Geologist Certification

Requirements for Geologist Certification - Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. Where can I find an application for certification as a geologist?     Back

Certification is managed by the Board of Certification for Geologists and Soil Scientists under the Maine Office of Licensing and Registration. Application materials can be found at their website.


Q2. Who needs to be certified as a geologist?     Back

Individuals conducting geological investigations in Maine for the public must be certified. For the purposes of certification, the terms "geology" and "practice of geology" are defined by statute (Title 32, Chapter 73).


Q3. What are the requirements for certification?     Back

A combination of academic and professional experience is required for certification.

Education: Generally, a candidate must be a graduate of an accredited college or university with a major in geological sciences, or have completed 30 credits in geological sciences at an accredited college or university.

Experience: Generally a candidate must have acquired 7 years of experience in responsible charge of geological work, toward which an undergraduate degree with 30 credit hours or more in geological science courses shall count as 2 years of training and each year of graduate study in the geological sciences shall count as 1/2 year of training, up to a maximum of 2 years of credit.


Q4. Is an examination required for certification?     Back

Yes, the Board of Certification for Geologists and Soil Scientists uses the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) national examination together with a local knowledge examination to certify geologists. The examination is offered twice a year in March and September.


Q5. Is there a study guide for the national examination?     Back

There is no specific study guide for the national exam. For information on the national exam, please visit: National Association of State Boards of Geology There may be private firms that offer study courses toward completing the national exam.


Q6. Is there a study guide for the local knowledge examination?     Back

While there is no specific study guide for this examination, the Maine Geological Survey recommends review of the following materials:

Maine Geological Survey maps and reports (Ordering instructions)

  • 1) Osberg, P.H., and others, (eds.), 1985, Bedrock geologic map of Maine, 1:500,000.
  • 2) Thompson, W.B., and Borns, H.W. Jr., (eds.), 1985 Surficial geologic map of Maine, 1:500,000.
  • 3) The series - Studies in Maine Geology - edited by R.D. Tucker and R.G. Marvinney
    1. Hussey, A.M., II, 1988, Lithotectonic stratigraphy, deformation, plutonism, and metamorphism, greater Casco Bay region, southwestern Maine: vol. 1, p. 17-34.
    2. Osberg, P.H., 1988, Geologic relations within the shale-wacke sequence in south-central Maine: vol. 1, p. 51-73.
    3. Berry, H.N. IV, and Osberg, P.H., 1989, A stratigraphic synthesis of eastern Maine and western New Brunswick: vol. 2, p. 1-32.
    4. Guidotti, C.V., 1989, Metamorphism in Maine: an overview: vol. 3, p. 1-18.
    5. Hogan, J.P., and Sinha, A.K., 1989, Compositional variation of plutonism in the coastal Maine magmatic province: mode of origin and tectonic setting: vol. 4, p. 1-34.
    6. Belknap, D.F., Shipp, R.C., Kelley, J.T., and Schnitker, D., 1989, Depositional sequence modeling of Late Quaternary geologic history, west-central Maine coast: vol. 5, p. 29-46.
    7. Borns, H.W. Jr., 1989, Changing perspectives of the Quaternary surficial geology of Maine: vol. 6, p. 1-12.
    8. Smith, G.W., and Hunter, L.E., 1989, Late Wisconsinan deglaciation of coastal Maine: vol. 6, p. 13-32.
  • 4) Anderson, W.A., and Borns, H.W. Jr., (eds.), 1989, Neotectonics of Maine.
    1. Thompson, W.B., Crossen, K.J., Borns, H.W. Jr., and Andersen, B.G., 1989, Glaciomarine deltas of Maine and their relation to Late Pleistocene-Holocene crustal movement: p. 43-68.
    2. Belknap. D.F., Shipp, R.C., Stuckenrath, R., Kelley, J.T., Borns, H.W. Jr., 1989, Holocene sea-level change in coastal Maine: p. 85-106.
    3. Ebel, J.E., 1989, The seismicity of Maine: p. 219-228.
  • 5) Caswell, W.B, 1987, Ground Water Handbook for the State of Maine: Bulletin #39, 135 p.
  • 6) Gilman, R.A., Chapman, C.A., Lowell, T.V., and Borns, H.W. Jr., 1988, The geology of Mount Desert Island: Bulletin 38, 50 p.
  • 7) Kelley, J.T., Barnhardt, W.A., Belknap, D.F., Dickson, S.M., and Kelley, A.R., 1996, The seafloor revealed - the geology of the northwestern Gulf of Maine inner continental shelf: Open-File Report 96-6, 55 p.
  • 8) Fact sheets at Maine Geological Survey website.

Other reports

  • 1) Borns, H.W. Jr., LaSalle, P., and Thompson, W.B., (eds.), 1985, Late Pleistocene history of northeastern New England and adjacent Quebec: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 197, 159 p.
  • 2) Ludman, A., and West, D.P. Jr., (eds.), 1999, Norumbega Fault Zone of the northern Appalachians: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 331, 202 p.
  • 3) Tucker, R.D., Osberg, P.H., and Berry, H.N., IV, 2001, The geology of a part of Acadia and the nature of the Acadian orogeny across central and eastern Maine, American Journal of Science, v. 301 p. 205-260.
  • 4) Eusden, J.D., Jr., and Lyons, J.B., 1993, The sequence of Acadian deformation in central New Hampshire: in Roy, D.C., and Skehan, J.W., (eds.), The Acadian orogeny: recent studies in New England, maritime Canada, and the autochthonous foreland: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 275, Boulder, CO, p. 51-66.
  • 5) Caldwell, D.W., 1998, Roadside geology of Maine: Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, MT, 315 p.

Q7. Where can I find more information on certification?     Back

Visit the Office of Licensing and Registration website.


Last updated on January 11, 2008