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What is AIPG
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What is AIPG?

The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), founded in 1963, is the largest association dedicated to promoting geology as a profession. It presently has more than 6,000 members in the U.S. and abroad, organized into 36 regional Sections. The Institute adheres to the principles of professional responsibility and public service and is the only international organization that certifies the competence and ethical conduct of geological scientists in all branches of the science with members employed in industry, government, and academia. AIPG emphasizes competence, integrity and ethics. AIPG is an advocate for the profession and communicates regularly to federal and state legislators and agencies on matters pertaining to the geosciences.

AIPG is a nonprofit 501c6 organization whose policies are determined by its Executive Committee.

AIPG Purposes

The purposes of the Institute shall include:

  • advance the geological sciences and the profession of geology;
  • establish qualifications for professional geologists;
  • certify the qualifications of specific individual Member geologists to the public;
  • promote high standards of ethical conduct among its Members and Adjuncts, and within the profession of geology; and
  • represent, and advocate for, the geological profession before government and the general public.

What AIPG does . . .

  • Professional Certification - Certifies geologists based on their Competence, Integrity, and Ethics. 
  • Categories of Membership - Certified Professional Geologist, Professional, Early Career Professional, Associate, and Student.
  • Ombudsman - Intervenes with regulatory boards and agencies on behalf of individual geologists, at the geologist's request. Information also is disseminated in cooperation with the Association of State Boards of Geologists.
  • Lobbying - Presents testimony and position papers to Federal and State legislators and agencies on matters affecting geologists and geologists' employment opportunities. Exhibits at the National Conference of State Legislators.
  • Liability Insurance - Provides access to insurance for errors and omissions, designed specifically for geologists.
  • Continuing Education - Through publications, seminars, short courses, and field trips, provides educational opportunities for geologists, other scientists, engineers, and the general public. The American Institute of Professional Geologists, in cooperation with the Colorado School of Mines, presents the Management Development Program for Geologists and Related Professionals. This program is specifically structured for geologists and other scientific and engineering professionals.
  • Supplemental, Life, and Accident Insurance - Provides access to a full line of supplemental, life, and accident insurance.
  • International Comity - Through agreements with professional societies in other countries, provides access for its Members to professional registration, certification, or chartered status in those countries.
  • State and Section Activities - State and regional sections work on local political issues and the professional status of geologists in their geographic areas. The Institute's sections around the country hold regular meetings, featuring educational programs covering important subjects of interest to professional geologists. One of the most worthwhile benefits of AIPG Membership is the opportunity to make personal contact at the local and State level; to meet fellow geologists; and to learn from them.

Professional Certification

AIPG certifies professional geologists based on their competence, integrity and ethics. By means of a rigorous and thorough peer review process, the Institute investigates applicants who voluntarily apply for self-regulation through the Institute. This screening carefully evaluates their education, experience, technical competence, and ethical conduct.

Certified Professional Geologists

Applicants for certification have a bachelor's degree or higher in the geological sciences with a minimum of 36 semester hours of geology plus eight years of professional geological work experience.

Professional Members

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for Certification that have a bachelor's degree or higher in the geological sciences with a minimum of 36 semester hours of geology and are engaged in the practice of geology but have not obtained eight years of experience.

Early Career Professional Members

Applicants must apply during the first five years upon earning a baccalaureate.

Student Adjunct

Applicants for Student Adjunct are students majoring in the geological sciences.

Non-Practicing Member

A member may be designated "Non-Practicing" upon request at the age of 60, provided that the Member is no longer actively engaged in the practice of geology for financial gain.


Any person who has ceased to be a Member or Affiliate by suspension shall be eligible for reinstatement during the four calendar years immediately succeeding the calendar year of such suspension.

What Membership in AIPG Can Do For You In . . .

Consulting: An AIPG Member may be more successful in attaining state registrations or licenses. In some states, a registered/licensed or certified geologist must be included in a proposal responding to a state solicitation for geological services. Certification as a professional geologist demonstrates high-level professionalism to prospective clients.

Education: Many geologists who are teaching at colleges and universities do part-time consulting in their specialty areas. They benefit from membership through association with other practicing professionals, AIPG services and publications, and the Institute's promotion of professionals standards of conduct. Other geology teachers find membership in AIPG important in guiding and educating their students, many of whom will become practicing professional geologists. All geology teachers benefit from AIPG's activities that enhance the science and profession of geology.

Government: AIPG Members in government agencies can:

  • Arrange for testimony by AIPG geologists before state, county, or local government bodies on proposed bills or regulations having geologic aspects.
  • Prepare testimony or reports on legislation or regulations dealing with geologic topics for governmental agencies.
  • Identify qualified geologists for specific assignments, assuring quality performance.

Industry: For over half a century major companies and major consulting firms have established entry level standards for geologists. AIPG documents similar requirements for its members, and also addresses the experience and enforces the ethical obligations of geologists. This is important to smaller companies without geological staff and even large companies and clients whose familiarity with geological problems is limited. Companies find AIPG Certification useful in evaluating the competence and integrity of geologists they seek to employ.

Additional Member Benefits

  • Insurance Programs
  • Continuing Education Opportunities
  • Public Affairs and Lobbying Opportunities
  • Strength in Numbers
  • International Contacts
  • Ombudsman
  • Publishing Opportunities
  • Rental Car Discounts
  • Discounted AIPG Publications
  • Unique Insignia Items