Go on icy expeditions to research glaciers.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$42,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Glaciologists do?

A glacier is much more than a giant block of ice. It can be home to a variety of people, animals, and fish. It can also be a decades-old record of the temperature and salt levels of the ocean. In addition, it can be a testing ground for theories about the impact humans have on the temperature of the Earth.

And when you’re a Glaciologist, it can be your home, as you spend several months each year living on a glacier.

As a Glaciologist, you perform a variety of tests on glaciers. You may measure the width of a certain point of the glacier, or punch holes in it and run tests on the ice you extract. You may also install equipment that provides you with readings once you’ve returned to your office. Or you may write down the number of birds and animals you see during a particular period of time.

The job of a Glaciologist is incredibly challenging, physical work. You climb up slick surfaces and slide down deep cliffs. You sleep on the cold ground at night. And you may forget what it feels like to wear shorts.

When you return from your expedition, you write reports about what you’ve found. You may look at satellite photos to confirm or refute your theories. You also take readings from the equipment you’ve installed, present your findings at professional conferences, and spend your spare time reading the reports and theories of other people in your field.

Should I be a Glaciologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Glaciologist

    Most Glaciologists have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa49w&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2840%25%29|master%27s+%2844%25%29|doctorate+%2816%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,44
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