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Geological Engineering

When major construction projects are planned one of the first tasks involved is the study of the projected area's ground, land and nearby water and costal environments.

Geological Engineers study the geology of the area including the bedrock and soil makeup to determine how it will interact with proposed construction.  Geological Engineers investigate risks such as earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes and soil liquification and determines what fortifications foundation construction must include.  Foundations for above-ground structures are designed by Geological Engineers as well as retaining structures including dams and retaining walls.

Geological Engineers are also required when planning tunnels, dikes, levees, reservoirs, embankments and channels.   Geological Engineers also plan offshore construction such as marina's, jetties and oil platforms.

Mining is another major industry whose planning and maintainence requires the work of Geological Engineers.  In this way a particular focus can be a degree in Mining Engineering.

Salaries for Geological and Mining Engineers have a mean average of $75,000 and regularly approach highs of $120,000 or more.

Top industries for Geological Engineers include architectural services, coal and mining companies and industries involved with oil and gas extraction.

States employing the highest number of Geological and Mining Engineers include: Colorado, West Virginia, Nevada, Wyoming and Alaska.  Highest salaries are for Geological Engineers are California, Texas, Alaska, Colorado and Alabama.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following schools are noteworthy for their Geological and Mining Engineering degree programs: