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Volcanologist: Job Description, Info, & Job Openings

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Do you love the outdoors? Are you a fan of danger and living on the edge? Do you like to research?

If these describe you, a career as a volcanologist could be the right choice for you.

There are several requirements you have to meet to achieve a career as a volcanologist, which we’ll talk about below.

Being a volcanologist is an incredible opportunity.

You get to learn about the world and protect people simultaneously.

Volcanologist: The Basics

Being a volcanologist is an incredible opportunity.

You get to work with new people and explore volcanoes together.

Before you start the process of becoming a volcanologist, there are some things you should know.

What is a Volcanologist?

Someone who works in volcanology is called a volcanologist.

A volcanologist studies volcanoes and their formations.

They gather information to learn more about volcanic activity and eruptions to prepare the world and the landscape for potential explosions.

There are many pathways in volcanology.

You can focus on geochemistry, physical volcanology, geobiology, and more.

What Does a Volcanologist Do?

The field of volcanology promises to study volcanic processes and the erupting volcano.

They decipher clues from rocks and the landscape around the base to help them learn more.

Much of the work here is out with active or dormant volcanoes.

However, there are also times when a volcanologist works in a lab, analyzing material found and determining critical information.

Work Opportunities in the Volcanologist Industry

There are many places for volcanologists in the world.

It’s a unique job that the world needs now, more than ever.

As our climate changes, the demand for geoscientists like volcanologists grows.

Volcanologist Job Description

A volcanologist must be ready to perform multiple tasks.

You are exploring some of the most dangerous natural creations out there.

Here are a few of the tasks they do:

  • Perform chemical dating and analysis
  • Measure seismic activity
  • Conduct lab tests
  • Have field studies

These provide the necessary information.

Volcanologists research and analyze.

It’s exciting and boring in the best ways, which I love.

Top Volcanologist Jobs and Careers

  • Physical volcanologist
  • Geochemist
  • Engineer

There are many more.

Volcanology offers plentiful opportunities.

I love the variety.

Where Can a Volcanologist Work?

After becoming a volcanologist, you will work:

  • In the field with volcanoes  
  • In a lab
  • As an instructor at a university or as an assistant

What It’s Like to be a Volcanologist

Volcanologists work hard to gather information and study it.

They have to be ready to jump up and go at a moment’s notice.

It’s an exhausting but rewarding career.

Is Being a Volcanologist Hard?

It’s fun to be a volcanologist, but it’s also tricky.

You must be ready to travel, hike, and gather critical information at a moment’s notice.

Once you have data, you return to a lab to analyze it.

Is a Volcanologist’s Job Stressful?

As a volcanologist, you have to be ready to brave harsh weather and climb potentially dangerous slopes.

It can be stressful.

Height-fearers will not enjoy this position.

You also have minimal shots to work with the data.

Common Volcanologist Work Day

There are many things a volcanologist has to do in a day.

You have to be ready to hike and sit for an extensive period.

A volcanologist may be on the side of an active volcano.

They might also sit in a dark lab.

Every day is unexpected.

Volcanologist Tasks & Duties

You might spend your day:

  • Climbing a volcano to collect data
  • Traveling to a location
  • Sitting in a lab with information from a trip

Volcanologists gather and observe.

Volcanologist Work Hours & Schedule

In some conditions, a volcanologist puts in ten hours a day.

This length happens on the field during extensive hikes.

Volcanologist Dress Code

The attire for volcanology is casual.

Hiking gear is a must when exploring the world, and closed-toes shoes and long-sleeves go on.

Business-casual may be necessary sometimes.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

It’s tricky to separate work and life in volcanology.

You travel all the time, and spend even more in the lab, analyzing data to see if it fits the question.

If you have a family, you must be ready to say goodbye at a moment’s notice.

It can be tricky to have a quality relationship with a significant other and multiple children in this career.

It’s also hard to find free time.

You are devoted to the volcanoes.

Volcanologist Salary & Income

Do Volcanologists Make Good Money?

Volcanologists make good money.

It’s not as high as other science and medical careers, but it’s enough.

You will lead a comfortable life if you become a volcanologist.

Your family will have enough to eat and you can travel whenever you want for a fun vacation.

How Much Do Volcanologists Make?

You can expect six figures a year as a volcanologist.

I wish I’d known about that when I was in school because it’s enough to have an incredible life.

Volcanologists make an average of $111,172 a year.

That’s well into the six-figure range.

The higher you move in your career, the more you will make as a volcanologist in the field.

You may only make five figures to start.

Overview of the Volcanologist Industry

Volcanologist Field: Career Progression

As a volcanologist, you will start as an assistant and work your way up from there.

It may take several years to be the leader of a research team or a particular research project.

It’s easy to move up once you have a team.

You work together and the chain of command evolves from there.

Is a Volcanologist a Good Career?


As the world changes, we need geoscientists to study dangerous formations like volcanoes.

It’s a niche job few know about.

Volcanologist Job Outlook

The volcanology field may grow about 7% in the next ten years.

