Geoscientists are employed in a range of positions in federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The work performed by government geoscientists varies considerably from position to position and depending on career level. Some government scientists plan and carry out scientific studies related to Earth's land, energy, water, and mineral resources. Others work in roles that overlap with the science communication, policy, and education sectors. Employees of smaller state, local, or tribal nation departments and agencies may work on a variety of projects in different roles. In addition, government organizations often contract with geoscientists in the private sector to support government projects.

Ready to learn more? Follow the steps below to get started:


Explore government positions

The U.S. Department of the Interior (which includes the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, United States Geological Survey, and additional bureaus) hosts a useful tool for finding federal government positions based on career level, work setting, and your strengths. Search positions to get an idea of the types of jobs suited to your skills and preparation.

Keep in mind that similar government positions can also be found in the divisions of natural resources, environmental protection, transportation, and education (just to name a few) in state, local, and tribal governments, as well as in national laboratories and local agencies.

Learn about employers

Positions and work responsibilities differ between agencies and organizations. Visit the career pages of various government employers for a deeper look at available occupations, mission statements, and current initiatives. This list is by no means comprehensive, but provides examples of the types of places a geoscientist might work. 

Gain insight from government employees

Visit the Ask an Expert page to read Q&A format advice from geoscientists working in a variety of government positions. Contact these experts to learn more about their jobs and expand your network. Explore examples of government employers to learn about geoscientists working in government roles.

Prepare to apply

Visit the Career Preparation page to learn how to apply for government jobs, showcase your skills to be competitive, and navigate the federal job search.

Search for jobs

View a list of job boards where geoscience jobs are commonly posted, plus advice for successful job searching with keywords. You can find federal government jobs on USAJOBS, while most state, local, and tribal governments have their own job portals.

Where are government geoscientists employed? Check out the websites of example employers in federal, state, and tribal governments:

  • 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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