What industries or government departments hire volcanologists and igneous petrologists/geochemists in the United States?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a specific country in mind? $\endgroup$
    – Gimelist
    May 21, 2018 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, I should have added that I'm in the US. $\endgroup$
    – Steven
    May 21, 2018 at 6:09

1 Answer 1


The first department that comes to mind is obviously academia, i.e. faculty or research positions at universities. However, there are many other career paths available (hopefully: there are not enough academic positions for every student completing a Ph.D...). For volcanologists, there is actually a nice site called volcanologists outside academia. As the name suggests, it compiles various testimonies about people who got a Ph.D. in volcanology but now work outside academia. They have also conducted a survey to gather more data. The results show that there are very diverse employment possibilities, including (but not restricted to):

  • Outreach/science communication
  • Museums
  • Academic publishing
  • Data analysis
  • Material science
  • Instrument companies
  • Tourism...

I'm not sure for igneous petrologists/geochemists, but I think the possibilities are pretty close.

Edit: I just realized I completely forgot to mention volcano observatories, which represent a "large" source of employment for the community (relative to its size). IAVCEI's Early Career Network has put up a series of videos where observatory workers describe their job. Another series about careers in academia is planned, so stay tuned!


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