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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Nampa, Idaho

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for geological specialists in the Nampa, Idaho area. There are currently ninety working geological specialists in Idaho; this should grow by 22% to 110 working geological specialists in the state 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.

The income of a geological specialist is about $27 per hour or $58,130 annually on average in Idaho. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $38 per hour 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. Jobs in this field include: oceanologist, environmental specialist, and geologist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Nampa where you can study to be a geological specialist, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Nampa area. Given that the most common education level for geological specialists is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Nampa 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


Nampa, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho photo by J.B.

Nampa is located in Canyon County, Idaho. It has a population of over 80,362, which has grown by 54.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Nampa, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nampa cost $122,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-one new homes were built in Nampa, down from two hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Nampa are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and food. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 16.0% of Nampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nampa is 11.2%, which is greater than Idaho's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Nampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Church of the Nazarene.

Shopping malls in the area include Karcher Mall, Nampa Shopping Center and Holly Shopping Center. Visitors to Nampa can choose from Sleep Inn Nampa, Days Inn Nampa ID and Starlite Motel for temporary stays in the area.