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Career and Education Opportunities for Geological Specialists in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for geological specialists. Currently, 280 people work as geological specialists in Oregon. This is expected to grow 21% to about 330 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.

Income for geological specialists is about $31 hourly or $64,810 annually on average in Oregon. Nationally, their income is about $38 per hour or $79,160 per year. Earnings for geological specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Oregon and better than general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Geological specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: geodesist, geophysical laboratory supervisor, and geoscientist.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Eugene area, including one within twenty-five miles of Eugene where you can get a degree to start your career as a geological specialist. 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 Eugene 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 Oregon - Eugene, OR

University of Oregon, 110 Johnson Hall, Eugene, OR 97403. University of Oregon is a large university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,435 students and an admission rate of 87%. University of Oregon has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Geology/Earth Science which graduated eleven, six, 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.


Geologist In Training (GIT)

Licensing agency: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners
Address: 707 13th St SE, Suite 275, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 566-2837
Website: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners

Geologists, Certified Engineering (CEG)

Licensing agency: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners
Address: 707 13th St SE, Suite 275, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 566-2837
Website: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners

Geologists, Registered (RG)

Licensing agency: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners
Address: 707 13th St SE, Suite 275, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 566-2837
Website: Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners


Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.