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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Honolulu, Hawaii

Geological specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Honolulu, Hawaii. There are currently 270 working geological specialists in Hawaii; this should grow 10% to about 290 working geological specialists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for geological specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.5% over the next eight years. Geological specialists generally study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth.

Income for geological specialists is about $33 per hour or $69,400 per year on average in Hawaii. Nationally, their income is about $38 hourly or $79,160 annually. Earnings for geological specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Hawaii and better than general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: development geologist, petroleum geologist, and petrographer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Honolulu where you can study to be a geological specialist, among twenty-four schools of higher education total in the Honolulu area. Geological specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Honolulu include:

  • Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
  • 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

Hawaii Pacific University - Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Pacific University, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 216, Honolulu, HI 96813. Hawaii Pacific University is a medium sized university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,293 students and an admission rate of 87%. Hawaii Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Oceanography, Chemical and Physical.

University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu, HI

University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall, Honolulu, HI 96822-2301. University of Hawaii at Manoa is a large university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,169 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of Hawaii at Manoa has 2 areas of study related to Geological Specialist. They are:

  • Geology/Earth Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated five, three, and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Oceanography, Chemical and Physical, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eleven and six 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.


Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii photo by ErgoSum88

Honolulu is located in Honolulu County, Hawaii. It has a population of over 374,676, which has grown by 0.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Honolulu, 180, is far greater than the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Honolulu are accommodation and food services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is accommodation and food services, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 31.1% of Honolulu residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Honolulu residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 33.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Waiokeola Congregational Church, Daijingu Temple of Hawaii and Wesley Methodist Student Center are among the churches located in Honolulu. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Honolulu is home to the Livingston Pool and the Mamala Bay Golf Course as well as Spalding Memorial Tennis Courts and Kuhio Park. Shopping malls in the area include Aina Haina Shopping Center, Ala Moana Shopping Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Honolulu can choose from Kosuga Inc, Hawaiian Condo Resorts Inc and Honolulu Airport Hotel for temporary stays in the area.