Geoscientists are employed by a variety of employers to work as educators in Earth sciences and related disciplines. Positions in this sector include classroom teacher in public or private K-12 schools, outreach program coordinator at a university or museum, education specialist at a professional society, academic advisor, and classroom/laboratory support staff. Explore the resources listed below to learn more about working in education and view example employers.

K-12 Schools

In K-12 public and private schools, geoscientists often teach (but are not limited to) math or general science classes. K-12 educators play an important role in engaging students with Earth science concepts early in their education, inspiring the next generation of geoscientists. Classroom teacher positions are typically filled by state-licensed teachers who have completed coursework in education and student teaching experiences. Unlicensed teachers can work as paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and at some private or charter schools. 

Meet a middle school science teacher.
Read about teaching high school science after a PhD.
Explore the NAGT Career Hub.

You can find employers by searching for the web pages of your local school districts. School directories can also be found on your state's Department of Education website - find your state agency here

Universities & Colleges

When you think of jobs in higher education, you probably think first of positions in academia (like a tenure-track professorship). However, there are many other jobs in the "non-academic" space at universities and colleges (both two- and four-year). Geoscience graduates can be hired to work in academic advising, student affairs, offices of diversity and inclusion, and centers for teaching support. There are also opportunities to teach in learning centers (for example, a GIS, writing, or math center) and laboratory-based courses that require classroom support from lab coordinators or technicians. 

Example employers:
   Florida International University GIS Center
   UCSC Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning
   Columbia Writing Center
   Diversity and Inclusion Offices
   Berkeley Student Learning Center
   UNH Office of National Fellowships

Outreach Programs

Many universities, research institutes, and museums have outreach programs focused on educating students and the public about Earth science concepts and issues. Geoscientists can be employed to develop outreach programs, organize outreach events and initiatives, and connect the institution with the public.

Read about transitioning from research to outreach.
Meet an Education & Diversity Manager.
Read about working as a museum scientist and educator.
Meet a director of museum education and outreach.
Hear about working in a small natural history museum. 

Example employers:
  Vanderbilt Collaborative for STEM Education & Outreach
  Stanford EARTH K-12 Outreach
  Carleton University Department of Earth Sciences
  Paleontological Research Institution
  The Field Museum of Natural History
  Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Professional Societies

Sharing geoscience with the public and supporting K-12 STEM education are often key missions of professional societies. There are many organizations supporting various STEM fields and social identities, most with an office of education and outreach where geoscientists can be employed to coordinate outreach initiatives, develop resources for teachers, provide professional development, and more. In addition to the example employers below, you can find a list of geoscience societies here

Meet a Manager of Education & Public Outreach at AGU.
Meet an education specialist supporting Native students.  
Read about educational tools and strategies used by IRIS.

Example employers:
   American Geosciences Institute
   Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
   National Indian Education Association 
   Geological Society of America
   American Geophysical Union

  • GROW is a collection of career resources for undergraduate and graduate students in the geosciences, intended to help students identify and pursue career paths beyond academia.
  • This project was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award #1911527) and our many contributors who generously volunteered their time and knowledge to assist our team.

  • Any opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation nor of contributor employers.
  • We welcome feedback from the geoscience community. Please contact us with your suggestions, including new career resources and Ask an Expert contacts.
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