Careers and Employment Outlook Geologists are scientists trained to study the Earth. They are paid to apply this knowledge to solving practical problems. In The FieldCorporate geologists and consulting geologists are involved with exploration and production of resources such as oil and gas, coal, sand and gravel, water, gold, diamonds, copper, and other metals. Other geologists work to protect and clean up the environment. Geologists also evaluate risks and potential hazards from natural events such as landslides, floods, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. TeachingMany geologists choose to teach science at all levels of public education. Colleges and universities also employ geologists and geophysicists to conduct research and to teach. Government AgenciesLocal, state, and federal government agencies (U.S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos National Laboratory, FEMA, EPA, and NASA) also employ geologists. The outlook in this field is excellent, and job satisfaction is even better. Profession Highlights: It is a profession that rates highly in job satisfaction. Starting salaries average in the mid-$50,000 for graduates, and students with master’s degrees often expect to be paid over $100,000 within five years. Geologists have the opportunity to travel and work all over the world. After several years of working, some geologists form their own companies.