Post Graduation Resources

Careers in the Geosciences

General Career || Recent Graduates || Job Application || Graduate School || Article links

The Colorado College Career Center help students and alumni find and apply for jobs. Individuals may schedule an appointment with them over Handshake.

Examples of Possible jobs after receiving a Geology degree from Colorado College

  • Energy Resources / Renewable Energy
  • Teaching
  • National Parks Service
  • Viticulture
  • Petroleum Geologist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Engineering geologist
  • Environmental Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Economic Geologist
  • Geomorphologist
  • Paleoclimatologist
  • Volcanologist
  • Non-profits / NGOs
  • Sedimentologist
  • Seismologist
  • Geochemist
  • Glaciologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Cartographer
  • Paleontologist
  • Petrologist
  • Stratigrapher
  • Planetary Geologist
  • Land-use Technician
  • Surveyor
  • State / Federal agencies
  • Consulting Firms
  • Museums
Diagram showing various array of geoscience jobs and how they affect the environment and human society


General Geoscience Career Resources

Major Contributions from Sarah Schanz's website
Geoscience Job websites

SACNAS - aimed towards Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in science

AGU Jobs Board

AMS Jobs Board - Meteorology

Geotemps - Temp jobs in mining

Conservation Job Board

GSA Job Board

USA Jobs - Government jobs

My GIS Jobs Website


STEM careers job search page


General job posting websites

Try to apply directly through the company's website




Geoscience Job Email LISTSERV

GSA GeoCareers - subscribe to the Geocareers email list & browse the links for helpful tips on how to set yourself up for a successful career in the geosciences

Earth Science Jobs

The Gilbert club - mostly academic, Geomorphology focused email list

Professional Development Groups

AIPG_logo.png American Institute for Professional Geologists
  • Free student membership grants access job boards, networking, and regional meetings
  • First year after graduation is free
  • Resume reviews offered from members of the Colorado Chapter
  • Focus on industry and government jobs
  • Get AIPG Resume Reviews, mentors, see featured jobs

Reach out the heads of the Colorado College chapter!

AEG_logo.png Association for Environmental and Engineering Geologists
  • Focus on engineering, hydrology, and environmental sciences
  • Free student membership grants access to job boards, networking, and regional meetings
  • Focus on environmental and engineering geology
  • Monthly meetings - Denver chapter has a yearly meet up
awg-logo.png Association for Women Geoscientists
  • Global organization
  • Members include professionals from industry, academia, students, K-12 teachers, retirees
  • Goal of engaging women in a quality way in geosciences



Industry Job Resources for Recent Graduates

Are you wondering about how do you break into "the industry"? What kind of types of geoscience jobs make up "the industry"? And are there specific internships or positions dedicated to recent graduates? What jobs hire for people with a bachelors? This section will start to address these questions and give you some tips on how to apply and possible certifications.

Skills and expereince are more important than level of education in most Industry jobs, so Internships can be really helpful. Look for jobs that use "Entry Level," "Jr," or "Graduate" in the titles, since these opportunities are usually designed for people just out of school with lower levels of experience. Unlike academic positions or internships, industry jobs tend to hire 2-3 weeks out.


BBA Water Consultants, Inc. offer a summer internship that accepts current students and recent graduates

Witter Internships are available right after a student graduates.

Recent Graduate Government Program: 1 year position working for the US government that you can qualify for up to 2 years after graduation.

Scientists in the Park: 12-week (mostly) summer internships offerend in National Parks all around the US

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI): 10 week summer internship (May-August), 16 week Spring (Jan-May) and Fall (Aug - Dec) provides research experience at the Department of Energy (DOE) labs. Individuals who graduated less than 2-years ago, GPA 3.0-4.0, and Perminant Resident, are eligible

Entry-Level Work

Environmental Consulting is a broad title for geoscientists that can be field/modeling/GIS based or a mix of all three! This job collects environmental data for private or government companies.

Engineering Geologists communicate geologic observations and concepts to engineers to avoid building hazards. Learning/being certified in the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) is a huge leg up.

Hydrologist or Hydrologist Assistants work surface and groundwater processes.

Conservation is a broad catergory, but often includes field work at entry-level, though this would vary depending on your location and role in the company. e.g. soil conservationist, biological conservationist, wetland conservationist


GIS temporary/seasonal positions offer experience in an ever-growing industry

Field Technicians operate and deal with field equipment. Usually almost all field work, and often seasonal or project-based.

Mud-Logging/Wellsite geologist has high turnover, you start working night shifts, it provides the ability for qucik promotion. Project last 2-3 weeks then you can opt for a week or so off.

Outdoor Recreation jobs (hiking guide, fly fishing guide, ski guide, chair lift opporator 'lifty', raft guide,) can be a great option right out of college to explore the outdoors, meet cool people, and figure out what you want to do long-term. Navigation and map reading skills, field experience, and team-building gained in Geology will help you get these jobs.

Applying for Jobs

This section will answer: What is the difference between a resume vs CV, references vs. Letter of Recomendation? How do I write a good resume and cover letter? What are certain certifications jobs are asking for and how do I obtain them?


Resume vs. CV



  • A document that emphasizes skills suited to the job
  • Used when applying for a position in industry, non-profit, and public sectors
  • Usually fits on 1 page and no longer than 2 pages
    • you can include an additional page for publications and/or poster presentations if highly relevant to the job
  • After 1 year of industry experience, lead with work experience and place education section at or near the end, depending upon qualifications.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Emphasizes academic accomplishments
  • Primarily used when applying for positions in academia, fellowships and grants
  • No length restrictions because it includes a complete list of publications, posters, and presentations
    • More experience means your CV will be longer
  • Education always comes first, and you can add more details about thesis/research project summaries, advisor names, etc.


