Physical Volcanologist

Gain enough knowledge of volcanic eruptions to be able to predict them.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$44,000 – $161,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Physical Volcanologists do?

If only the dinosaurs had known what you know now, they would have stayed the heck away from those erupting volcanoes!

A Physical Volcanologist is a Scientist who studies how, why, and when a volcano erupts, and what happens when it does. More specifically, Physical Volcanologists look at past eruptions, and use the information they gather to predict future ones. As a Physical Volcanologist, you work in one of four areas of study in the field of volcanology.

Your job is all about data collection. You measure things like rock patterns and gas levels, and identify the types of chemicals present. All this information helps you figure out what happens during an eruption, and what exactly comes out of the volcano.

Once you’ve gathered enough knowledge about what the volcano has done in the past, you can make certain predictions about its future—specifically, how it will next erupt. You might measure how far and in what direction rocks were thrown during the last explosion, and this will let you guess how big the next eruption will be, and in what direction you can expect the lava to flow. This type of information is important when it comes to making future evacuation plans for communities nearby.

Since the information you collect is ultimately passed on to the public, with the goal of educating them about the volcano near them, you need to be able to talk to a wide range of people. You collaborate with other Scientists. But then, when you’re writing reports, you need to keep the average person (one who lacks a volcanology degree) in mind.

Should I be a Physical Volcanologist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Physical Volcanologist

    Most Physical Volcanologists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aba9ta&chl=|certificate+%281%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2857%25%29|master%27s+%2842%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
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