Why Become a Certified Petroleum Geologist, Petroleum Geophysicist, or Coal Geologist?

The economics of today demand that companies and investors seek the most qualified personnel available.

Credibility - Identification of personnel in whom industry and investors can have confidence.

Recognition - Increased recognition by peer and governmental agencies.

Responsibility - Ensure credibility to the public by enforcing ethical standards.

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Advantages of Certification

Credibility in the form of employer/client recognition because your professional peer group attests to your abilities as a geologist.

Increase of Improved Skills

Through participation in pertinent seminars, short courses and professional publications.

A Stronger Voice

A voice in both industry and government affairs through the established committees within the DPA such as the Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) and its Instant Response Committee and its Government Liaison Subcommittee.

Read testimony shared by leadership of AAPG as they have been invited by Congress to give witness.

The GAC prepares official AAPG Statements which are then approved by the DPA President, and the AAPG Executive Committee.

DPA Directory

Your name and short biography will be included in this online directory.

Use of Seal or Stamp

Your unique certification number will lend credibility to your evaluations.

What is Board Certification and why is it important?

Over the past decade, there has been considerable discussion among the DPA leadership concerning whether or not the DPA, like many of the other certification programs, should require some sort of continuing education or professional development to help raise the standard of certification.

A special committee was formed to develop a Board Certified membership level. This is a voluntary category of membership that recognizes those members that maintain their continuing education.

The requirements for certification (Article III. Section 6) at the Board Certified level are:

  1. Active member of the Division for a period of five years;
  2. Completion of a minimum of 20 professional development hours per year per the guidelines set forth by the Division’s Board of Certification;
  3. Annual affirmation to the Board of Certification of adherence to the AAPG's Code of Ethics.

Professional Development Hours (PDH) shall be considered that period of time during which the member is engaged in activities directly related to the transference of skills or knowledge as set forth in these guidelines above.

It is the vision of the DPA to develop reciprocity agreements with all states which have registration.

Irrespective of whether or not we successfully negotiate reciprocity arrangements with any state, the title Board Certified Petroleum Geologist will increase the prestige of those who have taken the time to earn it.

Requirements for Certification

Active member of AAPG.


Graduate of recognized institution with a degree in Geology.


A minimum of 8 years experience... (7 years with a Master's Degree | 6 years with a Ph.D.)

Professional Standards

Demonstrates a sustained record of the highest professional and ethical standards.


Three Sponsors who must be certified members of the Association having present knowledge of the applicant's professional qualifications and ethics. In the extenuating circumstance that such Sponsors are not available to the applicant, the applicant may be sponsored by noncertified AAPG active members having training and experience equivalent to the requirements for certification at the Certified Member level. Sponsors' endorsement shall be furnished in writing.

Board Approval

Approved by the Board of Certification of the Division of Professional Affairs.

Reciprocal Certification

When making application as a Petroleum Geologist under reciprocity agreements with the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES), American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) or The Geological Society of London (GSL) you must be a member in good standing and meet the qualifications outlined in the online process.

For DPA Members wishing to join GSL as a “Chartered” member

GSL application fee of £50 should be sent with the application form. Payment can be made by cheque, made payable to The Geological Society, or by credit card using the form provided with the application. Download Forms

About DPA

Headquarters Contacts

Susan Nash
Susan Nash Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology, AAPG +1 405 314 7730