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A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth and terrestrial planets. Geologists usually engage studying geology, and approach this using mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology as well as other sciences.

Low-end Salary: 
Median Salary: 
High-end Salary: 

Although a Bachelor's degree is required for entry level employment, many geologists earn Master's and/or Doctorate degrees. The advanced degrees provide a higher level of training, often in a geology specialty area such as paleontology, mineralogy, hydrology or volcanology. Advanced degrees will often qualify the geologist for supervisory positions, research assignments or teaching positions at the university level.

Math Required: 

College Algebra Geometry Trigonometry Calculus I and II Linear Algebra Differential Equations Statistics

When Math Is Used: 

Math is becoming more and more useful to geologists. Mathematical geology can be an essential aid in formulating models and scientific theories to bring together different geological phenomena.

Potential Employers: 

Geologists work in a variety of settings. These include: natural resource companies, environmental consulting companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities. Many geologists do field work at least part of the time. Others spend their time in laboratories, classrooms or offices. All geologists prepare reports, do calculations and use computers.


Geologist, Kitty Milliken, Ph.D., was asked the question: What advice do you have for students entering high school? She responded, “Take a lot of math. Math is incredibly important in science. I wish I'd taken even more math in college than I did, and I had a math minor!”


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Salary figures from
the current US Bureau of Labor of Statistics website and represent the
90th percentile.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



Figures represent salary potential.


Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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