How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Studying Geology

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭ bogwalrus

    I have an interest in going back to college to study Geology but I am not sure of the job prospects. Would there be much work available for me? I wont do a course unless I can be sure it would give me a great chance of getting a decent enough job.

    Any advice would be great.



  • There are excellent job prospects globally; maybe more of a moderate level of opportunities here in Ireland.

    The oil, gas and mining industries are a big employer of graduates as are geotechnical firms.

    Its estimated that half of current geologist will reach retirement age in the next four years; which will drive salaries upwards. Petroleum engineering, which would be a possible career path, is already the highest paying job for undergrads of any discipline as it is.

    Be aware though that work in petroleum and especially mineral exploration is very cyclical.

  • Its estimated that half of current geologist will reach retirement age in the next four years

    That's very interesting. I think the ucc course is on top of my list at the moment. In four years when I have the course completed I should be able to get some sort of work if there really is going to be mass retirements.


  • Hello, I did geology in UCC, its a very good course.
    I am working in the mineral exploration business in Ireland but have also worked in Australia.

    If you are interested in studying and working in geology then there are a few things you should be aware off.

    mineral exploration jobs are never based in big cities, its normally in the bog end of nowhere. to get a decent job you would be looking at working away from home for 5-14 days then getting 2-7 days off (your shifts will get shorter with the more experience you get). so you need to think ahead about your life, family and future now as having to work away from home long term is not always a viable option.

    Most Irish university will train you to be an academic and not a proper geologist. you will have a very steep learning curve when you leave college and enter the any sort of exploration job (oil and gas or land based mineral exploration)

    The money is very good in Australia! but there is also a large oversupply of young geologist so serious competition for jobs. The money is even better in more underdeveloped countries but you would be looking at a minimum of 6 weeks working to get 2 weeks off, and probably living in a tent for those 6 weeks.

    The money is about normal here in Ireland, there are only a small few exploration companies and only 2 active mines (Lisheen: will close in less then 2 years. and Navan: which they say has 5-8 years left). There are a few other prospects that have been rumored to be mineable but it is impossible to gauge when these jobs will come on stream due to all the paperwork and red tape in opening a mine.

    Follow your passion, but be realistic and know that 90% of geology jobs are not in Ireland! its a really good sector to be in a and if you love to travel and lick rocks then go for it.

  • I didn't do Geology as an undergrad (did the makey-uppey 'colouring in maps' degree instead) but having spent the last four years doing sedimentary geology, I can honestly say that it's great! If you're interested in oil and gas, there are some graduate positions in Shell/BP/Chevron etc... of course they have some colourful recent history, it's a great way to get experience and you're guaranteed to travel (at least as far as Aberdeen!). As AshAdele said, 90% of the jobs aren't in Ireland and really you would have to consider going to some fairly interesting parts of the world (a colleague of mine got his first job in the Congo when he was 23) and you're seeing a lot more than the usual lead and zinc that we have in Ireland. But for the moment, concentrate on the course, work hard, play hard and see what takes your fancy.

  • Thanks very much for your replies. I had an email from my brothers friend who is working on a mine in New Zealand. He studied some form of Geology course in the UK. He said to me I would most likely have to travel for the first few years (like Australia). Then with experience maybe work closer to home but as you said Ashadele I will probably be away for long periods of time which I think would be a big problem and something I would have to think long and hard about.

    I'll talk to the missus later to see what she thinks. I don't think she will like the idea but in 4 years she might be sick of me and want me to be working away for long periods=)

  • Advertisement

  • Hey Bogwalrus.
    Did you end up going for Geology in Ucc in the end? I'm 33 and thinking about applying for that degree next year, but I have the same holds ups regarding being away from the missus for so long. It seems like the most employable and better paying of all the earth science degrees though.