What Are the Different Earth Science Jobs?

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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Earth science jobs are jobs that involve the study and practical manipulation of the Earth itself and of the various resources of the Earth. It is a multidisciplinary field that draws from sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology and is also connected in various ways to fields such as environmentalism, economics, and business. Jobs may involve anything from laboratory research to environmental conservation work to analysis and extraction of resources such as oil from the Earth. The specific job opportunities vary significantly based on which aspect of Earth they are concerned with. Different earth science jobs are based on geology, atmospheric science, glaciology, and a range of other sciences related to different facets of earth.

Geology is one of the most important and best-known areas of Earth science. Earth science jobs in geology may involve research into the composition and physical history of the Earth. Geologists may also look for and extract or attempt to preserve various natural resources. Some geology Earth science jobs are based in engineering, as many different geological factors must be considered before engineers or builders can construct anything on a given piece of land.


Oceanography, the study of the oceans, is another large subsection of the Earth sciences. Research Earth science jobs in this field involve the study of the chemical composition of the ocean, the geology of the ocean floor, and the life that inhabits the ocean. Applied oceanography Earth science jobs are mostly related to engineering. Principles of oceanography are used in the construction of oil platforms, boats, ships, piers, and a range of other vessels and structures.

Some Earth science jobs are based in atmospheric sciences, which include the study of the weather and of the chemical composition of Earth's atmosphere. Researchers in the atmospheric sciences may study atmospheric chemistry, climate change, weather, or even the interaction between the atmosphere and Earth's electromagnetic field. Applications of atmospheric sciences include weather prediction and work on engineering projects such as aircraft or windmill design.

Many environmentalists have Earth science backgrounds. Environmentalism is a field aimed at the preservation of Earth's natural resources and biodiversity. Earth science jobs in environmentalism may involve consulting work, research, or even various business endeavors. Earth scientists' knowledge of the Earth and its resources provides an excellent background for efforts aimed at conservation and sustainability. Some find that their scientific knowledge can be best used in a laboratory or research setting while others seek to apply their knowledge to larger-scale organizational endeavors.


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