Department of Earth SciencesWestern Science

Geoscience Career Information

Link to Geoscientists Canada P.Geo. Requirements Handbook (PDF)

Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario - the governing body for geoscience in Ontario. Student memberships are free.

In order to practice geoscience in Canada, it is necessary to be licensed. In Ontario, the APGO licenses geoscientists under the Professional Geoscientists Act, 2000. To be licensed it is necessary to complete a four-year B.Sc. or equivalent with courses as specified by the APGO. Western's Professional Programs are one way to ensure that you will fulfill all academic requirements by graduation. Following a four-year apprenticeship as a Geoscientist-In-Training (GIT) and the successful completion of an ethics and practices exam, you can be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.)

Geologists, Geophysicists and Environmental Geoscientists work in government, academia, and industry. They explore for valuable minerals, oil and gas, and water resources, perform environmental assessments and remediation, study natural hazards and risk assessment, climate change, and the history of the Earth itself, life on Earth, and the composition of other planets in the solar system and beyond.

Geology was ranked one of the 15 most valuable college majors by Forbes magazine in 2012. Western's Earth Sciences program offers training for a lifelong career in a dynamic, growing and rewarding field.

For more information about career opportunities in geoscience, please visit Western's Degree to Career website.

Graduate School Information

Careers in Science and Engineering: A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond (1996)
Published by the National Academy of Sciences; contains useful advice for planning a science career.

Geoscience Departments WWW Directory
Exhaustive list of links to geoscience programs in colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada; great resource when searching for graduate schools!

US News & World Report rankings
US News & World Report ranks universities every year. Their web site also contains information on careers and USA graduate schools (Note: check out how the rankings are made because some people complain that they are biased).

Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs
Searchable database with information on all kinds of graduate programs.

Career Information for Graduate Students and Postdocs

The Job Market
Articles published in The Chronicle of Higher Education concerning the academic job market; presents some opposing points of view and calls for change in the way research universities think about and train Ph.D.'s.

Jobs for Geos
Geoscience job posting site, with postings in the environmental science, geoscience, and geo-engineering related disciplines.

Contains lots of good information about careers in science, choosing a graduate school, the tight job market for science Ph.D.'s, and other info that is well worth checking out if you are considering going to graduate school.

Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists
If you’re a new scientist or seeking a mid-career change, Peter Fiske’s book gives you practical advice and proven techniques for finding both traditional and non-traditional jobs in science. It includes examples of resumes and cover letters, and stories of scientists who have moved into a wide range of careers.

NextWave: Career Resources for Scientists
A weekly on-line publication devoted to scientific training and career development, provides global news, profiles of emerging careers, and advice from experts and role models drawn from your international scientific community.


Summer Jobs

Geology and Geophysics are among the best disciplines for students interested in finding summer work in their field of study. For those individuals interested in intellectually interesting work outdoors (often in wilderness settings), summer jobs in the Earth Sciences are second to none. Summer experience is also highly beneficial for students interested in a professional career in Earth Sciences after graduation. Below are a few tips that the department has compiled.

1. Government Jobs

i) Geological Survey of Canada (GSC)

The GSC has offices across the country, in Halifax, Quebec, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. Every summer, they conduct field work in many areas of Canada, including offshore. They also do a fair amount of lab or computer based research, so many summer jobs with the GSC are mainly in one of their offices. Most of the GSC’s non-coop summer hiring is done through the Federal Summer Work Experience Program (FSWEP). In fact, most summer hiring for the entire federal government uses this program. Many students in this department have been hired through this program in the past. Applications are usually accepted starting in February.

TIP: Be sure to record and keep the "codes" you use to fill out the form.

ii) Ontario Geological Survey

The Ontario Geological Survey also hires summer students for field projects. The demand is somewhat variable from year to year. Apply through the web site.

iii) Provincial Geological Surveys

Other provinces have geological surveys can easily be found using any internet search engine.

iv) Environment Canada

Environment Canada

v) USA Government Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
State geologic surveys

2. Oil & Gas Industry

The Canadian oil patch is traditionally a very high employer of Earth Sciences graduates. Most of the oil patch is headquartered in Calgary, but there is a small but growing petroleum industry in southwestern Ontario.

