Do You Want to Be a Geologist?

The field of Geology encompasses the study of the composition, structure, physical properties, dynamics, and history of earth materials, and the process by which they are formed, moved, and changed. The field is important for mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, knowledge about the mitigation of natural hazards, geotechnical engineering, and understanding past climate and environment s with reference to present-day climate change. The professionals in this field are called Geologists.

Examples of the activities of Geologist includes: the use of field, laboratory, and numerical analysis to understand the history of the earth and the processes that occur on and in the earth. In many cases, geologists also study modern soils, rivers, landscapes, and glaciers; investigate past and current life and biogeochemical pathways, and use geophysical method to investigate the subsurface.


About a half of all Geologists are engaged in research and development. Most work on projects where they apply their knowledge. Many Geologists often work in terms and supervise other staff. They may also need to travel for meetings and seminars, both at home and overseas. Geologists are closely related to a number of science and engineering subjects such as geography, hydrology, geophysical, chemistry and microbiology. This relationship reflects in the branches of geology which include:

  • Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology:  This involves the collecting of samples to determine biochemical pathways, identify new species of organisms which in turn help to identify new chemical compounds.
  • Paleontology or Paleobotany:    This deal with the excavation of fossil material for research into past life and evolution; collection of samples for geochronology and thermochronology.
  • Glaciology: These entail the measurement of characteristics of glaciers and their motion.

Among  its domain of knowledge and action are design of machinery and possesses in the field of excavation, and others include Physical geology, Petrology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Mineralogy, Tectonics And Structural Geology, Economic Geology, Mining Geology, Petroleum Geology, And Hydrogeology.


The employment outlook I fair to Geologists working for establishments dealing in oil, gas and solid minerals such as NNPC and its subsidiaries, construction and cement companies, and ministries of solid minerals and water resources. Other Geologists specialize in consultancy. Some Geologist with much experience are employed as teachers of lecturers in higher institutions, where they lecture various courses and some work as personal advisers to governments, directors of oil and gas companies and parastatals and also as self-employed running a research institute dealing with excavation of various minerals.

Geologists often begin their career in field works, or as research assistants in various field under the coverage of geology. After substantial experience they may be promoted to project leaders, programme managers or to management or research position, but prospects vary with different employers. A geologist with a bachelor’s degree may have limited promotion prospects. Postgraduate qualifications are helpful. Positions that are more senior are less likely to involve fieldwork.

Skills & Personal Qualities

  • Physical mobility
  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Initiative
  • Logic
  • Methodical approach
  • Problem solving ability
  • Stamina
  • Team work spirit
  • Technical scientific ability
  • Zeal/ Passion


Secondary school- relevant subjects include English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography and Physics. In addition to the academic qualifications, you need to possess the following personal qualities: Love for Adventure, Curiosity, Painstakingness, Diligence and Meticulousness in arriving at a conclusion on the subject of matter. Most of the universities offer courses on Geology.


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