Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Elgin, Illinois
If you want to be a geological specialist, the Elgin, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 200 people are currently employed as geological specialists in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 18% to 240 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for geological specialists are expected to grow by about 17.5%. Geological specialists generally study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth.
Geological specialists earn approximately $31 hourly or $66,160 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $38 hourly or $79,160 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences, people working as geological specialists in Illinois earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: geomorphologist, engineering geologist, and sedimentationist.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a geological specialist, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. The most common level of education 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 Elgin 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
Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL
Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593. Wheaton College is a small college located in Wheaton, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 62%. Wheaton College has a bachelor's degree program in Geology/Earth Science.
Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated fifteen, seven, 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.
LICENSED PROFESSIONAL GEOLOGIST
Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois
Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.