General Information on Washington Professional Geologist Licenses

Does state provide a license: Yes

Current Active Licensees

Title Licensees
Geologist 1634
Geologist In Training 58

License: Professional Geologist

Exam Entity: ASBOG

Licensing Board: Washington Geologist Licensing Board

Licensing Board Website: https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/geologist/

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.

  • Other
  • 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.

  • Engineering Geology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Geology
  • Related Geological Sciences

Courses required:

  • Other

Courses accepted:

  • Structural Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Economic Geology
  • Petrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Hydrogeology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Earth Materials
  • Mineralogy
  • Field Geology

Geology credits required: Not available

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: An applicant shall have earned a Bachelor’s degree in geology, engineering geology, hydrogeology, or geological sciences, including successful completion of core classes approved by the board; or have a related Bachelor’s degree as approved by the board, which includes successful completion of coursework that is determined by the board to be educationally equivalent in content and rigor to that of a geological sciences degree program. The board may review and approve unique combinations of educational equivalents to a Bachelor’s degree. This may include advanced study pertinent to geology, nonmatriculated coursework, practical seminars, and/or on-the-job training acceptable to the board. The applicant is required to have 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of upper division geology courses, including 14 semester or 21 quarter credits (unduplicated) from the list of acceptable courses.

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: The applicant shall have a documented record of a minimum of five years of experience in geology or a specialty of geology, obtained subsequent to completion of the academic requirements. The board shall require that three years of the experience be gained under the supervision of a geologist licensed in this or any other state, or under the supervision of others who, in the opinion of the board, are qualified to have responsible charge of geological work. Each year of full-time graduate study in the geological sciences or in a specialty of geology shall qualify as one year of professional experience in geology or the applicable specialty of geology, up to a maximum of two years.

Continuing education requirements: No

Geologist in Training license available: No

Can take Fundamentals of Geology test before graduation: Yes

Fundamentals of Geology test details: The rules, regulations and board website do not specifically address taking the FG examination before degree completion. The regulations state that to qualify, the applicant must have at least twenty-four semester/thirty-six quarter hours of upper division geology courses.

Legal Code Reference for GIT, FG: WAC 308-15-040

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: Both sunset review and audit

License subject to sunset review: No

License subject to audit review: Possible

Current law to establish new licensure board: Yes

Sunset regulation name: Washington Sunset Act

Sunset statute: Revised Code of Washington, Title 43. State Government - Executive, Chapter 43.131. Washing Sunset Act of 1977

Sunset statute reference: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=43.131

Sunset committee: Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC)

Sunset committee website: http://leg.wa.gov/jlarc/Pages/default.aspx

Sunset duration: Minimum of seven years

Sunset notes: The Board and Department were not identified as an entity scheduled for sunset. Performance audits were not identified for the board nor the department on the JLARC website for years 1995-2019.

Other sunset references: Neither the board nor the department are listed in the JLARC Biennieal Work Plan 2019-21 that has a schedule of sunset reviews through 2030.

Auditor name: Office of the Washington State Auditor

Auditor website: https://www.sao.wa.gov/

Audit statute: Revised Code of Washington, Title 43. State Government - Executive, Chapter 43.09. State Auditor

Audit Statute abbreviation: Revised Code of Washington, Title 43. State Government - Executive, Chapter 43.09. State Auditor Section 41-5A-1

Audit statute link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=43.09

Audit legislation committee: Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC)

Audit legislation committee website: http://leg.wa.gov/jlarc/Pages/default.aspx

Sunset and Audit Legislation History

Year Action Notes
1977 Sunset law created The Washington Sunset Act (sunset law) was created by c. 289 of 1977 under the Code of Washington, Title 43, Chapter 131.
1983 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
1990 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
1996 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
2000 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
2000 Practice regulation The Washington Geologist Licensing Board was created.
2002 ASBOG The first ASBOG exam was administered.
2010 Audit The State Auditor’s Office completed a performance audit on the Department of Licensing, Report Number 1004634.
2013 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
2015 Sunset law amended The sunset law was amended.
2025 Sunset law status The Washington Sunset Act set to expire if it is not renewed by the state legislatture.