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The M.S. degree is the terminal degree for most employment situations in geology and is usually required to permit rapid advancement beyond entry-level positions.  However, ECU B.S. graduates have been employed in many types of geologic jobs, examples of which are described below. The B.S. degree in geology at ECU requires 126 semester hours of credit; including general education requirements and course work in mathematics, writing, chemistry and other sciences. The M.S. degree in geology requires 30 credit hours of study beyond the B.S., including course work and a substantial independent research project or thesis.

Solving environmental problems and finding and developing mineral and energy resources are the largest areas of work for geologists. Other areas include helping to design roads and structures, developing and enforcing environmental regulations and through academic and government work, asking basic questions of the earth, such as how the various features of our planet came to be. A large number of our graduates end up working on solving groundwater contamination and supply problems.

Increasingly, our graduates are taking well-paying jobs in the petroleum industry. Here, the geoscientist uses his or her knowledge of earth processes to analyze ancient subterranean formations with the goal of figuring out where oil and gas will be found.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, beginning salary offers in July 2007 for graduates with bachelorís degrees in geology and related sciences averaged $40,786 a year.  (Source:  http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos288.htm )

Lots of good information about Geoscience Careers can be found at the American Geological Institute website: http://www.agiweb.org/workforce/ 

This source indicates that for new masters recipients, 2007 starting salaries were as follows:

Oil and Gas:                             $81,300

Environmental Firm                  $47,500

Any Government                      $46,200

The percentage of Geoscience degrees being awarded to women has been steadily increasing, and is currently near 45%. 

Tables from the Department of Education list the number of degrees conferred in the United States between 1970 and 1994.  U.S. institutions granted bachelors degrees to 659,495 biologists; 244,348 chemists; 94,862 physicists; and 88,906 geologists.  The ratio of jobs to degrees granted is 1:6 in biology, 1:3 in chemistry, 1:5 in physics and 1:2 in geology.  Divide the number of people who get bachelors degrees in a field by the number of people working in each discipline and you get an estimated rate of replacement for science professionals.  So, if every working geologist quit today, it would take 17.2 years to replace him or her.  Compare that to 10.3 years to replace working chemists, five years to replace physicists and only five semesters to replace all working biologists.

The Geological Sciences are currently experiencing increased demand for workers at the same time that a major wave of retirements is occurring. 

The employment prospects for geoscientists at the present time are excellent. Government entities, environmental consulting firms, the oil and gas industry, and the mining industry are all looking for entry level employees on both the bachelors and masters levels.

Although a large portion of ECU Geological Sciences graduates work in North Carolina, many have gone quite far afield. Of the M.S. graduates that could be contacted, 95% of them are pursuing careers in geology. Our B.S. graduates have also attained employment in various geologic-related sectors, a few are listed below. (Check out the alumni directory for more information on current alumni activities). 


Employers of ECU Geology B.S. Graduates

NC Dept. Envir. & Natíl. Res.

RockWare; Denver, CO

NC Dept. of  Transportation

East Carolina University

Duke Marine Lab

Groundwater Management Assoc.

US Geological Survey, NC

Clean East Associates, Kinston

Northwind Environmental, Yuma,AZ




Employers of ECU Geology M.S. Graduates

                Private Employers

           Government Employers

Apex Environmental, Inc., MD Air Quality Division, State of Pennsylvania
Aerotech, Charlotte, NC Bureau of Indian Affairs, DC
Amerada Hess Corp. Craven County Health Dept., New Bern, NC
Arcadis, Raleigh, NC Environmental Protection Agency, TX
BCM Laboratories, PA Kentucky Geological Survey
Catlin & Assoc., Wilmington, NC Lincoln County, NC
CBM Environmental, Greenville, NC Mecklenberg County. Env. Protection, NC
CH2M Hill, Raleigh, NC Mississippi State Dept Env. Quality
CHK Energy, OK Ocean Drilling Project, Germany
Conestoga Rovers, MI Oregon State
CONOCO Oil Co. Casper, WY Nat'l. Wetland Research Center, LA 
Dames and Moore, Inc., Raleigh, NC NC Dept. of Envir., Health & Nat'l Res.
DS Waters of America, GA NC Dept of Labor/Mine Safety
Dyn Corp., VA NC Dept. of Transportation
E. A. Engineering, Charlotte, NC  NC DOT Geotechnical Branch
Echo Bay Exploration, Mexico NC Office of Coastal Management 
ENSR, Raleigh, NC NY State Highway Department
Environ. Aspects, Raleigh, NC S. Carolina Geological Survey
Environ. Res. Mgmt., Charlotte, NC


Exxon Corp., U.S.A.

USMC Base, Japan

Fronterra Petroleum, OK

Virginia Water Control Board 

Geco-Prakla, Inc., TX

Wayne County-Environ. Health, NC

GEL Geophysics, RTP, NC  

General Engineering Lab., Charleston, SC


Geodynamics, NC


Geological Consult. Services, TX

             Education Employers

GEOPHEX, Inc., NC, VA Agnes Lloyd College, KY
Geophysical Co., Raleigh, NC Albert Magnus High School, NY
Geraghty and Miller, Inc., NC Albuquerque Public Schools, NM
Groundwater/Environ. Services, PA Concord College, WV

Groundwater Management Assoc., NC

East Carolina University

Groundwater Technology, Inc., Raleigh, NC

Essex County School System, VA

GW & Environ. Services, PA

Hardin Simmons Univ., TX

GW Technology, Inc., NC & VA

Harnett County School System, NC

Handex, Inc.,  Charlotte, NC Roanoke School System, VA
Hatch Mott McDonald, NY

Rocky Mount School System, NC

Kidd Well Drilling, NC

Texas A & M University

Law Engineering, Charlotte, NC

Tidewater Community College, VA

Materials Testing Corp., ID

University of Phoenix

Mobil Oil Corp., Midland, TX

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Newmont Exploration Ltd, MT, Peru

Wake Technical Community College, NC
Ocean Drilling Project, Bremen, Germany Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC

Piedmont Mining Company, Kershaw, NC


Research Triangle Institute, NC


RGC Mineral Sands, Inc., FL, VA

Roux Environmental, PA  
RUST Geotechnical, Inc., SC  
Samadan Oil Inc., TX  

Science App. Internatl. Corp., CO

SCS Engineers, OH  
Sirrine Environ. Inc., SC  
Texaco, Inc., LA  
The IT Group, TN  
U Mining Company  

UTTS Environmental, Greenville, NC

Westinghouse Savannah River Co., SC  
Woodward-Clyde Consultants., AL  


East Carolina University


East Carolina University

Department of Geological Sciences
101 Graham Building
Greenville, NC 27858
phone: 252-328-6360
fax : 252-328-4391


Thomas Harriot

College of Arts and Sciences