Question: What's a regular day at work for you? And if you don't mind my asking, will the salary be able to sustain my family and I if I pursue this career?

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  1. A regular day at work can consist of reading articles, talking with my advisors, working in the lab to prepare samples or cleaning equipment that I’ve used. At certain times I am running samples on the specific machines I use for my PhD. And ample time for coffee. Although this career is sustaining, I think that the question you should be asking yourself, rather than will this career sustain me, is if this is something I will enjoy and can be passionate about it!


  2. On a typical day, I will arrive early to my office and work a couple of hours on writing either a scientific paper or grant proposal. After the two hours of writing I check email. Then I prepare to teach a 1-hour class (Geology and Human Affairs, Structural Geology, Plate Tectonics or Advanced Methods in Structural Geology). I have already planned these course before the beginning of the semester but I reserve an hour before the class to focus on the learning objectives of that day’s class. After I teach the class, I have office hours to meet with any students that need help with the material covered in class. In the afternoon I meet with graduate students to discuss the progress of their research projects. Some days I could also participate in a research discussion with colleagues and other graduate students. Other days I attend seminars by invited scientists from outside our department. Other days I participate in faculty meetings to discuss issues in the department. I may also attend phone calls from news reporters interested in knowing more about occurring earthquakes in Oklahoma.

    Yes, the salary will be enough to have a comfortable life. Of course, it is important to have good management of your finances. Rich people could go bankrupt if they don’t know how to manage their money.