Starting a career as a geologist will introduce you to a vast field that encompasses many job positions and niches. This career path offers vast opportunities both in Africa and abroad.  As a geologist,  you can work in oil and gas companies, construction companies, hydrological and environmental ministries or as a lecturer.


A geologist studies rocks, landforms, the earth’s history and plate tectonics. As a geologist, you study the natural formation and processes to understand the earth’s resources. Additionally, you can teach people how to safely extract minerals, and investigate how a specific rock or mineral evolved over a millennia. Additionally, a career as a geologist will give you the knowledge to forecast natural reactions such as earthquakes or volcanic activity.


Pursuing a career as a geologist begins with an excellent education, proficient skills and experience. In this piece, I will guide you through the processes needed to start a career as a geologist.


Steps to Start a Career as a Geologist

  1. Obtain an O’ level Certificate

    You should have a good foundation in basic mathematics and science subjects to pursue a career as a geologist. Additionally, you should also have a minimum of credits in your O’ level results. This will enable you to have a chance of getting admission to study geology at a university.

  2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    You should research schools accredited to study geology before you apply. You can apply to an accredited university and study to obtain a bachelor’s degree in geology, geoscience geophysics, earth sciences or a related field. It takes about four to five years to obtain a bachelor’s degree in geology

  3. Gain Practical Experience

    You can apply for an internship in a lab or apply for a field research position to gain experience. This will enable you to gain hands-on experience in your career path. Additionally, it can add to your resume and make you employable.

  4. Obtain a Master’s Degree

    This is not a compulsory requirement for entry-level positions. However, getting an advanced degree can help you get higher positions in your field.

  5. Obtain a Doctorate Degree

    You can consider getting a PhD if you want to focus on academia in your career. Additionally, if you want to pursue an advanced research career such as leading a research team, you should also pursue a doctorate. A PhD will show that you are an expert in your field.

  6. Join a Professional Organisation

    Joining a professional organisation can strengthen your resume and provide you with the ability to network with your geologists. Additionally, you can have opportunities for greater job prospects and career options.

Types of Geologists

  1. Environmental Geologist

    Environmental geologists investigate natural hazards such as flooding, erosion, earthquakes and pollution to discover solutions to environmental degradation. Additionally, they focus on how people interact with their surroundings and the effects that interaction has on both parties.

  2. Planetary Geologist

    A planetary geologist specialises in the mineral composition of other planets, moons, asteroids, comets and meteorites. Furthermore, they investigate present geological events and the formation of other moons and planets.

  3. Petroleum Geologist

    A petroleum geologist searches for oil resources in sediment deposits in oceans, geological folds, or faults. Additionally, they select where to drill for oil by locating possible possibilities.

  4. Marine Geologist

    They study the processes through which minerals and rocks migrate and develop beneath the sea. Marine geologists work with natural gas and oil companies to find potential drilling opportunities.

  5. Economic Geologists

    Geologists in this field study the formation and extraction of valuable materials from the earth. They locate profitable deposits of these minerals and catalogue them for extraction.

  6. Geophysicist

    Geophysicists use magnetic, electrical, and seismic tools to study the Earth’s internal structure. Additionally, they study volcanoes to determine why these events occur and predict these events to warn communities.

Places to Work as a Geologist

  1. Oil and gas industries
  2. Mining Industries
  3. Universities
  4. Environmental Agencies
  5. Engineering Firms
  6. Government Agencies


Universities that study Geology in Africa

  1. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. North-West University, Africa
  3. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  4. Zagazig University, Egypt
  5. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  6. University of the Western Cape
  7. Alexandria University, Egypt
  8. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  10. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  11. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  12. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  13. Makerere University, Uganda
  14. University of Ghana, Ghana
  15. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  16. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  17. Menoufia University, Egypt
  18. Federal University of Technology, Akure


In conclusion, a career as a geologist is a fascinating career that has interesting prospects, especially for someone passionate about the earth. The most crucial step in pursuing this career is to obtain your degree and experience. After that, you should also choose an area of specialisation and become very proficient in your field. This will enable you to gain relevance in the field and grant you a successful career as a geologist.


Good luck!

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