Professional Geologist Salary
A professional geologist salary can range from $55,000 to $250,000 per year, depending on the industry of work, professional licensing and years of experience. The highest earning geology jobs tend to be in mining and oil exploration. However, not all geology jobs compensate equally. Thus, a professional geologist salary varies per location and field of work. In fact, a geologist must work as a full-time entry level field scientist for up to six (6) years before becoming eligible to take professional licensing examinations. Furthermore, there are at least three (3) separate exams a geologist must pass in order to achieve professional licensing. Equally important, a clean personal record, without criminal history, is an additional perquisite. Across the board, geology jobs entail high working hours, harsh field working conditions, traveling and high-level responsibilities. Updated December 25, 2018.
Licensed Professional Geologist Salary in California (20+ Years Experience)
The highest paid geologists are typically licensed professionals in their respective state, and have 20 or more years of experience. Individuals with these qualifications have an earning potential between $120,000 to $250,000 per year. The highest paying salaries are those within the petroleum exploration fields and mining.
Licensed Geologist Salary in California (10-20 Years Experience)
The medium to highest earning geologists ten to have a professional license, and between 10 to 20 years of work experience in their respective field. Consequently, individuals in this category have an earning potential between $85,000 and $150,000 per year.
Non-License Geologist Salary in California
Without a professional license, one technically cannot refer to themselves as “a geologist.” At best, they refer to as a “geologist in training” or staff scientist. By law, most states require a professional license to complete and sign-off on projects. The average earning potential of a non-license geologist ranges between $55,000 and $90,000 per year.
Entry Level Geologist Salary in California
Entry level geologists are expected to undergo an immensely challenging fieldwork experience, for at least 5 to 8 years after college. In fact, the entry level positions entail continuous training, strenuous field conditions and long-distance traveling for projects. Moreover, entry level geology jobs generally have a lower average salary than other jobs. The average earning potential for an entry level geologist is about $45,000 to $55,000 per year.