Students in the field

Finding a job

It’s a cliché, but networking is fundamental to finding a job, especially that first entry-level position. It may be someone you meet at a monthly meeting of the Sacramento Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, or maybe an alumnus who contacts the department about an employment opportunity, or a faculty member, or your Uncle Jim who “knows someone.” Then there’s social media, ripe with information on jobs and opportunities. Join the UC Davis student chapter of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) – their monthly meetings feature a guest speaker from industry or government, resume-building workshops, and mock interviews.

Here’s some verbatim advice from a former student (B.S., 2013) who started with a job in the environmental consulting business before finding a position with the California Division of Water Resources. This alumnus is the epitome of a proactive person in search of that elusive first job.

“I started out just doing searches on aggie job link, indeed.com, and linkedin.com. There are often Student Assistant positions with the state on jobs.ca.gov, and federal positions on usajobs.gov. But what I have found to be the most effective way to find positions is to just look up companies and see if they have any jobs posted on their website. I just search for geological consulting, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, or any other similar companies and see what I can find. It's also easy to find companies on linkedin. I'm getting to the point now where I am going to start contacting companies that don't have any jobs posted on their website just to make a contact in case they are looking for someone in the future. There are a lot of consulting and engineering companies in Sacramento that hire geologists and many of them offer internships as well.”

Many of our alums have achieved licensure as a Professional Geologist, a huge leap in authority and a sure-fire way to make a higher salary. Certification as a Geologist-In-Training (GIT) is the first step toward licensure as a Professional Geologist. GIT certification gives you credibility when applying for jobs in both private industry as well as with the State of California. To view a very informative presentation on the GIT program by Laurie Racca (a licensed Professional Geologist with over 25 years of experience in environmental and geotechnical consulting), visit this pdf of her talk to the Earth and Planetary Sciences department in January 2016.

GIT Funding. Funding is available most years to current Geology majors to cover the cost of the Geologist-In-Training (GIT) exam. Applications for the GIT are usually due in early May for the October exam. You will only be able to be reimbursed after you have taken the exam, but you may request reimbursement as soon as you have applied. To request reimbursement for taking the GIT (limited to $200 total), please email Nancy at nmackaytaylor@ucdavis.edu with your full name, email address, and the following documentation:

  • GIT Exam Ticket: First and last name, Date of Exam, and Candidate ID number
  • GIT Exam form of payment: if paid via check, send a picture of the back and front of cancelled check (this can be found through your online banking account)
  • Fingerprinting receipt: showing fees paid and form of payment. If paid via check will need back and front copy of cancelled check

For more information on careers and internships in the geosciences, visit: