How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Volcanologist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $105,720
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 10.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute

A volcanologist is a professional that researches the geophysics of active and inactive volcanoes.  They study how they affect the environment and mange how they play a role to the public.

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What is a Volcanologist?

The following responsibilities are common for Volcanologists:

  • Studies the processes and deposits of volcanic eruptions
  • Gathers data and does research on how, where and why a volcano will erupt
  • Preforms chemical and carbon dating of volcanic rocks
  • Measures volcanic seismic activity, gravity and magnetic fields
  • Studies changes in the shape of the earth and how it correlates to the deformation of the ground at volcanic eruptions

A Day In The Life

Volcanologists study how volcanoes form and research how to determine the likelihood of a imminent eruption and study a volcanoes past eruptions.

They usually spend their time traveling to a dormant or active volcano to study and research.  They then take these samples and data to their laboratory for three major reasons: to understand how volcanoes behave, to understand how volcanoes work and and to predict any future eruptions to potentially provide the public with proper safety protocols.  Some also study the geological histories of the volcanoes.

Typical Work Schedule

Typically, they have full and extended days that are spent divided between conducting fieldwork and in the laboratory and may be required to travel to different volcano destinations.

Projected Job Growth

This position is increasing at a steady rate.

Typical Employers

Generally, these individuals are employed as government or private corporation consultants.  While others work for environmental agencies such as the EPA.

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How To Become a Volcanologist

Most volcanology positions require a post-graduate degree.  But to a obtain this degree a bachelor’s degree is required first.  Although, individuals can gain vital experience with a bachelor’s degree working in the field as assistants or technicians.  Undergraduate degrees in fields like geology, physics or geosciences are ideal.  Coursework should include geology, rock sciences, geophysics and geochemistry are all required.

Field experience is also necessary for this career path.  This helps individuals gain knowledge and expertese.  Some individuals can participate as interns and can get the opportunity to travel to the remote destinations that many of these volcanoes are located.

Volcanologist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Volcanologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Volcanologist's can make an average annual salary of $105,720, or $51 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $62,030 or $30 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #55 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Volcanologist. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Volcanologists

  • 9.4%   Doctorate
  • 36.8%   Masters
  • 47.1%   Bachelors
  • 2.3%   Associates
  • 4.1%   College
  • 0%   High School
  • 0.3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Volcanologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,800 jobs for a total of 40,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #176 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Volcanologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Oil and gas extraction 8,000 1,000 1%
Engineering services 6,200 800 1%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 5,300 1,500 2%

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