TIP: Because of idiosyncrasies of their financial year end, oil companies hire summer students in the Fall. You should apply in October if you wish to find a job the following summer.

i) General oil industry web sites that have many links:

Petroleum Place Inc.

Petroleum Services Association of Canada

Hoover's Online Integrated Oil and Gas Industry Listing

ii) Companies that hire summer students (let us know if you find more):

PanCanadian Petroleum Limited (now Encana)
Attention: Human Resources
150 9th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 2S5
Fax (403) 2903309

Chevron Canada Resources Ltd.
500 5th Ave. S.W.
Calgary, AB

P.O. Box 2844
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3E3
Telephone: (403) 2968000
Fax: (403) 2967747

Gulf Canada Resources Limited
(bought out in 2001 by Conoco Phillips)
P.O. Box 130, 401 - 9th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 2H7
Main Number: (403) 233-4000
Toll Free: 1 800-887-4853
Fax: (403) 233-5143

Shell Canada Limited
400 4th Avenue S.W.
P.O. Box 100, Station M
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2H5
(403) 6913111

Koch Petroleum Canada, L.P.
1400, 111-5th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta Canada T2P 3Y6
Tel: (403) 716-7600
Fax: (403) 716-7603

Imperial Oil
NOIA - Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association
Atlantic Oil & Gas Works
CNOPB - Canada - Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board
BP Amoco ARCO. Canada


3. Mining Industry


Many students are aware that the mining industry holds a convention in Toronto every March called the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada). Some students with strong networking/communication skills have used the PDAC as a forum to find a job. In fact, the PDAC typically has a job fair for students. Those interested in mining are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting.

ii) General mining geology job sites

iii) Large Mining Companies (let us know if you find more):


Inco Limited
145 King Street West, Suite 1500
Toronto, Ontario M5H 4B7
Telephone: 416 361 7511
Fax: 416 361 7781

Noranda Inc. (now Xstrata including Falconbridge)
181 Bay Street, Suite 4100
P.O. Box 755, BCE Place
Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2T3
Tel: 1 416 982 7111
Fax: 1 416 982 7446

Cominco Ltd. (now Teck)
500200 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L7
Tel.: (604) 682-0611
Fax: (604) 844-2516

De Beers Canada Inc.
Mining & Exploration
900-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON M3C 3G8

Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Rubicon Minerals Corp
Welcome to Altius Minerals Corp.
BHP Billiton Jobs
The Lang Mining Group (now Cream Minerals Ltd)
Gossan Resources Ltd.


4. Environmental Industry

Eco.Org - This environmental careers organization has some of everything; News section has listing of environmental career links, Career Services has a listing of paid environmental internships, Publications sections has some good books for sale, etc.

Environmental Careers World - Job listings and information for employment in the environmental sciences.

Environmental Jobs and Careers - Information and job listings for industry and government employment related to the environment

Hydrogeology/Geology - A listing of available positions and resume posting in the field of hydrogeology

National Ground Water Association jobs page - Listing of positions available in ground water-related fields (hydrogeology, environmental geology, etc.)


Other Job Classifieds

Chronicle of Higher Education job classifieds
Mostly academic positions

Geotimes job classifieds
Mostly academic positions and some student opportunities

GSA Today job classifieds
Mostly academic positions and some student opportunities

Science job classifieds
Searchable database containing job ads in all areas of science

Weekly American Geophysical Union publication that has mostly academic classifieds with some student opportunities; online ads available only to members

Online job ads (academic and otherwise) and place to post your resume for potential employers

Online job ad listings; only partial list is available to non-paying customers

Additional Resources
Ontario Government Job Website
Green Jobs Website
Laboratory and Science Company
Mining opportunities
Natural Resources Canada
Dillon Consulting firm
Raytheon Polar Services Company


Geology Related Job Search Sites:

National Research Council of Canada
Geological Association of Canada
Canada Society of Exploration Geophysicists
GeoJob Source
Geological Society of America
Environmental Careers Organization
Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
Environmental Jobs and Careers



Many of these links come from a web page developed by R. Ambers and M. Saar (graduate students at the University of Oregon).