General Information on Wisconsin Professional Geologist Licenses

Does state provide a license: Yes

Current Active Licensees

Title Licensees
Geologist 13
Hydrogeologist 111
Soil Scientist 112

License: Professional Geologist

Exam Entity: ASBOG

Licensing Board: Examining Board of Professional Geologists, Hydrologists and Soil Scientists

Licensing Board Website: https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/BoardsCouncils/GHSS/Default.aspx

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.

  • Geology

Courses required:

  • Other

Courses accepted:

  • Paleontology
  • Hydrology
  • Structural Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Glacial Geology
  • Petrology
  • Geochemistry
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Sedimentology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Historical Geology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Field Geology
  • Physical Geology
  • Mining Geology

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: In order to be considered a major in geology, an applicant must have completed at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of course credits which include credits in at least 4 of the following areas: geochemistry or geophysics, geologic field methods, glacial geology or geomorphology, hydrogeology or hydrology, mineralogy, petrology or petrography, stratigraphy or sedimentology, and structural geology. In addition to the required coursework, other coursework that may be used to satisfy the 30 semester hour or 45 quarter hour requirement includes, but is not limited to, the following: engineering geology, historical geology, mining geology, paleontology, petroleum geology, and physical geology.

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

Years of experience required: 5

Experience credits needed: 0

Experience information: Five (5) years of experience are required, including two (2) under the supervision of a PG; or seven (7) years of experience with peer review and three peer reviewers.

Continuing education requirements: No

Geologist in Training license available: No

Can take Fundamentals of Geology test before graduation: Yes

Fundamentals of Geology test details: To apply for the fundamentals examination, an applicant must have completed one of the following requirements: 1. Completed at least 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours of course credit in geology and be of not less than second semester senior in a bachelor program meeting the requirements of Wis. Admin. Code § GHSS 2.05; 2. Completed at least four (4) years of experience which has been determined by the Professional Geologist Section to be equivalent to the requirements of Wis. Admin. Code § GHSS 2.04(1)

Legal Code Reference for GIT, FG: Administrative Code, GHSS 2.06 Examinations., and Application, Form #2542 (Rev 8/19)

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: Audit

License subject to sunset review: No

License subject to audit review: Possible

Sunset regulation name: None identified

Sunset statute: See audit and sunset history

Sunset statute reference: See audit and sunset history

Sunset committee: See audit and sunset history

Composition of sunset committee: See audit and sunset history

Sunset committee website: See audit and sunset history

Sunset duration: See audit and sunset history

Auditor name: State of Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau

Auditor website: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab

Audit statute: Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 13. Legislative Branch, Subchapter IV. Legislative Service Agencies, Section 94. Legislative Audit Bureau

Audit Statute abbreviation: Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 13. Legislative Branch, Subchapter IV. Legislative Service Agencies, Section 94. Legislative Audit Bureau Section 41-5A-1

Audit statute link: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/13/IV/94/1

Audit legislation committee: Joint Legislative Audit Committee

Audit legislation committee website: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/joint-legislative-audit-committee/about-the-committee/

Audit notes: Audit reports available online 2012-present. State licensing boards do not appear to be audited on a regular basis.

Sunset and Audit Legislation History

Year Action Notes
1994 Practice regulation The Examining Board of Professional Geologists, Hydrologists and Soil Scientists was created.
1996 ASBOG The first ASBOG exam was administered.
1998 Audit The State Auditor completed an audit of the Department of Regulation and Licensing.