Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Durham, North Carolina
There are many career and education opportunities for geological specialists in the Durham, North Carolina area. There are currently 390 jobs for geological specialists in North Carolina and this is projected to grow by 34% to 530 jobs 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 average wage in the general category of Physical Sciences jobs is $31 per hour or $63,495 per year in North Carolina, and an average of $38 per hour or $78,733 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: environmental field office manager, geophysical surveyor, and geoscientist.
The Durham area is home to twenty-six schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree as a geological specialist. Given that the most common education level for geological specialists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Durham 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
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a large university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,567 students and an admission rate of 35%. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 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 six, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.
- Oceanography, Chemical and Physical, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27695-7001. North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a large university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,871 students and an admission rate of 60%. North Carolina State University at Raleigh has 2 areas of study related to Geological Specialist. They are:
- Geology/Earth Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
- Oceanography, Chemical and Physical, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Duke University - Durham, NC
Duke University, 103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708. Duke University is a large university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,871 students and an admission rate of 23%. Duke University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated two, three, and six students respectively in 2008.
North Carolina Central University - Durham, NC
North Carolina Central University, 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707. North Carolina Central University is a medium sized university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,033 students and an admission rate of 74%. North Carolina Central University has a master's degree program in Geology/Earth Science which graduated four students 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: NC Board for Licensing of Geologists
Address: 3733 Benson Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: (919) 850-9669
Website: NC Board for Licensing of Geologists
LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina
Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.