References vs. Letter of Recommendation



  • A list of names and contact info (email, phone number) of people who have agreed to corroborate skills, attributes, and experience from your application
  • The hiring committee will contact these individuals to ask about your work ethic, disposition, abilities, and anything that may give them insight into if you'll be a good fit for the role
  • Ask current or former supervisors, coaches, teachers/professors, and occasionally friends could serve as character references.
  • Jobs Standardly ask for 2-3 references, including your current supervisor/manager/boss

Letter of Recommendation

  • A formal letter written by an individual who you have worked closely with who can attest to your abilities, personality, and work ethic. Usually a professor
  • The application will ask for one if it is required! Usually for academic applications: Graduate school program, scholarships, study abroad programs, etc.
  • Choose and ask the individual you would like to write the letter AT LEAST 2 weeks in advance of the due date (the more ahead of time the better)
  • More information in Graduate School section


Writing a good resume & cover letter

Colorado College Career Center is great for help in crafting and editing resumes and cover letters, espeacially for a specific job posts

Based on feedback from geoscience consulting firms around Seattle, here are examples of desirable cover letters and resumes, objective statements for the resume, and notes on job search tips

You will want to taylor your resume and cover letter to the job application: 

  • Identify key words from the application (i.e. detail oriented, independant, experience with water testing...)
  • Include those key words in both resume and cover letter

A good cover letter should not only demostrate how you are a good fit for the job, but that you understand and would fit in with the company's overall goals and culture. While a cover letter template is a good idea, most experts say that you should be re-writing significant portions of your cover letter with each new application.


Reach out to AIPG Colorado Chapter members for resume and cover letter review


What are the professional certifications I need?

Professional Geology License: National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG)

Some states require ASBOG (Colorado does not) but here is a list of states that do. If you want to look into taking the fundamentals exam, start looking at study material and reach out to Prof Sarah Schanz who took this exam after her undergrad.

Licenses are administered by the state and only apply to that state. There are two parts to this test: fundamentals exam (FG) and the practical exam (PG). It's a good idea to study and take the FG soon after leaving school when you retain a more general knowledge of geology, before branching off into a specific field. Liscensing is state-by-state so having the full liscense before having a job limits locations that your liscense is applicable, BUT the FG test is the same all over the US so taking that soon after undergrad is highly encouraged. 

Those who pass the FG are granted Geologist in Training (GIT) status.



OSHA Certifications

Unlike ASBOG, the company hiring you expect to pay for these. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications are often listed as requirements or desired in job applications but do not hinder you from being hired. The types of OSHA certification requirements are very company & job specific.

OSHA's Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response standard (HAZWOPER) - 40,30, and 8 hour online tests for individuals working with/around hazardous waste material.

OSHA-30 is a 30 hour online course, that covers electronic safety to fall hazards, usually for construction sites.



Apply for Graduate School

Detailed Steps on Prof Sarah Schanz's website

AIPG pamphlet available in Mandy's Office 

Masters (MS) or Doctorate (PhD)?

Different jobs require different level of degrees and a PhD may be a larger time commitment than needed for your ideal job.



Start Early - A Year Before Attendance

The process of applying to graduate school takes just over a year. Start researching advisors and institutions during the summer. Reach out to CC faculty about the type of research you want to do and which professors are known as good advisors.

Reach out to potential advisors via email by early September at the latest.


Fall - Applying to schools

Testing - GRE

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that many graduate program application require. Many institutions no longer require the GRE - To figure out if the program requires the GRE, first comb the institution's website, then ask your potential advisor.

List of Schools that no longer require the GRE

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) - GRFP website

The GRFP is a three year fellowship provides financial support for research outside of your advisor's research grants. An individual can apply once as an undergrad and once as a graduate student.

Applications due mid-October

Request Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are requested by by the university, who provides a submission link directly to the recommender. They are written by professors or employer about how you are as a students, researcher, and/or worker.

Ask professors for letters of recommendation at least 3 weeks before they are due.

Personal Statement - How to write a personal statement

A personal statement is an important part of the graduate school application because it is the first thing the admission board sees. This is a place to highlight reasons why you would be a good fit for their program.

Your application will consist of your CV + Personal Statement, Transcript, GRE test scores (depending on the university), and Letters of Recommendation (sent by recommender). 


Winter - Visiting schools

If you are accepted, most schools will pay for you to visit them during an Open House, where you have the opportunity to talk to your potential advisor, their graduate students, and potential collaborators. This is also a good chance to get to know the city or region you would be living in. Some questions to consider at these visits:

  • How do the current graduate students like working with their advisor?
  • What is the funding or project you would be involved in? How much ownership will you have of the project?
  • What are the opportunities for external training, like data science, teaching, etc if you are interested in those?
  • What are the research group dynamics?
  • Could you see yourself living in this region/city for 3-6 years?


Paying for Graduate School

STEM degrees are paid for by employment through the university - either being a teaching assistant or researching assistant. You should not need to pay money to attend a research-based STEM graduate program.



Infographic from the American Geosciences Institution illustrating difference career paths in the Geosciences field. [click image]


Report an issue - Last updated: 04/11/2023