Students in the field

Finding a job

The career exploration process is life-long. While you are an undergraduate student, you should explore your interests both inside and outside the classroom. Use what you learn about your interests and skills when you embark on your job or graduate school search.

Networking with professionals and professional organizations can help you learn about possible career paths and current job openings. It is true that networking gives you an advantage in securing these jobs, and can be an intimidating process. Remember that everyone you know is part of your network and can help you in your career path. This includes instructors, advisors, peers, alumni, professionals, family members, and friends. Consider networking events as opportunities to learn and grow rather than a test of your knowledge and mingling abilities.

Here is just one way job searching and networking can look, from a 2013 alumnus:

“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.”

Professional Organizations

Joining a professional organization is a good way to learn about careers and meet career professionals, who may even be looking to hire recent graduates for entry-level positions. Many national organizations have student chapters and cheaper - or free - annual membership costs. There are many professional organizations in the geosciences, including:

Licensing as a Professional Geologist

Becoming licensed as a Professional Geologist can help you advance your career, make a higher salary, and demonstrate your expertise in Geology. 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. Many students take the Fundamentals of Geology (FG) exam for the GIT soon after graduating, as it uses knowledge from your Bachelor’s level coursework. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Geology at UC Davis satisfies the coursework requirements to take the FG, while Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree students would need to take additional coursework. View a very informative presentation on the GIT program given by Laurie Racca (a licensed Professional Geologist with over 25 years of experience in environmental and geotechnical consulting) during a visit 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

Where can I find internships and jobs?

Local companies often visit the Internship and Career Fairs each year. Be sure to Prepare for the Fair with the Internship and Career Center’s helpful tips. Here are some companies to look out for at the fairs:

  • Antea Group
  • Arcadis
  • CalTrans
  • California Department of Conservation
  • California Department of Water Resources
  • ENGEO
  • ERM
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • SAGE Engineering
  • Tetra Tech, Inc.
  • Wallace-Kuhl & Associates

A few of the many job boards and companies that Geology majors might consider: