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Oswego Career Ladders - Fossil Fuel

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Fossil Fuel

Bachelors Degree or Higher

Geoscientist - Studies the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. They study the Earth’s geologic past and present and are primarily involved in searching for petroleum, while others work closely with environmental and other scientists in preserving and cleaning up the environment. Most geoscientists need at least a master’s degree in general geology or earth science. Average salary $54,000/yr.

Materials Scientist - Researches and studies the structures and chemical properties of various natural and manmade materials. They determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. They develop processes such as improved oil refining and petrochemical processing that save energy and reduce pollution. Many R&D jobs require a Ph.D. in materials science or a related science. Average salary $74,000/yr.

Geochemist - Monitors developments in the earth’s composition by undertaking analysis of rock and other environmental samples. They develop detailed information about the age, nature and structure of specific areas, which is vital to industrial research in developing natural resources and to academic study in extending knowledge of the earth’s solid matter. They also study and monitor the generation and migration processes of petroleum by applying a combination of theoretical knowledge and specific petroleum geochemistry techniques. Average starting salaries $42,000/yr for BS, $53,000/yr for MS, and $75,000/yr for Ph.Ds.

Chemical Engineer - Applies the principles of chemistry, math, and physics to the design and operation of large-scale chemical manufacturing processes. They translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the production of products such as plastics, medicines, detergents, and fuels; design plants to maximize productivity and minimize costs; and evaluate plant operations for performance and product quality. Average starting salaries $52,000/yr for BS, $55,000/yr for MS, and $75,000 Ph.Ds.

Geophysicist - Works closely with geologists in order to generate images of petroleum traps from the data collected. A bachelor’s degree is required in the field, although more and more employers are requesting either a Master’s degree, a Ph.D, or three years’ experience. Average salary $75,000/yr.

Environmental Scientist - Conducts research and performs investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Environmental chemists find out if different chemicals hurt the environment. Environmental biologists focus on protecting animals and plants. Average salary $57,000/yr.

* All wages and salaries based on 2009 statistics.