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Want to become a geologist? Here's how

The average workday of a Geological Survey of India geologist in an outdoor assignment at a mountain, a ravine etc, where he stays in a camp for three-four months.

education Updated: Nov 03, 2011 16:35 IST

Geology or earth sciences is the study of the earth and earth processes. Know all about the discipline.

The lowdown
Geology or earth sciences is the study of the earth and earth processes. This discipline includes geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography (study of how the ocean behaves, wave patterns, coastal erosion etc), hydrogeology (concerned with distribution and movement of groundwater in the earth’s crust), palaeontology (deals with fossils), study of the origin of life, crystallography, geostatistics and geochemistry. Earth scientists work in the Geological Survey of India, Central and state groundwater authorities, Indian Bureau of Mines, mining and oil exploration companies etc. Teaching and research in universities and colleges is an option for those who are academically-oriented

Clockwork
The average workday of a Geological Survey of India geologist in an outdoor assignment at a mountain, a ravine etc, where he stays in a camp for three-four months:
7.30am: Set out for field work. Collect samples and data. Carry out mapping
5 pm: Return to camp before sunset
Till 9 pm: Organise samples, process data and plot it out on a map. Do an analysis
At the HQ, geologists study the samples, write reports, and take care of administrative tasks, too

The payoff
The salary of a Class 1 officer is around Rs30,000 a month and can go up to Rs80,000 with experience and designation

Skills/TRAITS
* Interest in science subjects such as physics, chemistry, math, geology and biology
* Should have the stamina to work in the field
* Persistence
* Deep understanding of nature and natural phenomena

Getting there
Take science (with math) at the plus-two level. Go for a bachelor’s degree in geology, followed by a master’s. Knowledge of physics, chemistry, math, geography, botany and zoology is a must. A doctorate is required for (university) research positions

Institutes and URLs
* University of Delhi
www.du.ac.in
* Banaras Hindu University
www.bhu.ac.in
* Jadavpur University, Kolkata
www.jadavpur.edu
* Presidency College, Kolkata www.presidencycollegekolkata.ac.in
* Most universities offer this discipline. Some of the IITs have related programmes

Pros and cons
* You can visit unusual places
* Requires hard work in the field
* Work may involve travel
* You will have to stay away from home for months at a stretch
* You have to be physically and mentally strong

There’s a great demand for geologists in the country and the scope is unlimited. The Geological Survey of India recruits 1000 officers every year Ravi Shanker, former director general, Geological Survey of India, Kolkata