Earth Science

"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. "
~ Albert Einstein

What is Earth science?

Earth science focuses on furthering the understanding of all pysical aspects of the Earth. Within the field of Earth science, jobs are grouped in various areas including geology, geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, and climatology. These studies are essential to understanding how and where to find oil, gas, metal, and other raw materials to provide resources to growing markets and societies, as well as being able to predict forces on our planet such as the weather, ocean behaviors, and the planet's changing climate.

While a bachelor's degree in Earth science is adequate for most entry-level jobs as well as education in public school systems, many employers prefer a masters degree. Many jobs lie within governmental offices and departments, but lately the strongest job growth has been in the the private sector including consulting firms.

The Bachelor in Earth Science program at William Paterson University is housed in the Department of Environmental Science within the College of Science and Health, and consists of 40-42 credit hours beyond the general education requirements. Classes within the Earth Science program include but are not limited to General Geology, Mineralogy and Petrology, Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems, and Meteorology. Students planning to go on to graduate school or professions focused in the geosciences are strongly recommended to take General Physics I and II, as well as Statistics I and Calculus II. It is also recommended to participate in an appropriate field study either within the university or through a study abroad program to gain practical experience in the field of choice. These types of programs usually are between 3-6 credits and are most commonly conducted during the summer months.

To learn more about the degree requirements, please visit this link:

Admission's information on Earth Science is located at:


What interests and skills do potential employers value in this career?

  • Computer modeling skills
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to work both independently and in teams
  • Physical stamina for fieldwork
  • Critical thinking skills


What types of jobs can Earth science majors get?

Work Environment :
Careers in Earth science are located in a variety of industries and environments. A majority of entry-level positions involve fieldwork, while more experienced workers tend to spend more time in an office or laboratory setting. Fieldwork will usually occur in various different environmental settings, including both warm and cold climates and all kinds of weather. Most work usually requires contact with water, working with tools like hammers and nets, and carrying equipment. On the other hand work as a researcher or consultant is less physically demanding but may include more stress when looking for funding.

Possible Job Titles

Atmospheric Scientist
Economic Geologist
Engineering Geologist
Environmental Geologist
Glacial Geologist
Maine Geologist
Petroleum Geologist
Planetary Geologist


Soil Sceintist
Structural Geologist
Quaternity Geologist
Chemist/Lab Technician
Seismic Interpreter
Wetlands Biologist
Environmental Services Manager
Environmental Consultant
Field Sampling Specialist
Pollution Prevention Manager
Soils Design Engineer
Water Locator/Well Driller
Science Educator
Wildlife Biologist
Erosion/Sediment Control Inspector


Aside from majoring in Earth science, what else can I do that may enhance my qualifications?

Successful students tend to seek out opportunities to enhance their qualifications through a variety of means. Within Earth science, some suggestions may include joining or becoming a leader in career-related campus organizations; joining a national professional earth science association; gaining practical experience through an internship/fieldwork/job shadowing; and attending networking functions.


Where else can I read about Earth science?

Related Web Sites :

Occupational Outlook

Industry Information

Job Search and Salary information

Careers in Geosciences

Quintessential Careers


Other sources of information :

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in Earth science. The career library carries career-specific books and counselors are available to answer any further questions you may have. Visiting the Department of Environmental Science on campus may also prove valuable in addressing questions.