Federal, State, Local and Tribal Governments
Geoscience Jobs in Government
Geoscientists are employed in a range of positions in federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The work performed by government geoscientists varies considerably from position to position and depending on career level. Some government scientists plan and carry out scientific studies related to Earth’s land, energy, water, and mineral resources. Others work in roles that overlap with the science communication, policy, and education sectors. Employees of smaller state, local, or tribal nation departments and agencies may work on a variety of projects in different roles. In addition, government organizations often contract with geoscientists in the private sector to support government projects.
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Federal government application resources:
If you are interested in working in the federal government, learning how to navigate the job search is important. Start with searching the federal job search site, USAjobs.gov and begin applying with this IRIS tutorial. If you are scientist wanting to work for a federal agency, know there are a plethora of science positions available to apply to. See the toolkit to help navigate the government job search will be helpful to your success as a candidate as a federal scientist.
Next, check out the federal Pathways Program, which offers opportunities for students and recent graduates to get their foot in the door with paid internships and early career employment. Visit the resources below to learn more about programs that can help you find a career in the federal government.
Popular Federal Internships
- GeoCorps America
- NOAA Internships
- Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program
Relevant Federal Agencies
- U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
- Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- USGS: National Oil & Gas Assessment
- USGS: The National Map Viewer
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
- National Park Service
Department of Energy National Laboratories
An outgrowth of immense investment in scientific research initiated by the U.S. Government during World War II, the National Laboratories have served as the leading institutions for scientific innovation in the United States for more than seventy years.
The US Department of Energy’s 17 National Labs tackle the critical scientific challenges of our time — from combating climate change to discovering the origins of our universe — and possess unique instruments and facilities, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. They address large scale, complex research and development challenges with a multidisciplinary approach that places an emphasis on translating basic science to innovation. Listed below are a few of them.
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Idaho National Laboratory
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Nevada National Security Site
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Sandia National Laboratories
- Savannah River National Laboratory
State, Local and Tribal
While the federal government has a single portal for searching and applying for jobs, the resources for finding positions in local, state or tribal governments will be specific to the organization. Your first step should be to identify your geographic criteria (for which states, counties, cities, or tribal nations would you want to work?) followed by a search of the government organizations’ websites. Most states have a career portal (for example, CAPPS for state jobs in Texas) for job searching. If you are searching at the local level, identify potential employers in your town or city and search their websites for job listings. Networking with professional contacts is also important for finding jobs that are not advertised.