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What do you do for a living?
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J. Lopes
(Jay_NJ) - F
Re: Dan... on 10/25/2011 22:45:32 MDT Print View

"Interesting. What kind of geology work are you doing? What was your undergrad major? Environmental science? Geology? How did you end up in the job you are in now?"

Hey NightMarcher, I didn't see a response from Dan so I figured I would provide a little background from friends in similar jobs to what Dan has posted.

For most field based mineral exploration jobs (in the usa, canada it is a bit easier to get into mineral/resources exploration) it is fairly important to have a firm understanding of geologic mapping such as structural geology. Traditionally most oil companies often only recruit from a few select schools such as Texas a&m, while the Colorado school of mines is big with mineral exploration. During boom times, the recruiters will pretty much contact all graduate programs as i witnessed in late 2007 when gas prices ekyrocketed.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Geology on 10/25/2011 23:21:17 MDT Print View

"I hope my question was not inappropriate. I really enjoyed your search for a Sierra trip thread and was impressed with your wife's hike to the summit of Whitney based on what you told us about here previous hiking experience. You sound like a wonderful couple. I suspected that you were up there without her."

No it was not inappropriate at all. The three weeks on/ three weeks off situation is a little more extreme of a relationship situation than most people have. The time apart sucks, but the times together are amazing because you missed the person and because you've got so much time to do whatever you want together. I think you appreciate being together more, although I don't think I'd do the 3 on/3 off lifestyle for too long. Definitely not if I had small kids.

"Interesting. What kind of geology work are you doing? What was your undergrad major? Environmental science? Geology? How did you end up in the job you are in now?"
My story isn't too glamorous. I went to university for Environmental Studies (B.E.S.) and my specific program focused on 'Environment and Business' (ie. working for a company to manage the environmental side of their operations). I really should have been studying outdoor rec or resource management, but I was having too much fun with the university life to really worry about where I was actually headed. I graduated about 3.5 years ago and wasn't super stoked about the job prospects because I really wanted to be in outdoor rec or wildlife biology. Upon graduation I moved out to Whistler, BC (from Ontario) to ski bum for a year.

In Whistler, I got a job at a bar (working support for the bartenders) which was a fun gig and it let me ski every day. One season turned into 3 seasons and I was still at the bar, but getting sick of washing glasses and changing kegs. One of the door guys was working up at mining camps and he suggested I apply. The position was a 'geotechnican' which is basically the job you get if you go to college for geology instead of university. They were really hurting for people, so I got the job despite having basically a non-related education background and no experience. I guess it helped I came recommended by another employee.

I'm pretty happy here working for Newmont Gold up at their 'Hope Bay' site. I'm here right now.....5 days in with 16 days to go. Being a geologist (need a university degree in geology) would be a significantly better job because it's more interesting and you make more money. Geotechnicians basically do the mindless geology work like measuring rocks, cleaning them etc, while the geologists do the more interesting stuff like figuring out where the gold is.

I'm currently accepted back into university at a different school and I've got a lot of credits for my previous degree, so I'm going to crank out another bachelors in wildlife biology starting in 1 year. Over the next year I'm taking a few distance ed courses and saving up money. This B.Sc. degree will take ~2 years and then I'm hoping to get a lot of funding so I can stay in school and maybe do a masters/phd without going broke. I have good grades, so I think with a lot of work I can pull off the funding. Ultimately I'd like to wind up somewhere in parks management/wildlife biology or a prof.

To actually answer your more specific questions about seems the vast majority of geology jobs are away from home in camps, so you need to decide if that lifestyle is for you or not. Some jobs are in cities, but a lot of the jobs are seasonal and far from home. I'm lucky to work at a place that works basically year round. A lot of jobs are like Apr - Oct. until you can land a more permanent job. If you get a good geology job that lets you do mostly field work, then it can be really neat, although I still think animals are way cooler than rocks.

Geology is a good field if you want to be outside and make good money (the geologists here make $80-$110g) and don't mind living in camps. Biology has the best jobs IMO, but there aren't nearly as many jobs, and you still might sorta wind up in camps but there's many non-camp jobs too. In Canada there is a ton of jobs in Geology. I really want to do wildlife biology, but it might not be the smartest choice, because of the lack of jobs in this field. Environmental science might be a nice choice that is a bit more interesting (IMO) than geology, while having more jobs than biology. The situation might be different where you are though.

Edited by dandydan on 10/26/2011 12:26:35 MDT.

