Take a scientific tour of the earth's different layers.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$44,000 – $161,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Stratigraphers do?

The title “Stratigrapher” itself sounds technical—not to mention interesting—enough. Wait until you find out what being a Stratigrapher is all about.

As a Stratigrapher, you study the different layers of the Earth—namely, the crust, mantle, and core—to gather information about their components, such as oil, minerals, water, soil, sediment, lava, ash, tectonic plates, and rock. These components hide many secrets about the geological history of the Earth. So you’re like a Detective literally unearthing those secrets. How exciting is that?

By studying these components, you gather a better understanding of catastrophic events that occurred long before humans inhabited the Earth. Take a walk along the coastline and observe how the cliffs seem to be divided into layers. Each layer represents a period of time. By evaluating the makeup of that layer, you’re able to identify and date past events such as volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

To obtain this information, you spend about half of your time in the field, gathering samples of dirt and rocks. The other half is spent in the lab, performing chemical and other tests on your samples. Additionally, you review seismic data and volcanic activity.

With your database about the past, you can look into the future. Your understanding of these natural forces allows you to make educated predictions. Say, for example, you specialize in the study of tectonic plates. With your knowledge about earthquake patterns in the past, you narrow the possibilities of when the next earthquake is expected to hit. This allows citizens in the area to prepare emergency plans, which can result in fewer casualties.

Should I be a Stratigrapher?

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

  • How to become a Stratigrapher

    Most Stratigraphers 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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