrete solutions to his problem.
Geologists must be versatile and possess multiple qualities:
- great mastery of computer and scientific tools (specialized software, microscopes…) ;
- rigor and precision
- knowledge of English;
- good physical condition;
- national and international mobility
- taste for teamwork;
- analytical skills.
The geologist divides his or her work time between travelling in the field and laboratory analysis. They must be in good physical condition and must specialize to increase their chances of finding a job. The offers are indeed quite limited in France even if they can work for multiple structures.
How to become a geologist ?
A 2-year degree or a 5-year degree is required to become a geologist. The engineer level is the most common:
- BTS Applied Geology ;
- Professional degree in civil engineering and construction, specializing in prospecting and protection of underground resources;
- Master’s degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environment, Earth and Georesources course;
- Master’s degree in georesources, geohazards and engineering, Geology of engineering course;
- Engineering school
The salary of a geologist
Depending on his status, his rank and his employer, the salary of a geologist will vary. A beginner geologist can earn a salary between 1500 and 2300 euros gross per month. At the end of his career, with an engineer level, his salary can reach 6000 euros gross per month.
The evolution perspectives of a geologist
A geologist, depending on whether he or she works in the public or private sector, may move on to positions as research director, expert or consultant in a specific field, project manager or team leader in a private company..
Companies that employ geologists
- private companies (petrochemical, environmental, mining, construction, etc.)
- universities ;
- research institutions (CNRS, Ifremer, IFPEN…);
- design and engineering offices;
- geological institutes.