I read an interesting article recently from the American Geosciences Institute which gives some information in terms of where graduate Geologists are working and what salary range they can expect depending on where they are based and in what industry.

The American Geosciences Institute is a non-profit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resilience to natural hazards, and the health of the environment.

According to the article in spring 2013, the American Geosciences Institute distributed a survey nationally where they measured the relevant experiences in school and the immediate career plans upon graduation of recent geoscience degree recipients. They have reported that they received 428 responses from 71 geosciences departments.

Graduates were asked where they were going to be based, if they had accepted a position within geosciences and what their starting annual salary would be. While graduates attended schools in all regions of the country, the majority of the new job locations were in Texas, California and Oklahoma.

The report went on the say that most bachelor’s graduates found jobs with annual salary of between $20 000 and $60 000. It also said that while the salary range for master’s and doctoral graduates varied widely depending on the position, that the majority of masters graduates tended to find higher paying jobs compared to the doctoral graduates. What was interesting to note was that it went on to say that every graduate making an annual salary of more than $90 000 found their job in the petroleum industry.

It seems to me from this survey, that the salaries that can be expected for Geologists graduating and entering the mining industry are slipping further behind those in the petroleum industry. This is probably because of the recent downturn in mining. I will be interested to see how graduate Geologists salaries will change when the mining industry rectifies itself and whether they will start to catch up again to those in the petroleum industry.

For more information on this article check out the 2013 Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates report for more data from AGI’s Geoscience Student Exit Survey.

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