Many geology graduates enter professions directly related to their degree. However as a geology student, your experience in undertaking field and laboratory investigations combined with your team working, communication and analytical skills make you an attractive prospect for many employers.
This guide has been developed to help you to find out more the sectors you could be working in and also help on how to find work experience during your studies and graduate employment.
Where do I start?
Geology Career Path is a very useful starting point to find about the main job sectors where geologists work and how to get there. Explore career profiles and videos, with advice on career development and placements.
Within the Geology sector you could be looking at a number of roles. Below is a list of job profiles related to your degree. All these job titles can be researched on the Prospects website. Each job title has a section detailing typical work activities, entry requirements, a list of typical employers and suitable websites for job hunting.
Job roles in this sector include (but are not restricted to):
- Engineering geologist
- Geophysicist/field seismologist
- Seismic interpreter
- Wellsite geologist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Below are some key resources to help you research your degree options and also where you can research where opportunities might be available to you.
- Geological Society Career Pathways is a useful website to start investigating job sectors/profiles.
Geoscientists can work in a wide range of sectors. Find out more below about the roles in different sectors:
Mining & Quarry
- Geoscientist (oil and gas)
Environmental Geology and Water and Contaminated Land
Gaining fieldwork experience is an essential part of your geology studies, since it provides necessary practical experience to complement your studies as well as the opportunity to establish a good network of employer’s contacts. Undertaking a period of work experience can also help you make decisions about future career plans.
Some degrees offer the chance to broaden your experience through a year in industry or a year abroad. However many students undertake work or volunteering placements during the summer, gaining valuable experience and contacts with potential employers.
There are different way where you can gain experience.
Summer work or shadowing is a great way of gaining experience, and the company may bear you in mind for future roles.
Some industries offer summer internships, especially for students who have just completed their 2nd or 3rd years. Places are usually quite competitive but it is a great way to become known to a particular company, and can lead to both valuable experience and even job offers.
Below are listed some organisations who offer placements or internships relevant to students on your pathway. Find out more at their links:
- British Antarctic Survey
- The British Geological Survey
- Card Geotechnics Ltd (CGL)
- Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
- Centrica Energy
- DAAD (Research placements in Germany)
- The Environment Agency
- E.ON Energy
- Field Studies Council
- Geology for Global Development
- Mott Macdonald
- Ramboll Ground Engineering
- TATA Steel
- Wood Group
- WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff
There are a lot of volunteering opportunities out there for getting some early career experience while studying - anything from to help with science outreach and communication as a Faculty Ambassador during Open days or at a local museum.
So when looking to gain some work experience, it is also worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience. The Career and Employability Service offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located in the Careers and Employability centre.
Think broadly about the sort of volunteering role that might provide you with the opportunity to develop key transferable skills.
Speculative application for work experience
Whilst advertised internships or work experience opportunities may be limited, another way to secure work experience in your sector is through speculative applications and networking.
So you can directly approach civil/engineering and construction companies or environmental consultancies geographically near you and draw a list of potential companies you might be interested in contacting.
The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists provide a directory list of all its members which you could use a starting point to look for companies and you can search companies by services, specialisms and location.
Remember that when you approach company directly it is essential that you do your research: learn as much as you can about the organisations you might want to target.
Be smart in your researching: don’t just rely on information from the ‘About Us’ section on the organisation’s website - although that is a good place to start! Seek out what kind of projects they are working on, whether they have been in the news recently, anything that you can showcase in your covering letter demonstrating that you are well informed, resourceful and keen.
Applications to a named individual within the organisation are often more successful, again another example of your resourcefulness rather than a general ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Use your research into the company to establish to whom it is best to address your covering letter.
University Career Fair
The University of Portsmouth organises a yearly Career Fair where lots of engineering geologist companies attend. Use these opportunities to network with potential employers and make contacts by going to industry events and events organised by your course or Faculty. These may provide opportunities to meet key people working in the industry.
Please see below some the engineering geologist companies who previously have attended the Fair:
- BAM Ritchies
- Franki Foundations
- Geotechnical Engineering Ltd
- Keller Ltd
- Leap Environmental
- Leca UK
- RSK Group
- SLR Consulting
- Speedeck Foundations Ltd
- Structural Soils Ltd
- VJ tech
Finding a job
Below is a selection of useful websites for job hunting:
Oil, gas and petroleum sector
- Energy Voice
- Oil Directory - search for oil companies worldwide
- Oil and Gas Job Search
- Earthworks Jobs
- Geological Society: careers
- Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)
- Local Government Jobs
- RICS Recruit
- Local authority websites
Civil engineering and construction companies.
Further study is a popular option for geology graduates. Taking a relevant MSc course may be helpful, if you're interested in getting into a particular field of geology, such as mining engineering, engineering geology or the minerals industry.
If you are unsure about your career plan or what are the next stages of your career planning, the Careers and Employability Service is here to support you as a students and as a graduate for 5 years after graduation.
The Careers and Employability Service offers support to students throughout their studies and provision for graduates up to five years after graduation, with advice and guidance on:
- Career options
- Further study
- CV and covering letters
- Application forms
- Job search
We have an online jobs board advertising a variety of graduate jobs across different sectors and locations. We also have a dedicated in-house Graduate Recruitment Consultancy that delivers a personalised job matching service.
You can also access our services by calling or emailing us:
Email us: email@example.com
Phone us: +44 (0)2392 842684