General Information on Tennessee Professional Geologist Licenses

Does state provide a license: Yes

Current Active Licensees

Title Licensees
Professional Geologist 1581
Soil Scientist 62

License: Professional Geologist

Exam Entity: ASBOG

Licensing Board: No state board - Advisory Committee for Tennessee Professional Licensing Program

Licensing Board Website: https://www.tn.gov/commerce/regboards/geologists.html

Continuing Education and Experience

Degree required:

Minimum degree level required to licensure as specified by the state regulations. ‘Other’ indicates that minimum education requirements must be met that are considered equivalent to a college degree, or minimum experience requirements must be met. See notes and applicable state laws and regulations for complete information.

  • Bachelor’s Degree

Majors accepted:

Majors defined in the state regulations as acceptable to obtain a professional geologist or geoscientist license, or for the specified environmental professional license in states without a PG license.

  • Related Geological Sciences
  • Geochemistry
  • Geology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics

Courses required:

  • Not specified

Courses accepted:

  • Not specified

Geology credits required: 30

Minimum number of semester hours in relevant course work required for licensure. Thirty (30) semester hours = forty-five (45) quarter hours; twenty-four (24) semester hours = thirty-six (36) quarter hours.

Credit information: The applicant shall have successfully completed a minimum of thirty (30) semester or forty-five (45) quarter hours of course work in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, engineering geology or their subdivisions.

Education Notes: See the state regulations for a complete explanation of the education requirements for licensure.

Years of experience required: 5

Experience credits needed: 2

Experience information: Each year of graduate study shall count as one (1) year of experience; provided, that credit for graduate study or graduate courses, individually or in any combination of graduate study and courses, shall in no case exceed a total of two (2) years toward meeting the five-year requirement. Each year of teaching or geological research by persons teaching upper-level geology courses at the college or university levels; provided, that the teaching or research can be demonstrated to be of a sufficiently responsible nature to be equivalent to one (1) year of professional experience.

Continuing education requirements: No

Continuing education details: There is not a continuing education requirement at this time (as of 2019). However, a CEU program is mentioned in section §62-36-114, which states that a program may be implemented by the Department.

Geologist in Training license available: No

Can take Fundamentals of Geology test before graduation: No

Fundamentals of Geology test details: The rules, regulations and board website do not specifically address taking the FG examination before degree completion. There is not language that is considered to be interpretable as such.

Legal Code Reference for GIT, FG: TCA 62-36-109 Minimum Qualifications.

Sunset and Audit Legislation Information

Most registration and licensure systems include structural approaches to review both the need and operational effectiveness of the process.

Some states provide formal sunset evaluation processes for their licensure programs. Many also include a periodic audit process of the licensure program/agency, which can range from cursory financial reviews to comprehensive evaluation of program effectiveness.

The audit process is often leveraged when political pressure is applied to eliminate geologist licensure, so awareness of the history and codes for audits and sunset evaluations is critical to montioring the health of the licensure within the state.

Current modes for sunsetting evaluation: Sunset review

License subject to sunset review: No

License subject to audit review: Possible

Sunset regulation name: Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law

Sunset statute: Tennessee Code, Title 4. State Government, Chapter 29 Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law

Sunset statute reference: http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/Tennessee%20Code

Sunset committee: Joint Evaluation Committee (as named in statute), listed as the Joint Committee on Government Operations Rule Review on the Tennessee General Assembly website.

Composition of sunset committee: The appropriate subcommittees appointed in the senate and in the house of representatives shall meet as a joint committee as the evaluation committee to review each governmental entity assigned to such committee. There shall be an equal number of senators and representatives on the two (2) subcommittees and committees when meeting as a joint evaluation committee for the review of any specific governmental entity.

Sunset committee website: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/joint/committees/gov-opps/

Sunset duration: At least once every 8 years

Sunset notes: A website for specific to the Joint Evaluation Committee was not identified.

Auditor name: Tennesee Comptroller of the Treasury, State Audit Division

Auditor website: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/state-audit.html

Audit legislation committee: The State Agency Audits section is led by two assistant directors and 12 legislative audit managers.

Audit legislation committee website: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/state-audit/types-of-audits/state-agency-audits.html

Audit notes: A limited number of other performance audits [in addition to the Sunset Law] are conducted based on the identification of risks in statewide processes and programs or agency-specific operations and activities. Advisory Committee on Geology not identified as an agency for audit on the State Auditor’s website.

Sunset and Audit Legislation History

Year Action Notes
1977 Sunset law created Chapter 452 Tennessee Governmental Entity Review Law (sunset law) created under §4-29-101.
1988 Practice regulation The Geologist Registration Act of 1988 was created.
1992 The Geologist Registration Act of 1988 was amended.
2007 Practice regulation The Geologist Licensure Act of 2007 was created.
2009 ASBOG The first ASBOG exam was administered.
2019 Sunset law amended The sunset law is still in effect with numerous ammendments: 1979 by ch. 8, § 1; 1980 by ch. 722, §§ 1,2; 1984 by ch. 719, §§ 1, 2; 1985 by ch. 269, § 1 and ch. 405, § 8; 1986 by ch. 489, §§ 1, 2 and ch. 622, § 1; 1988 by ch. 706, § 1; 1993 by ch. 521, § 1; 1995 by ch. 454, § 1; 1997 by ch. 308, § 1; 1998 by ch. 1125, § 1; 2004 by ch. 949, § 2; 2005 by ch. 374, § 1; 2006 by ch. 1000, § 1; 2007 by ch. 547, § 1 and ch. 343, §§ 1, 2; 2008 by ch. 828, § 1; and ch. 892, §§ 1, 2; and ch. 1191, § 2; 2016 by ch. 574, § 1; and 2018 by ch. 754, § 1.