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Related Skills

  • Works with people of varied backgrounds and can work individually
  • Ability to research and lead projects
  • Good team member
  • Strong math and computer skills
  • Ability to rationalize and have good quantitative skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Reads, writes, speaks, and memorizes proficiently
  • The ability to market your skills and write proposals is necessary to maintain steady work.
  • The ability to obtain grants may be necessary to continue a project.
  • Conducts and clearly explains scientific research
  • Possesses knowledge of geological principles and mathematics
  • Understands and uses information derived from computers
  • Experience in mapping and surveying. Develop skills with measuring equipment as well as laboratory equipment and processes.
  • Loves the outdoors, interested in nature, and has a desire to travel.
  • Join groups directed toward improvement of natural resources, environment, and pollution control.
  • Possesses the physical stamina required to work and do research in remote areas under various conditions.

Being Successful in the Field

  • Within the many facets of geology, there is often overlap of job functions. However, many geologists find advantage in becoming more specialized.
  • Gaining experience is very important and there are many opportunities for studentsto obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, and/or co-op experiences in different geological fields.
  • A bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for entry-level industry positions.
  • A master's degree is often preferred for state survey work and advancement in industry and government. Employment prospects are best for those with master's degrees, familiarity with advanced technologies such as computer modeling, and willingness to relocate.
  • Plan on completing a state exam to become a registered geologist.
  • Obtain a business background to help in managing projects and assessing economic costs and benefits.
  • Join the student branch of the professional organization(s) related to interest area(s).
  • Learn a foreign language since work may often be done in other countries.

Related Fields

Here are some employers of recent geology graduates from Illinois State:

Federal, state, and local governments

  • Illinois State Geological Survey
  • Illinois State Water Survey
  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • DuPage County Health Department
  • Jo Daviess County Water Conservation District
  • LaSalle County Solid Waste Department
  • Oakbrook Street Department
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Bureau of Mines
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C., park ranger

Environmental consulting firms

  • Patrick Engineering
  • Handex
  • Terrecon
  • Testing Services Corp.
  • Fluor Daniels GTI
  • Mid-America Drilling Services
  • Parsons Engineering
  • Radon Testing Services


  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • State Farm Insurance
  • GIS Solutions Inc

Career Industry Liaison

Name Office Email Phone
Debbie Ungson-Walbert  223 Bone Student Center  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
David Malone  442 FSA  (309) 438-2692