That’s above average for most positions.

It’s an excellent branch to go into as a scientist.

There is room for growth in the future, rare for a field like this.

Demand for Volcanologists

There isn’t a crazy demand for volcanologists, but there is a demand.

They are a necessary part of the scientific structure.

Volcanologist Facts

There are about 2,000 volcanologists in the workforce today.

They work to learn more about active and dormant volcanoes everywhere.

Volcanologists also wear reflective suits that push the heat away and keep the scientists cool inside.

Jobs Related to Volcanologist

Related jobs include:

  • Structural geologists
  • Geochemists
  • Geology

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Volcanologists

There are things you need to become a volcanologist.

Here’s what you should understand.

Who Should Consider a Volcanologist Career Path?

People interested in science and math should pursue a volcanology career path.

Those interested in hiking and exploring the natural world should also look into it.

Who Should NOT Consider a Volcanologist Career Path?

Those who hate sitting and traveling should avoid this career.

You should also stay away if you don’t like science.

Is it Hard to Become a Volcanologist?

It takes many years of schooling to become qualified to become a volcanologist.

You have to get a bachelor’s, a master’s, and then a license for the job.

If you can’t afford schooling or don’t have the time to complete it, avoid the career.

It requires your best at all times.

What Do I Need to Become a Volcanologist?

Requirements for Becoming a Volcanologist

You need at least six years of schooling to become a volcanologist.

You also need a certification or license.

If you can, look for school experience in something related to geology.

This extra work will help you stand out to interested companies and research teams.

What Skills Does a Volcanologist Need?

You need to be fit and ready to climb.

You also need to be comfortable performing experiments and analyzing data.

You need to be able to communicate with your coworkers to unearth valuable information.

What Education Does a Volcanologist Need?

You need at least four years of a bachelor’s degree.

For higher than an entry-level job, get a master’s degree.

Can You Become a Volcanologist Without a Degree?


You need a bachelor’s degree at minimum to gain an entry-level position.

What Experience Does a Volcanologist Need?

You need to work in the field of geology as much as you can for a shot at a quality job.

Volcanologist Education & Schooling

What is Taught in a Volcanologist Course?

There are many things taught in a volcanology course.

These will help you succeed as you prepare to push into the workforce and start your endeavor.

They are necessary.

Here are a few things you might learn about in a basic course:

  • Plato tectonics and volcanoes
  • Hazards of various eruptions
  • Processes of active volcanoes

Your courses advance as you move up in your education.

You can take specialty courses as you determine what you want to do with volcanoes.

These will be more complicated and take more time to understand, but they’re worth it for your career.

How Long Does a Volcanologist Course Take?

The bachelor’s degree talked about four years to complete if you have no transfer credits and pass all your classes.

Once you have this degree, it’s time to achieve your master’s.

A master’s degree in this case will likely require at least four, if not five, additional years of study.

You need to be confident in your knowledge to succeed.

Once you have these, you can get a license.

This paper reveals you are ready to go.

Be prepared to commit ten years of your life to school.

Volcanologist Education Options and Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree

You need to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, geophysics, or earth sciences.

This degree should take four years.

Master’s Degree

Your master’s should be in something similar.

A scientific or technical field is preferred.

During and after this degree, gain as much experience as possible.

Schools for Volcanologists

Schools include:

  • University of Alaska
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Hawaii

Become a Volcanologist

Steps to Become a Volcanologist

You can’t just step right into the volcanology field.

There are steps you must complete first before any geological survey or study of an active volcano.

These are critical towards your career.

Here are the steps:

  • Get a bachelor’s in earth science, geology, or something similar
  • Get a master’s or doctorate in a similar area of study
  • Gain experience for the field
  • Look for licensing options and requirements

You’re ready to go once you complete these steps.

It takes work to become a volcanologist.

You need to be ready to commit a decent portion of your life to the career and stick with it.

Once you do, you can have lots of fun learning and understanding this form of environmental science.

Current Career Job Openings

If you finish these steps, you are ready to move into your future as a volcanologist.

There are many opportunities out there for interested workers to jump for their future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What suit do volcanologists wear?

Volcanologists wear casual clothes, but they need more for volcanoes. You can expect to see a volcanologist in a flame-retardant suit.

Often it can keep chemicals at bay to prevent sudden death to clinical laboratory scientists in the climb.

Who is the most famous volcanologist?

The most famous volcanologist is David Johnston.

This fame is mainly due to his death in the eruption of Mount St Helens. There are many informational sites about the volcanologist and his legacy.

Wrapping Up

Volcanoes are dangerous and exciting.

As a volcanologist, you get to study them and gather information.

It’s all for the benefit of society – now and in the future.

The more we know about volcanoes, the better we can prepare for them in a disaster.

If you don’t mind constant travel and hours in a lab, this position is for you.

Volcanologists are vital to our world, and your work will be valuable to everyone.

Plus, you get to climb volcanoes!

There’s much to love in this career, and many routes to take.

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