Geologists are concerned with the study of the characteristics of the earth's crust, particularly catastrophes like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and other phenomena related to the earth's upper mantle. They study rocks and soils to locate mineral deposits of economic importance such as metals, non metals, oil, natural gas, geothermal and underground water resources.
Basic Educational Requirement
The minimum education required is a college degree in geology. Pre-college students who are interested in becoming a geologist should take preparatory courses in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and math. Courses related to environmental science, computers, geography and mapping are also valuable.
Skills and Competencies
Physical Attributes and Characteristics
Locally, Geologist employed in the Bureau of Mines with job title of Geologist I, II, Senior Geologist, Supervising and Chief Geologist has a salary grade of 11, 15, 18, 22 and 24, respectively ( P 12,000 to P25,000) per month. In private companies, Geologists receive a salary range of P20,000 to 40,000, while companies engaged in oil exploration have a higher pay scale for their Geologists.
Overseas, the pay scale is much way above local rates with the US market offering an annual average salary of $90,000 - $109,000 depending on the worker's years of experience.
Prospects for Career Advancement
There are several distinct levels of geology as a career, the structure distinguished by advancing the areas of specialization/discipline, and skills. Engineering Geologists, work with engineers to carry out detailed geological mapping, both surface and underground before major construction work; Environmental Geologists concentrate their work on the nature of the ground and surface waters; soil movement, erosion and degradation; Stalinization and coastal erosion; the effects of pollution and human activity on rivers; and the environmental effects of mining, nuclear energy and waste disposal; Field/Exploration Geologists conduct field surveys to determine the geological structure, distribution and age of rocks; and can indicate where particular natural resources are likely to be found; Geochemists/Mineralogists/Petrologists concentrate their studies on the mineral and chemical composition of rocks using equipment such as optical and electron microscopes, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption and mass spectrometry. They may also be involved in examining the transport of pollutants through rock masses; Geomorphologies study the origin and age of landforms and land surfaces; Mathematical Geologist predicts the outcome of geological problems by applying the most appropriate data and computer models; Mine Site Geologist controls the grade (or quality) of the ore mined. They also locate extensions to ore deposits by deciding which areas of an ore body should be mined at a particular time, and defining the ore limits at the mine based on economic considerations; Petroleum Geologist explores and charts stratigraphic arrangement, composition and structure of the earth's surface layer to locate petroleum and natural gas. They estimate the extent of reserves using seismic and geological survey evidence and recommend the most appropriate drilling and production methods; and Structural Geologist assists engineers by advising how rock structures can influence failure of weight bearing loads in bedrock when seeking building foundations, or to conduct water and seepage into deeper zones and aquifers.
Geologist work for a wide range of government agencies, private firms, and non-profit and academic institutions.
National government hire geologists to help plan and evaluate excavations, constructions sites, environmental remediation projects, and natural disaster preparedness, as well as to investigate natural resources. Large-scale oil companies and land developers use geologists to help them locate oil and minerals, adapt to local features such as karts deposits or the risk of earthquakes, and comply with environmental regulations. Geologists in academe usually hold an advance degree in a specialized area within the discipline
Cost of Education *
The cost of a four-year bachelor's degree in Geology ranges from P 145,000 to P 160,000 . There are only three universities here in the Philippines that offer BS in Geology and these are Adamson University (Manila); Mapua Institute of Technology (Manila) and UP Diliman (Quezon City).
* Based on the tuition fee rates for school year 2007 - 2008
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