Geologists study the structure and composition of the crust of the earth and examine rocks and minerals, applying their knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology when analyzing the results. A bachelor's degree is typically required to land an entry-level position, although a Ph.D. is necessary for more advanced positions, such as research or teaching college courses.
Geologists often communicate their geological findings by giving keynote addresses at conferences or writing research-related material, so good communication skills are important.
Geologists measure magnetic fields and gravity by utilizing equipment such as gravimeters, magnetometers and seismographs. Tasks may include testing industrial abrasives or rocks using precision instrumentation, acid or X-rays.
In engineering, a geologist might work at identifying construction material deposits and assessing their suitability for use in road fill or aggregates. Geologists use applied software to interpret geological information. Data is analyzed from such sources as well logs, aerial photos and survey material.
Mapping skills are also needed for working in the field as a geologist. Science Kids indicates that geologists may specialize in such disciplines as metamorphic petrology, geophysics, volcanology, marine geology and geochemistry.
Geologists work at a variety of locations, such as nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, private firms and universities.