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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Indianapolis, Indiana

There are many career and education opportunities for geological specialists in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. There are currently 280 working geological specialists in Indiana; this should grow by 30% to 370 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.

Income for geological specialists is about $25 hourly or $53,900 annually on average in Indiana. Nationally, their income is about $38 per hour or $79,160 yearly. Incomes for geological specialists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Physical Sciences in Indiana, and better than the overall Physical Sciences category nationally. People working as geological specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: exploration geologist, hydrogeologist, and invertebrate paleontologist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Indianapolis where you can study to be a geological specialist, among thirty-six schools of higher education total in the Indianapolis area. The most common level of education for geological specialists is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Indianapolis 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.
  • 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

University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

University of Indianapolis, 1400 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227-3697. University of Indianapolis is a small university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,728 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Indianapolis has a bachelor's degree program in Geology/Earth Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a large university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,300 students and an admission rate of 70%. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Geology/Earth Science which graduated six and five 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: Indiana Geological Survey at Indiana University
Address: Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists, 611 North Walnut Grove, Bloomington, IN 47405-2208

Phone: (812) 855-5067
Website: Indiana Geological Survey at Indiana University Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists

LOCATION INFORMATION: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana photo by File Upload Bot

Indianapolis is situated in Marion County, Indiana. It has a population of over 798,382, which has grown by 2.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Indianapolis, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Indianapolis cost $155,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, seven hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Indianapolis, down from 1,317 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Indianapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Indianapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Indianapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.3%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.