Explore Careers

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth sciences are qualified for employment in a wide range of careers, including resource management, geotechnical and environmental consulting, urban and rural planning, petroleum and mining industries, state and federal agencies such as the USGS, USFS, NOAA, EPA, and DEQ, teaching in K-12 schools (with additional teaching certificate), and as laboratory technicians, professional geologists, geophysicists, or geochemists.

The current climate is very good for employment in the Earth sciences. A degree in Earth or environmental science equips students with skills in critical thinking and problem solving, quantitative analysis, oral and written communication, teamwork, and collaboration, all of which are highly valued in today’s geoscience job market.

According to USA Today (June 2019), graduates from geoscience majors are “among the least likely to be unemployed and some of the best-paid college graduates.”

For suggestions on how to get the most out of your education and launch your career, see the American Geosciences Institute’s “Career Compass” website and browse the latest job postings on AGI's Geoscience Job Center. You can also explore the stories of past graduates from our department and the paths they took with their degree in Earth sciences below.

And take a look at these articles about the role that geoscientists play in society today:

Information on Career Opportunities

AGI: Careers in the Geosciences

AGI: Career Resources

AGU’s Careers Page (login required)

GSA’s Employment Page

GeoCorps America

Sloan Geoscience Careers Website

Mining career opportunities

AAPG Career Center

Employment Pages for U.S. Government Agencies

US Geological Survey

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Park Service

USDA Forest Service

US Environmental Protection Agency

Alumni Jobs

With your Earth sciences degree, you can land a job that launches a career. Below are a few examples of the many UO Earth sciences majors in the workforce:

Staff Scientist, Intertek-PSI

Trevor Farrell, '14

Majored in: Earth Sciences

After graduation, Trevor interned for Rapid Soil Solutions as a geotechnical field work assistant. Soon after, he landed a job as assistant project scientist at Martin S Burck Associates, drafting field maps and performing data entry in support of environmental remediation projects. Trevor is now a staff scientist at Intertek-PSI, in Portland, where he conducts Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and hazardous material surveys throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Paleontology Collections Manager, Museum of the Rockies

Amy Atwater, '13

Majored in: Geology (B. S.)

Amy's time at UO was fantastic and she felt very well prepared after graduation. Amy took a year off between undergrad and graduate school to be the Paleontology/GIS Intern at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska for 6 months, which was an opportunity offered through GeoCorps. Amy then applied for the NSF GRFP during her gap year and was fortunate to become a Fellow for her graduate school experience at UT Austin. Amy's Master's thesis was described and named three new genera and three new species of omomyids, an Eocene primate, as well as completing phylogenetic analyses for the family. Amy also completed a paleontology internship at Big Bend National Park during the summer of 2016. After completing her Master's in 2017, she landed her current job at the Museum of the Rockies. Memorable moments from UO include any and every class with Marli Miller. Amy also benefitted from her involvement with the Geology Club, and Dave Blackwell, who really made geology come alive. Field Camp at UO was truly a life-changing experience. Amy felt like a true geologist after completing it and made friends and connections that will last a lifetime.


Physical Science Technician, U.S. Geological Survey

Brian Meyers, '14

Majored in: Geology (B. S.)

After graduating from UO, Brian began an internship with the Cascades Volcano Observatory collecting geodetic data to monitor deformation of Cascade Volcanoes and soon after was taken on as a volunteer at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Afterward, Brian worked in the private sector analyzing soils for a geoengineering firm but his passion for volcanoes and working in the field led him back to CVO where he was fortunate enough to be hired on full time in 2018 as a Physical Science Technician. The bulk of Brian's work involves installing and maintaining monitoring stations that use seismic and geodetic data to keep a finger on the pulse of the Cascade Volcanoes. Brian worked as part of the 2018 Kilauea eruption response, and regularly gets to fly in helicopters doing work in remote and beautiful places, and nothing ever feels routine. In short, Brian feels like he has one the coolest jobs in the world that wouldn't have been possible without a degree in Earth sciences and the encouragement he received from the Department of Earth Sciences faculty.


State Lands Geologist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Brittany Dayley, '14

Majored in: Earth Sciences

During her summers at UO, Brittany worked as a wetland mitigation assistant for the city of Eugene where she worked on a restoration project at the Quamish Prairie mitigation site. Four months after graduation, she landed a job at the Newmont Goldcorp Corporation, where she began as a geotechnical engineer specializing in rock mechanics and ground control. Brittany later became a project geologist for Newmont Goldcorp Corporation at a 120+ year-old surface cold mine in Colorado. She then took on the role of interim senior ore control geologist, putting her on a managerial track to oversee a team of ore control geologists for production mining. Brittany is now the State Lands Geologist for the Olympic Peninsula in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Brittany attributes Marli Miller's structural geology class at UO to many of the skills she uses in her job today.


Earth Sciences Major Maps

Why study Earth sciences? What’s required to earn a degree? It's all summarized in our major maps.