A volcanologist’s work, most simply put, takes him/her to some of the most dangerous and enthralling places on the Earth – volcanoes! Clearly, since one cannot just sit around and wait for a volcano to start erupting, volcanologists must travel all over the world in order to study current “performing mountains.” With about 600 volcanoes active at the present time, numerous options are available for study.
On a more specific basis, though, volcanologists tend to work for one of four basic organizations. First, many individuals end up conducting research and teaching in universities or colleges. Second, some volcanologists will work in government agencies, like the USGS. Here, they monitor certain volcanoes, conduct hazard-related research and do work that prepares certain areas for emergency situations. Some of these same tasks are also carried out at volcano observatories and, consequently, some individuals are employed through this type of work as well. Lastly, even though there are not very many private companies that have volcanology positions, international research organizations, on the larger scale, are great places where volcanologists can apply their knowledge. Image Courtesy of our friends at