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. 

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