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Oswego Career Ladders - Geoscientist

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Industry: Energy
Area: Fossil Fuel

Geoscientists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. With the use of sophisticated instruments and by analyzing the composition of the earth and water, geoscientists study the Earth's geologic past and present. In the energy field, geoscientists are primarily involved in searching for petroleum, while others work closely with environmental and other scientists in preserving and cleaning up the environment.

Work Settings

Some geoscientists spend the majority of their time in an office, but many others divide their time between fieldwork and office or laboratory work.


A bachelor's degree is adequate for a few entry-level positions, but most geoscientists need at least a master's degree in general geology or earth science.

Job Outlook

About 20 percent of geoscientists worked for oil and gas extraction companies.


Median annual earnings of geoscientists were $68,730 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $49,260 and $98,380; the lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,700, the highest 10 percent more than $130,750.

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