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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Boise, Idaho

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for geological specialists in the Boise, Idaho area. Currently, ninety people work as geological specialists in Idaho. This is expected to grow 22% to about 110 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for geological specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.5% over the next eight years. In general, geological specialists study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth.

The income of a geological specialist is about $27 hourly or $58,130 per year on average in Idaho. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $38 hourly or $79,160 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences, people working as geological specialists in Idaho earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences nationally. Geological specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: core analysis operator, project geophysicist, and geologic advisor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Boise where you can study to be a geological specialist, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Boise area. Geological specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Boise include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Geological Specialist Training

Boise State University - Boise, ID

Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725. Boise State University is a large university located in Boise, Idaho. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,667 students and an admission rate of 81%. Boise State University has 2 areas of study related to Geological Specialist. They are:

  • Geology/Earth Science, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Geophysics and Seismology, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, two, and one 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.



Licensing agency: Idaho State Board of Professional Geologists
Address: P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-3650

Phone: (208) 334-2268
Website: Idaho State Board of Professional Geologists


Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho photo by Dmharris26

Boise is situated in Ada County, Idaho. It has a population of over 205,314, which has grown by 10.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boise, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Boise are priced at $245,800 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-three new homes were built in Boise, down from four hundred twenty-six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boise are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 33.6% of Boise residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boise is 9.2%, which is greater than Idaho's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Boise residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.