So You Want to Be a Geologist and Dig up Rocks and Earth

6 min read

If you are the type of person that cannot just pass by a clump of soil without giving it a second glance, geology might just be your calling. Rock to you means more than just something to throw. You have balls for that.

You can harness that interest in an area of study that allows you to work with soil and rocks all day long. To pique your interest farther, you are not expected to be cooped up in an office all day every day. Geologists work in the office as well as outdoors. If you are going to find rocks and soil to work on, you have to get out to find them.

Truth be told, geology is not just about soil and rocks. You will work with some very advanced software like 3D gis that will help blow up images and other modeling needs that will inevitably come up.

Tasks carried out include:

Mapping and fieldwork

  • Field mapping

A geologist looks at the specific rock types and the geological structure of the area in which the rock is found with an aim to producing a geology map.

  • Sampling

This involves going out on trips to sample what the solids that the earth has to provide. If you are studying another planet though, that could be trip of a lifetime!

  • Geotechnical mapping

You are required, as a geologist, of course, to assess the engineering qualities of a rock, and how stable it is before attempting any form of construction or modification.


Logging is also a field-based task which involves geological drilling. Rock extracted via drilling is meant for examining the geology below the surface. When the rocks involved are sedimentary or volcanic; geologists can study past environmental transitions and record sampling locations accurately.

Types of logging

  • Rock core logging
  • Mud logging
  • Geotechnical logging

Laboratory work

This is the perfect setting for a researcher. They are responsible for a lot of what we know about geology. Laboratory work includes:

  • Inspecting very fine details of rocks through the microscope
  • The geochemical analysis, which involves applying the use of chemicals to bring out details like metal content in a rock sample
  • Geochemical tests which test the fortitude of rocks.

Computer-based tasks

This is where specialized software comes in. geologists not only use it in the office, but also in the field. The work includes:

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) – This is field mapping on the computer. The geologist produces a digital database of data acquired in the field.
  • Database management
  • Modeling programmes

Writing up reports

Once you have done the field work and made your discoveries, you must write up a report of your findings. The reports must be concise yet comprehensive. There is more work to be done out there and long drawn-out reports take a lot of writing and reading.

Consequently, if this is the kind of gig you want for the rest of your life, you could have the time of your life working with advanced software like 3D gis to make the mysteries of the earth and other planets better understood by the world.

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