What can I do with a major in geochemistry?

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SUNY Oswego - Career Services

Examples of where alumni in your major are working

Los Alamos National Laboratory
Environmental Products and Services
Genesee Valley Educational Partnership

Director of Science, Technology and Math
Environmental Coordinator
Environmental Health and Safety Specialist

Search for employers hiring graduates in your major

Employers in NY (Geology): 1,498
Employers in US (Geology): 32,865

Employers in NY (Chemistry): 2,717
Employers in US (Chemistry): 53,460


Explore the numerous career fields related to your major


Structural Geology
Economic Geology
Fossil Energy


Petroleum industry: oil and gas exploration, production, storage, and waste disposal facilities
Independent drilling companies
Federal government agencies: Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management
State government
Private companies
Consulting firms
Equipment suppliers

Sample occupations

Gain knowledge of computer modeling and Global Positioning System (GPS). Both are used to locate deposits.
Oil and gas deposits are found in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, California, off-shore sites or overseas in oil-producing countries.
This industry is subject to fluctuations so be prepared to work on a contract basis.
Develop excellent writing skills to publish reports and to solidify grants from government, industry, and private foundations.
Obtain management and leadership experience to manage projects.


Mining Geology
Economic Geology
Environmental Remediation
Research and Development
Analysis and Testing


Mining companies
Consulting firms
Federal government agencies: Bureau of Mines, Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Land Management
Coal companies
Well services and drilling companies
Construction firms
Railroad companies
Research in laboratories and organizations
Industries such as mining, electronics, and synthetic materials

Sample occupations

Become familiar with environmental regulations and government permit issues.
Computer literacy is essential for the computerized Geologic Block Model.


Environmental Geology
Earth Surface Dynamics
Coastal and Marine Geology


Federal government agencies including:

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Forest Service
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Geological Survey
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Defense
Sample occupations

Obtain a high degree of lab experience.
Develop excellent written and public speaking skills.
Gain a thorough understanding of federal and state government guidelines for the management of solid, liquid, and gaseous state.
Consider a law degree for work with land-use laws and legal matters.

Geologic Mapping

Federal government agencies including:

  • NASA
  • US Geological Survey
Sample occupations

Obtain excellent computer and technical skills because such mapping is now digitized.
Gain experience in surveying through internships or academic opportunities.

Astrogeology and Space Sciences

Federal government agencies including:

  • NASA
  • US Geological Survey
Sample occupations

Work in this area often requires many years of experience and developed research. A Ph.D. is often required.
Develop extraordinary analytical writing skills for grant writing and research.

Hazards - Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Floods

Global Seismic Networks


Federal government agencies including:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • US Geological Survey
  • Department of Defense

Private research groups and foundations

Sample occupations

Gain experience in technical mapping such as digital terrain modeling.
Gain some knowledge in engineering.
Develop presentation and writing skills.




Elementary/secondary public or private schools
Colleges and universities

Sample occupations

Obtain certification/licensing for public school teaching.
Obtain a Ph.D. for higher education and/or advanced research and administrative positions.
Develop grant writing skills.
Become familiar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

General information and strategies

  • Gaining experience is very important and there are many opportunities for students to obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, and/or co-op experiences in different geographical fields.
  • A bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level industry positions.
  • A master's degree is often preferred for state survey work and advancement in industry and government.
  • Employment prospects are best for those with master's degrees, familiarity with advanced technologies such as computer modeling, and willingness to relocate.
  • Plan on completing a state exam to become a registered geologist.
  • Obtain experience in mapping and surveying. Develop skills with measurement equipment as well as laboratory equipment and processes.
  • Join groups directed towards improvement of natural resources, environment, and pollution control.
  • Develop exceptional computer skills.
  • Join the student branch of the professional organization(s) related to area(s) of interest.
  • Learn a foreign language since work may often be done in other countries.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. The ability to market your skills and write proposals is necessary to maintain steady work. The ability to obtain grants may be necessary to continue a project.
  • Find research opportunities with professors and other experts in the field to gain experience.
  • Obtain practical experience using various laboratory equipment and high-tech scientific equipment and data.
  • Complete an undergraduate research project.
  • Consider electives in computer science, engineering, business, public speaking, and writing.
  • A solid foundation in analytical, physical, and environmental chemistry is recommended.
  • Environmentally related areas such as toxicology, hydrology, and sedimentology will prepare you for a job in environmental geochemistry.
  • An advanced degree is often unnecessary if you want a career in industry or environmental management.