Geologist jobs in California include positions for both scientists and engineers who analyze and work with the Earth's structure and composition. Geoscientists put their expertise in geological science to work by conducting field studies, analyzing rock samples, and collecting data. They make maps of the Earth's structure, prepare reports, and present findings to clients. Some geologists might specialize in stratigraphy, the study of stratified rock, or mineralogy, the study of minerals.
Another role in the geology field is geological engineering. These individuals design mines for extracting minerals and metals safely. They supervise mine shaft and tunnel construction, design mineral transportation methods, and oversee mining operations to ensure environmental safety.
California Geologist Job Market
For professionals seeking geologist jobs, California offers a strong job market. About 1,200 geoscientists work in California, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 16 percent growth in this field over the next decade. This job growth is faster than average due to the increased demand for environmental protection and resource management. The growth of hydraulic fracturing and other types of drilling also means increased demand for geoscientists, who study how new drilling technology can extract oil and gas safely.
About 60 geological engineers work in California, and the BLS projects 12 percent job growth over the next decade. Most of this job growth will come from increased mining operations and a renewed need for coal extraction.
Geologist Salaries in California
Geoscientists in California earn about $53 per hour and $111,000 per year, which is more than the national average. Those who specialize in gas and oil extraction earn the most in this field. Geological engineers in California earn about $50 per hour and $103,000 per year, which is higher than the national average. Those who specialize in engineering management tend to earn the most in this field.