Bobby Pack
(Piddler) - MLife

Locale: West Virginia
Re: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 07:29:01 MDT Print View

Software developer for an energy company.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Another Cop on 10/26/2011 09:51:46 MDT Print View

Chalk another one up for the justice engineers.

Ed Collyer
(ecollyer) - F

Locale: East Bay Area
My Job on 10/26/2011 11:08:02 MDT Print View

Well I am guilty also....a Mechanical Engineer (well soon, I can't legally call myself an ME without my professional engineering license. I got hired at my current job because my mentor's wife is a backpacker and she liked that I put UL backpacking on my resume. He called me a dork for being so excited about all of my MYOG. Just yesterday he asked me how to built a stove...

Sabine Schroll
(sabi) - MLife
One more vet on 10/26/2011 11:17:10 MDT Print View

Make it one more veterinarian, specialized in psychiatry.
MYOG projects always show that I am used to sew only biological materials.

S. K.
(Pangolin) - F

Locale: Ohio
Custom Framer & A Plethora Of Other Things on 10/26/2011 13:30:19 MDT Print View

I own a custom frame shop where I also sell chainmail jewelry and accessories and Japanese bento boxes and all the accessories that go with packing bento meals.

I also do a bunch of little stuff here and there, and have hobbies that take up the rest of my time, along with my zoo and my husband.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 20:16:36 MDT Print View

According to a letter I received in the mail today, I am an attorney (I passed the Bar! woot woot!)

But like many fellow gear nerds, I used to be an accountant/consultant.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Re: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 20:24:38 MDT Print View

Congrats Konrad! I take it you took it in Mass. (maybe?) since the poor saps here still have to wait another month for results.

Chris Goldberg

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 20:59:33 MDT Print View

Software developer...surprise!

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Konrad rocks! on 10/26/2011 21:26:18 MDT Print View

Congrats, K-man! The good fruits of your labor, eh? Way to go...

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 22:09:41 MDT Print View

My degree is in Electrical Engineering, but since I'm not a PE the company I work for calls me a Technology Specialist. We do most M/E/P consulting work, but my group specializes in low voltage system: CATV, data, and security mostly.


Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
RE: What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 22:10:47 MDT Print View

I cut people and play with firearms...

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
"What do you do for a living?" on 10/26/2011 22:21:42 MDT Print View

Dismal Failure Apprentice

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
What do you do for a living? on 10/26/2011 23:41:40 MDT Print View

I have a degree in synthetic organic chemistry and have worked as a process and medicinal chemist my whole life. If I haven't missed something, I'm the first chemist in this group. I'm really surprised to not see more chemists, especially process research chemists. They usually fit the Myers-Briggs profile.

The job market for senior people in chemistry in the US currently sucks. I've been out of work and doing a bit of consulting for 2 years. If anyone knows of someone who needs a senior chemist as a consultant or full time, please PM me. Thanks.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
And now for something completely different... on 10/27/2011 00:41:15 MDT Print View

I teach high school English, specializing in writing intervention. Somehow, I still get really excited about spreadsheets.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: RE: What do you do for a living? on 10/27/2011 06:27:03 MDT Print View

My organization provides Dean with the means by which he can cut people and a place to hide when others are playing with firearms. I tell people about it.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Is making a living related to earning enough to support oneself? on 10/27/2011 09:30:26 MDT Print View

All these questions around here are so difficult, wow, is that a red-wing blackbird out there? I currently try to convert other people's money into gimongous data server farms so we all can keep playing in the digital sandbox, the neighbor's cat always used my son's sandbox and I still feel kind of bad about his being exposed to all that...after awhile things just became landscape features for his little cars to zoom over.
I also build bicycle frames but this is a passion not a way to make a living, anybody remember Jethro Tull's "Lving in the Past?" All that flute playing, geez,I got to order a pile of Flute meters for the field guys to lose, bye.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
What do you do for a living? on 10/27/2011 09:46:57 MDT Print View

I play with mud and burn things. I also teach teenagers and adults how to play with mud and burn things. I've been playing with mud and burning things since I was about 4 years old- I used to get into a lot of trouble for it. Fortunately, I've found a way to market my skills with mud and fire.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Commercial Real Estate on 10/27/2011 10:39:10 MDT Print View

Wow, I guess I am the minority.

I am an Acquisitions Specialist for a commercial real estate owner that buys and owns grocery anchored shopping centers. I look for and analyze more shopping centers to buy.