The private, for-profit sector is made up of many different industries, including environmental science, data analytics, law, medicine,  mining, energy, and meteorology. The types of jobs that a geoscientist might have overlap across industries -- for example, a data scientist might work at a company dedicated to geospatial technologies, but their skills would also be valuable in areas like environmental consulting, meteorology, or petroleum exploration. Plus, many industry jobs are similar to positions in the government sector and require similar experience and skills. The job search is all about finding a good fit for your strengths and being adaptable in an evolving workforce. 

Environmental Consulting
Environmental consulting includes fields such as 
waste management, contaminated soil and groundwater investigation and remediation, and water resources.

Read an overview of the environmental geology sector.
Read about related careers in engineering geology.
Watch a webinar on careers in the environmental industry.
Assess career outlook for environmental consultants                    (view current salary information here).
Read about environmental consulting careers.
Read career advice from some environmental consultants.
Read "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" of consulting.

Data Science & Spatial Analysis
Data scientists work on the processing, analysis, interpretation and management of data, which is becoming increasingly important in geoscience industries and the intelligence community.

Read about the emergence of data science and key skills. 
Learn about the role of data analysts in oil and gas. 
Read about getting a job in GIS.
Watch a GSA webinar on career pathways using GIS.
Search GIS career resources.
Learn about careers in geospatial technology.

Law & Forensics
Geoscientists play important roles in our legal system as environmental lawyers who protect the environment through litigation and as forensic geologists.

Read the "Trail Guide to Careers in Environmental Law".
Explore international initiatives on forensic geology.
Read case histories on geoforensic applications.
Read about the use of GIS in geoforensics.

The development of new instruments for measuring weather, climate, seismic activity, geochemistry, and more is critical to industry and research.

Meet a geoscientist at a meteorology instrument company.
Read about oceanographic instrumentation technicians.
Learn about different types of geophysical instruments.

Meteorology & Forecasting
Meteorologists at broadcast companies, airports, or other businesses support safe aviation, navigation at sea, and extreme weather prediction.

Watch a private sector meteorology job outlook webinar.
Learn about being an operational marine forecaster.
View a day in the life of a private sector meteorologist.
Find examples of private sector meteorology employers.
Search a list of commercial weather companies in the U.S.
Explore AMS career guides and tools. 
Join the AMS Private Sector Mentorship Program.

Extractive Industries
Includes exploration and mining in the minerals industry, as well as petroleum geology. Geoscientists also work in mine hazard assessment and reclamation.

Explore the variety of roles in mining. 
Meet a metallurgist, a mill mechanic, and a data scientist.
Listen to interviews with mining professionals. 
Watch a webinar on careers in the minerals industry.
Watch a webinar on getting started in mineral exploration.
Watch a webinar on essential skills for economic geology.
Learn about petroleum geology roles and technology.
Read about the careers of geoscientists in oil and gas.

Alternative Energies
Geoscientists play a variety of roles in emerging industries related to wind, hydro, geothermal, and solar energy.

Visit the OpenEI wiki to learn about alternative energies.
Explore a Wind Career Map.
Read about careers for geoscientists in wind energy.
Explore a Solar Career Map.
Learn about careers in geothermal energy.
Find a list of geothermal energy companies.
Explore career pathways in marine energy.
Explore career pathways in hydropower.
Read about geologists hired by renewable energy firms.

Medical geology is a relatively new field focused on the intersection of geological factors and human health. Jobs in medical geology may overlap with toxicology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, or related fields.

Learn about the emerging field of medical geology.
Explore the International Medical Geology Association.
Read about general careers in toxicology.
Learn how to become an environmental toxicologist.
Discover careers in industrial hygiene.

  • 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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