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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Miami, Florida

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for geological specialists in the Miami, Florida area. There are currently 730 jobs for geological specialists in Florida and this is projected to grow by 36% to about 990 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for geological specialists are expected to grow by about 17.5%. In general, geological specialists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth.

A person working as a geological specialist can expect to earn about $28 hourly or $58,860 per year on average in Florida and about $38 hourly or $79,160 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Geological specialists earn less than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Florida and more than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: mining production geologist, mineralogist, and invertebrate paleontologist.

There are ninety-eight schools of higher education in the Miami area, including three within twenty-five miles of Miami where you can get a degree to start your career as a geological specialist. Given that the most common education level for geological specialists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a geological specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Geological Specialist

In general, geological specialists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. They also may use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems.

Geological specialists analyze and interpret geological, geochemical, and geophysical data from sources such as survey data and aerial photos. They also analyze and interpret geological data, using computer software. Finally, geological specialists search for and review research articles or environmental and technical reports.

Every day, geological specialists are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for geological specialists to formulate and conduct geological, geochemical, and geophysical field studies and surveys or drilling and testing programs used to collect data for research or application. They are often called upon to locate and estimate probable natural gas and mineral ore deposits and underground water resources, using aerial photographs or research and survey results. They also identify deposits of construction materials, and assess the materials' characteristics and suitability for use as concrete aggregates or in other applications. They are sometimes expected to ready geological maps, cross-sectional diagrams and reports concerning mineral extraction and resource management, using results of field work and laboratory research. Somewhat less frequently, geological specialists are also expected to assess ground and surface water movement to furnish advice regarding issues such as waste management, route and site selection, and the restoration of contaminated sites.

Geological specialists sometimes are asked to layout geological mine maps, monitor mine structural integrity, or advise and monitor mining crews. They also have to be able to communicate geological findings by writing research papers, participating in conferences, or teaching geological science at universities and design applied software for the analysis and interpretation of geological data. And finally, they sometimes have to measure characteristics of the Earth, such as gravity and magnetic fields, using equipment such as seismographs and magnetometers.

Like many other jobs, geological specialists must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Miami include:

  • Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
  • Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Geological Specialist Training

Nova Southeastern University - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796. Nova Southeastern University is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,518 students and an admission rate of 45%. Nova Southeastern University has a doctor's degree program in Oceanography, Chemical and Physical which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Miami - Coral Gables, FL

University of Miami, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124. University of Miami is a large university located in Coral Gables, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,323 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Miami has 3 areas of study related to Geological Specialist. They are:

  • Geology/Earth Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Oceanography, Chemical and Physical, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated six, five, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Florida International University - Miami, FL

Florida International University, 11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, FL 33199. Florida International University is a large university located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,159 students and an admission rate of 44%. Florida International University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated six, three, and two students respectively in 2008.


ACSM Hydrographer Certification: ACSM - THSOA Hydrographer Certification is well-recognized and considered by many Federal, State and local agencies as well as private firms, seeking subcontractors when evaluating technical proposals for marine engineering, surveying, and construction.

For more information, see the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - National Society of Professional Surveyors website.

Certified Ground Water Professional: The Ground Water Professional certification program began for AGWSE members in 1986.

For more information, see the National Ground Water Association website.

Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.


Professional Geologist

Licensing agency: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Address: 1940 N Monroe Street, Ste 300, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation


Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida photo by Averette

Miami is located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. It has a population of over 413,201, which has grown by 14.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Miami, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Miami cost $273,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-seven new homes were built in Miami, down from seventy-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Miami are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 16.2% of Miami residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Miami is 12.5%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Miami residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Resurrection, Church of the Ascension and Church of the Incarnation are all churches located in Miami. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Miami is home to the Edison West Little River Neighborhood Center and the Miamarina South Pier Light as well as Belle Meade Park and 54th Street Mini Park. Shopping malls in the area include Central Shopping Center, Northside Mall and Northside Shopping Center. Visitors to Miami can choose from AmeriSuites Miami / Kendall, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and Airways Airport Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.