Careers in Earth sciences

Geologists are in demand globally. From meeting challenges associated with sustaining energy supplies, to developing low-carbon economies, and understanding, designing and mitigating against changing climates, there are many exciting opportunities available to you.

Most earth scientists working in the UK are employed in the hydrocarbons sector, working for oil companies or for specialist service companies that support oil and gas exploration and production. However, many also work as engineering geologists in the construction industries or for water and environmental service companies and agencies, as well as the traditional sectors such as the mining and quarrying industries, in research or education. 

Our Earth science graduates have a strong track record, gaining employment both within geology-related industries and across a number of different professions and organisations. Skills such as those developed in laboratory and fieldwork, in independent study and team working, stand you in good stead for work in a range of fields. There are also a number of options for further study at masters and PhD level.

In your final year of study, we spend time on employability topics and many of our students use the subject-specific knowledge and skills they acquire to gain employment worldwide in earth science-related industries.

The University organises a GeoCareers Fair and a Girls into Geoscience event each year - these are both designed to showcase the career options available to graduates.

Hugh – Geologist

Current Employer: Rio Tinto
Current Job Title: Geologist
Current Location: Pilbara, Western Australia

"I took a year out after my degree and then went on to study an MSc in Surveying and Land Environmental Management. I then moved to Australia and worked as an underground and open pit mine surveyor for a year progressing to work as a geologist for Rio Tinto.

"It’s been really exciting moving to a whole new country and working as a geologist in one of the most remote parts of the country. It’s all thanks to what I had studied at Plymouth.

"Studying at Plymouth showed me that there is a lot of opportunity out there if you stick your head out. Plymouth had such a great location, I love being by the sea so that's really important to me. The individuality of the degree BSc (Hons) Geology and Ocean science also hugely appealed to me in relation to potential future job prospects. The amount of fieldwork featured on the class was also a massive part of why I chose Plymouth."

Brandon – Global Head of Tankers

Current Employer: Freight Investor Services
Current Job Title: Global Head of Tankers
Current Location: London

"Since completing my undergrad in BSc (Hons) Geology, I went on to study MSc Petroleum, Energy Economics and Finance in Aberdeen. After completion of my masters I was lucky to land my current job in London. Working as a financial derivatives broker, focusing on oil tankers and global petroleum trade. My job gives me plenty of opportunity of travel with clients all over the world and the chance to work in various office locations which is exciting.

"The field trips I took part in at Plymouth were really inspiring, allowing me to experience so many parts of the country and world with some of my best mates. 

I feel Plymouth taught me a lot about independence, through both study and personal life. It also provided me with a true work ethic and allowed me to realise I work best when I have free rein and not ‘spoon fed’ the answers and way to do things."

GeoCareers Fair

We are the only UK university to organise a specialist Earth Sciences Careers Fair. This annual event is sponsored by the Geological Society of London (SW Regional Group) and is attended by dozens of companies, primarily in the hydrocarbon and engineering geology fields, looking to employ geoscience graduates. This event provides our students with unparalleled opportunities to make contact with potential employers and many of the employers actually send our own former students to the fair to act as their ambassadors in recruiting new staff.


Girls into Geoscience

Introduction to Earth sciences and careers open to graduates today. 

This exciting two day event (with optional field trip), will introduce female A level students to the Earth sciences and demonstrate the world of careers open to Earth science graduates today.

Join us at our next event