A professional geology license is the authorization to practice and use the title of Professional Geologist in New York State. The license is valid for life unless it is revoked, annulled, or suspended by the NYS Education Department. To practice in New York with the license, a professional geologist must also be actively registered with the Department. A licensee is automatically registered for the first three-year registration period when the license is issued. The Education Department will subsequently send renewal information to the name and address they have on file for you prior to the date the registration expires.
Any use of the title "Professional Geologist" or provision of geological services within New York State requires licensure, except in certain "exempt" settings. These settings are detailed in Section 7208-a of the Education Law and are detailed at the bottom of this page.
Qualifying for the License
To be licensed as a professional geologist in New York State an applicant must:
- Be of good moral character;
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Meet education, examination and experience requirements;
- Submit an application for licensure with the needed forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee; and
- Successfully pass the ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology Exam (FG) AND the Principles of Geology Exam (PG).
Licensure through Endorsement
New York State does not have a reciprocity/comity agreement with any other states offering licensure. An applicant who is licensed in another state may be eligible for licensure in New York State via endorsement if they meet all the requirements for licensure in New York State.
Under this provision, an applicant:
- Is currently licensed in another jurisdiction;
- Has taken and passed the Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology licensure examinations; and
- Meets the education and/or experience requirements established in Part 68 of the Regulations of the Commissioner. These requirements consist of 4 pathways and are identified on the table.
Education & Experience Requirements
An applicant must complete a combination of education and/or experience for which years of credit are awarded to become licensed as a professional geologist in New York State. The education credit determines the number of years of work experience that you will need in order to be approved for licensure as described below and as shown in this table.
- Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in geosciences and a minimum of five (5) years of practical experience;
- Master of Art or Master of Science degree in geosciences and a minimum of four (4) years of practical experience; or
- A minimum of twelve (12) years of practical experience with no education.
The Bachelor’s degree in geosciences must include the following coursework:
- Six (6) semester hours in mathematics beyond college algebra or trigonometry
- Fifteen (15) semester hours in a combination of at least two of the following sciences:
- Thirty (30) semester hours of approved geosciences courses. Twenty-four (24) of the thirty (30) hours must be from the following subject areas and must include at least one course from four of the eight different areas:
- Earth Materials
- Sedimentary Geology
- Surficial and Near-surface Geology
- Geodynamics and Geophysics
- Economic Geology
Note: Geologic course centered around math and physical sciences (chemistry, physics, etc.) over the thirty hours can be applied to the math and science requisite.
Applicants Applying for ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology Exam (FG) only
You may be eligible to sit for the ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology exam if you meet the education or experience requirement as indicated by the arrows in the table representing the four pathways to licensure.
Applicants must complete and submit Forms 1 and 2 if sitting for the test without the requisite experience (paths 1-3 on table). Applicants must submit Forms 1, 2, 4, and 4A if sitting for the FG test as part of the twelve years of experience with no education route. Please make sure to submit all required payments and forms at least six months prior to the exam date. Forms can be downloaded from the Office of Professions website. Once an applicant is approved to sit for the FG exam, they can register for the exam at the Scantron Assessment website.
Applicants Applying for ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology Exam (FG) and the Principles of Geology Exam (PG) or for the Principals of Geology Exam (PG) Only.
You may be eligible to sit for the ASBOG Fundamentals of Geology exam and/or the Principles of Geology exam if you meet the education and/or experience requirements as indicated by the arrows in the table representing the four pathways to licensure.
Applicants must submit Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, and 4A if sitting for the FG and PG exams. Please make sure to submit all required payments and forms at least six months prior to the exam date. Forms can be downloaded from the Office of Professions website. Once an applicant is approved to sit for the FG exam and/or PG exam, they can register for the exam at the Scantron Assessment website.
Nothing in the professional geology laws shall be construed to affect or prevent:
- The employment and supervision of interns and other persons qualified by education or experience by professional geologists as assistants in the performance of geological services, or as consultants or employees in special fields related to but not uniquely geology, provided that the professional geologist employing or supervising such persons shall not be relieved of any responsibility whatsoever by delegation to such persons.
- The practice of professional engineering by a professional engineer licensed pursuant to this article to practice engineering in this state or an entity authorized pursuant to section seventy-two hundred ten of this article to provide engineering in this state, including the investigation, acquisition, evaluation, and interpretation of the physical and chemical properties of the soil, rock, groundwater, earth materials and data related thereto, and the performance of activities as specified in section seventy-two hundred four-a of this article, provided that no such person shall use the designation, or hold himself or herself out as a "professional geologist," unless licensed as such in this state, and provided further that nothing in this chapter shall preclude a licensed professional engineer or authorized entity from offering to provide or providing the work enumerated in this subdivision, however categorized, on the grounds that such licensed professional engineer or authorized entity is not licensed to practice geology.
- The practice of land surveying by any person that is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice land surveying in this state, provided that no such person shall use the designation or hold himself or herself out as a "professional geologist" unless licensed as such in this state.
- The execution of work by contractors or by others of work prepared by a professional geologist, or the superintendence of such work as a superintendent, foreman or inspector.
- The practice of the profession of geology by officers and employees of this state practicing solely as officers and employees; provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply to officers and employees of the state of New York who commence employment or the performance of work related activities after the effective date of this section.
- The execution of geological research and/or teaching conducted at accredited educational institutions and not-for-profit research institutions, conducted solely through those institutions.
- Work customarily performed by physical or natural scientists provided such work does not include geological investigations, being in responsible charge of geological work, or the drawing of geological conclusions and recommendations.
- Work customarily performed by water well drillers who have received a certificate of registration pursuant to section 15-1525 of the environmental conservation law.